Why weren't Saxon bigger?

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Bane
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Why weren't Saxon bigger?

Post#1 » Sun May 10, 2009 2:03 am

Honestly. After seeing them live multiple times, and after listening to the first 4-6 LPs again and again and again, I wonder how they've been overlooked as much as they are. Maybe they sell out 2,000+ capacity venues on the continent - I'm not sure - but they are a force to be reckoned with in my opinion. I absolutely love them. They have without a shadow of a doubt some of the most catchiest Metal anthems in existence. I'm not saying they should be at Maiden level, but fuck... they're still going strong after 30 years. I seen them for the most recently time two weeks ago and they still put on a totally killer live show. Relentless! Their new material pisses all over new Maiden material too if you ask me.

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Stormspell
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Re: Why weren't Saxon bigger?

Post#2 » Sun May 10, 2009 2:26 am

I never thought of SAXON as "catchiest" but they did have quite a lot of devoted fans back in the 80s. I dont think they have been overlooked at any point of their career, they just never have been in the same league (musicwise) with the really big ones. In my opinion anyway.

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Bane
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Post#3 » Sun May 10, 2009 2:56 am

Well, I admit "overlooked" wasn't the best choice of word. I personally find the longevity of their music is at least one a par with the heavy hitters. And when they belt out the anthems live, well, I just wonder what came between them and the spot light. Perhaps you're right and I'm viewing them through rose tinted glasses - perhaps the music just isn't up to scratch. I find it hard to believe though.

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Khnud
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Post#4 » Sun May 10, 2009 7:54 am

Weren't they the biggest selling nwobhm-band back in the days? Before Maiden went for a more commercial sound (circa Number of the Beast)? And before Def Leppard released Pyromania?

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Post#5 » Sun May 10, 2009 9:33 am

Its just one of those things, the same could be said of many a band.

Saxon are first class live, they put on one great show, especially for a bunch of old farts and their recent releases shit on other giants latest outputs.

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great_knuthulhu
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Post#6 » Sun May 10, 2009 9:35 am

I think Wheels of Steel and Strong Arm of the Law both were top 3 album hits in Britain (?). Saxon were certainly as big as Maiden and Leppard at least as late as 1981, but then things just passed them by. My first international tape trade was with a Swedish guy who sent me the Strong Arm album - I think I sent him Killers. Everyone seemed to know the name Saxon a few years later, so at least they were pretty well known.

It was probably a mistake from them to try to break the US with the Power and the Glory and especially Crusader. There was a backlash when the latter was released, I seem to remember.

I guess Saxon draw bigger crowds on the continent than they do in Britain today. I'd certainly still go see them and some of their recent material is pretty good too.
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Ernest Thesiger
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Post#7 » Sun May 10, 2009 10:13 am

I remember seeing them on Top of the Pops when I was small. They were miming to "And the Bands Played On".
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rictusgrin666
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Post#8 » Mon May 11, 2009 8:44 am

The video collection Power and the Glory (i think; memory's a bit sketchy) might hold the key. Very ugly band. :D

Musically great though. Biff has still got it! Saw him recently on a video appearing during Metallica's set to sing Motorcycle Man for an encore

Most people in the crowd seemed to react like WTF??? Who's this guy??? What's this song????
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DaN
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Post#9 » Mon May 11, 2009 9:36 am

I blame "Crusaders", or generally the fact that their music started deteriorating while other behemoths like Priest and Maiden were still in their prime. They also had a wee bit more of "classic rock" in them than other bands breaking at the time, especially compared to the US Metal-wave. By the mid-80's, MANOWAR or METALLICA probably sounded more exciting that SAXON to the kids.
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GJ
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Post#10 » Mon May 11, 2009 9:51 am

...not even getting rid of their too-big-a-moustache for them Bon Jovi virgins to handle bassist nor sewing some delicate curls onto the head of Paul Quinn could save them.

Still, they are the greatest live band I've ever seen (Uppsala 1995 and 1996, Sundsvall around 2000).

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daniel
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Post#11 » Mon May 11, 2009 11:09 am

I guess they didn't eat enough.
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omen of hate
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Post#12 » Mon May 11, 2009 12:26 pm

DaN wrote:I blame "Crusaders", or generally the fact that their music started deteriorating while other behemoths like Priest and Maiden were still in their prime. They also had a wee bit more of "classic rock" in them than other bands breaking at the time, especially compared to the US Metal-wave. By the mid-80's, MANOWAR or METALLICA probably sounded more exciting that SAXON to the kids.
True. SAXON, after "Crusader" (which is far from being a masterpiece) released several albums with a "lighter" sound ( "Innocence is no Excuse" and some others I've forgot the name) in order to conquer the US market, which was not a success, and lot of people in Europe lost interest in SAXON because of this.

I personnally never bought a SAXON lp after "Crusader", I've never heard their newest releases, but it seems that their new material is better now (?).

Still enjoyable live tough, you hang at the bar having some beers at the first hour of the show and go headbanging the second part when they're playing the old stuff !

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ION BRITTON
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Post#13 » Mon May 11, 2009 3:22 pm

As far as i am concerned they never released anything really mindblowing, only some cool tunes here and there. I also don't like Biff's voice much, not very close to the vocal style i like most.
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Khnud
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Post#14 » Mon May 11, 2009 3:33 pm

Regarding newer Saxon stuff; there are a lot of good songs on albums such as "Unleash The Beast" (especially The Thin Red Line, which is a killer!) up to "Inner Sanctum". Haven't heard their latest though.

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Black Axe
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Post#15 » Mon May 11, 2009 4:13 pm

Khnud wrote:Regarding newer Saxon stuff; there are a lot of good songs on albums such as "Unleash The Beast" (especially The Thin Red Line, which is a killer!) up to "Inner Sanctum". Haven't heard their latest though.
The two latest albums are getting quite boring again.

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