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Saxon - Denim and Leather (1996) Retail CD
New Wave of British Heavy Metal
Saxon's third straight (and ultimately last) classic album, 1981's Denim & Leather capped off a stunningly prolific 18-month stretch for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal stars. If only Saxon had managed to stagger the amazing triumvirate of Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law, and Denim & Leather over a longer stretch of years, listeners might still be talking about the group in the same hallowed tones reserved for fellow upstarts like Def Leppard and Iron Maiden. But perhaps the band's run at the top was simply fated to be short and sweet, given that taking their first extended break shortlymore… thereafter would result in a string of disappointing follow-ups, starting with the lackluster Power & the Glory two years later. Listening to Denim & Leather's many lasting heavy metal anthems, it's sadly apparent that they represented the end of an era for the hard-working quintet from Barnsley, England — a uniquely inspired and prolific era which they'd never replicate again. Bookended by possibly their best-ever single, the storming "Princess of the Night" (one of their biggest American hits and probably the only love song ever written for a train!), and the timeless title track, the album didn't always match the consistency of its direct predecessor, Strong Arm of the Law, but arguably outdid the even better-known Wheels of Steel opus before that. This consistency arrived at the hands of further standout cuts, including the sub-thrash workout "Fire in the Sky," the Allmans-referencing road tale "Midnight Rider," and the fan favorite "And the Bands Played On," whose main riff was actually a solo lick and which famously immortalized the band's appearance at the Donington Monsters of Rock a year earlier. Finally, steady hard rockers such as "Never Surrender," "Rough and Ready," and "Play It Loud," whilst far from unsatisfying, already preview the repetitive formula and excessively obvious lyrical clichés which would soon take hold of the group's future efforts. Adding to the band's imminent problems, founding drummer Pete Gill would shortly depart to join Motörhead, destabilizing the original quintet's beautifully volatile internal chemistry and spelling the end of good times for all. Still, for this final, glorious moment, Saxon was considered the New Wave of British Heavy Metal band to beat.
|1||Princess Of The Night|
|3||Out Of Control|
|4||Rough And Ready|
|5||Play It Loud|
|6||And The Bands Played On|
|8||Fire In The Sky|
|9||Denim And Leather|
- Saxon - Denim and Leather (1996) Retail CD
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- 27/03/08 by pontiacc
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