Very Best of Saxon: 1979 - 1988 Import, Best of, Box set
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2007 Three CD Box Set featuring all the Hit Singles, B-sides and Best of the Album Tracks from One of the Finest Heavy Rock Bands Ever! all Tracks Remastered from Original Source Tapes at Abbey Road Studios. Featuring Tracks from the Legendary Original Albums: 'saxon', 'wheels of Steel', 'strong Arm of the Law', 'denim and Leather', 'the Eagle Has Landed', 'power and the Glory', 'crusader', 'rock the Nations'. 54 Tracks Total. Features Extensive Sleeve Notes from and Rare Photos.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So, when I bought the greatest hits Cd, I was expecting two discs of greatness, and one that would rarely grace my CD player. Boy, was I wrong. The first two (early) CDs are predictably great, but the third contains a selection of songs that, for the most part, rock really hard and stack up to Saxon's best early material.
This is an exceptional set of tunes, and very reasonably priced. My only complaints: the omission of their excellent coverr of Sweet's "Set Me Free" and my guilty pleasure of "This Town Rocks" from The Power and the Glory.
But Saxon is every bit as talented as those other bands, if not moreso. One thing they lack is controversial, tawdry, or disturbing lyrics and album concepts, which seem to have been a staple of 80s metal bands. I find this refreshing. Instead, Saxon focus on raw rock 'n roll and have more of a motorbike focus as well as plenty of Anglo-Saxon patriotism with crusader and warrior themes. The vocalist sings with conviction, and in some of their later albums reminds me more of Noddy Holder of Slade. The guitarists and drummer deliver impressive solos and flourishes throughout the collection. These songs do participate in the classic metal formula, but the band is clever about using studio and guitar effects to change up the pace. My only complaint is that in some songs, the lyrics (like in several of Dio's songs) tend to simply repeat instead of adding nuances or improvisation on the theme.
I am also impressed that Saxon seemed to have remained true to their own style for most of their career, unlike many other bands who sell out to be more commercial. From what I've heard of more recent offerings from the 90s and 2000s, they only seem to have gotten harder. I especially like the 2007 album "Inner Sanctum." Some vocalists only improve with age. Bill Byford seems to be one of them, as this album and even their 2013 album testify.
The reason I tried Saxon is that while listening to other bands on Youtube like April Wine ("Roller" is a great song), I came across songs like "Need for Speed" and "Princess of the Night" and "Crusader" and "Lionheart." I kept sampling their songs and now I'm hooked. I would say their early 80s era reminds me of the quality (not style) of 80s bands like RATT and Motley Crue's first albums, in terms of that raw buzzing guitar and whopping drum sounds. Saxon is quite sophisticated in their approach to the metal genre, and I would rate their guitarists higher than Judas Priest's in terms of melody and memorable intricacy for solos. This band is heavy, but they have heart without getting sappy. This is a band you can crank up with confidence.
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