What does it sound like?:
Three more deluxe reissues from Saxon, one of the stalwarts of NWOBHM and a band who never took themselves too seriously, this time covering the period 1981-84. All three come with numerous bonus tracks plus a well-appointed book with lyrics, a bit of background about the recording of the albums and lots of rare photographs from the period.
First out of the blocks is 1981’s Denim and Leather, one of my favourite albums by the band and perhaps the last of their very best work. Princess Of The Night, Never Surrender, And The Bands Played On and the title track capture the band at the height of their powers, on what was the last set to feature the original line up. A couple of B-sides and a generous number of live tracks make this good value for money.
Next up is 1983’s Power and The Glory, a solid enough record but not an exceptional one. A much lower profile effort than the ones before and after it, the title track and the closing The Eagle Has Landed are the high points. Again there’s a generous helping of extras, this time in the form of demos, a couple of which are songs that didn’t make it on to the album.
Finally, to the following year’s effort Crusader. This was something of a return to form after the dip with the previous release, and although a couple of tracks have a feel of filler about them, there’s certainly some good stuff on here, especially the title track and A Little Of What You Fancy. The bonus tracks again have early versions of most of the songs, plus a couple that didn’t make the final cut.
A minor gripe is that a few previously issued bonus tracks haven’t been included on these releases – I know not why! It would have been good to have them, if only for the sake of completeness. Also, why has 1982’s seminal The Eagle Has Landed live set not been included in this series of deluxe reissues? This is one of the jewels in the Saxon crown, and it seems a strange omission.
What does it all *mean*?
Overall then, two albums that are well worth checking out if you’re a NWOBHM fan, and one that’s a bit more so-so. All though are beautifully presented in these versions, with fantastic sound and first class packaging.
Goes well with…
Numerous pints of Barnsley bitter!
Might suit people who like…