SAXON Reissues Coming In February

EMI has set a February 23 release date for the first batch of SAXON reissues covering the albums "Saxon", "Wheels Of Steel" and "Strong Arm Of The Law".

* "Saxon":

Originally released in 1979, SAXON's self-titled debut, widely regarded as the first LP to be issued by a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band, was first made available in 1979 on the French Carrere label.

Originally forming in Barnsley, South Yorkshire as SON OF A BITCH, the quintet of Biff Byford on vocals, Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn on lead guitars, Steve Dawson on bass and Pete Gill on drums, upon being signed, the band swiftly changed their name to SAXON (which their label thought would be more palatable to U.S. audiences). Produced by John Verity at Livingstone Studios, the album starts with the progressively flavored suite of "Rainbow Theme"/"Frozen Rainbow". The rest of the album is suffused with a punky energy, and features the classics "Stallions Of The Highway", "Still Fit To Boogie" and "Militia Guard".

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Bonus tracks: The original album is now supplemented by pre-album demos, recorded when they were still called SON OF A BITCH, their first BBC session, recorded in 1980 for Tommy Vance's Radio 1 "Friday Rock Show", plus live tracks from the inaugural Donington Monsters Of Rock show, 1980. It also features rare and previously unseen photos courtesy of the band's personal archives as well as extensive liner notes by Classic Rock and Metal Hammer journalist Jerry Ewing, written in co-operation with lead singer Biff Byford.

Bonus Tracks:

01. Big Teaser (1978 Demo)
02. Stallions Of The Highway (1978 Demo)
03. Backs To The Wall (1978 Demo)
04. Rainbow Theme (Demo)
05. Frozen Rainbow (Demo)
06. Backs to the Wall (BBC Session)
07. Stallions of the Highway (BBC Session)
08. Motorcycle Man (BBC Session)
09. Still Fit to Boogie (BBC Session)
10. 747 (Strangers in the Night) (BBC Session)
11. Judgement Day (Live, b-side of Suzie Hold On)
12. Still Fit To Boogie (Live at Donington 1980)
13. Backs To The Wall (Live at Donington 1980)
14. Stallions Of The Highway (Live at Donington 1980)

* "Wheels Of Steel":

Originally released in 1980, "Wheels Of Steel", SAXON's second LP, was produced by the band in association with Pete Hinton at Ramport Studios. Released in February 1980, and hitting the No. 5 position, it features the original lineup of Biff Byford on vocals, Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn on guitars, Steve Dawson on bass and Pete Gill on drums. "Wheels Of Steel" is crammed with classics, from set opener "Motorcycle Man", through the singles "Suzi Hold On", "747 (Strangers In The Night)" and title track (both of which cracked the UK To 20), finishing off with "Machine Gun".

Bonus tracks: The album now includes rare b-sides and live tracks recorded in front of 35,000 metal maniacs at the very first Donington Monsters Of Rock festival, plus extremely rare and recently discovered, previously unreleased demos recorded prior to the album. It also features rare and previously unseen photos courtesy of the band’s personal archives as well as extensive liner notes by Classic Rock and Metal Hammer scribe Jerry Ewing, written in co-operation with lead singer Biff Byford.

Bonus Tracks:

01. Suzie Hold On (1980 Demo Rehearsal)
02. Wheels Of Steel (1980 Demo Rehearsal)
03. Stallions Of The Highway (Live, b-side of 747 (Strangers In the Night))
04. Motorcycle Man (Live at Donington 1980)
05. Freeway Mad (Live at Donington 1980)
06. Wheels Of Steel (Live at Donington 1980)
07. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (Live at Donington 1980)
08. Machine Gun (Live at Donington 1980)

* "Strong Arm Of The Law"

Originally released in October 1980, SAXON's third album (and second LP of 1980!) was the second to be produced by the band in association with Pete Hinton at Ramport Studios. Opening with the self-explanatory "Heavy Metal Thunder", like its predecessor "Wheels Of Steel", "Strong Arm Of The Law" features many tracks that have remained staples of SAXON's live set to the present day, including "20,000 Ft", "Hungry Years" and "Dallas 1pm", a song about John F Kennedy's assassination, revealing the band's social conscience.

Bonus tracks: "Strong Arm Of The Law" now includes the complete 1982 Kid Jensen B15 session, recorded live in the studio for BBC Radio 1, new mixes taken from the original 24 track tapes of "To Hell And Back Again" (an alternate take from the final LP version), "20,000 Ft" and "Heavy Metal Thunder", remixed at Abbey Road Studios by Pete Mew. It also features a previously unreleased song in "Mandy" (an early working version of "Sixth Form Girls"). It also features rare memorabilia and extensive liner notes by Classic Rock and Metal Hammer writer Jerry Ewing, written in co-operation with lead singer Biff Byford.

Bonus Tracks:

01. 20,000 Ft (BBC Session 1982)
02. Dallas 1 PM (BBC Session 1982)
03. The Eagle Has Landed (BBC Session 1982)
04. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (BBC Session 1982)
05. To Hell And Back Again (Alternate Version)
06. 20,000 Ft (Abbey Road mix 2009)
07. Mandy (Early version of "Sixth Form Girls")
08. Heavy Metal Thunder (Abbey Road mix 2009)

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