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SAXON Strong Arm Of The Law Reissue

By Rob McNees, Vinyl Aficionado
Monday, September 10, 2018 @ 10:57 AM


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SAXON
Strong Arm Of The Law
Reissue
BMG Records




As SAXON were storming up the charts with Wheels of Steel, I guess the lads were fond of the old saying ‘Strike while the iron is hot’. A scant five months had passed since Wheels had been released, yet SAXON had loaded the artillery for the next assault. September 1980 saw the hammer drop again with the release of Strong Arm Of The Law. At this juncture the band are virtually untouchable, blistering the charts and leading the charge as the NWOBHM had a firm grasp on the music scene in Mother England. By now even British giants BLACK SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST, and titans like BUDGIE had not only taken note but had released some of their finest music to date!

The album proper kicks off with the sounds of a thunderstorm, and when Biff & the boys tell you to fill your heads with "Heavy Metal Thunder", the power of the band is equal to anything Mother Nature can dish out! A blistering opener setting the tempo for another legendary album!! "To Hell And Back Again" tells the tale of a man on death row and if this doesn’t give you a dire case of whiplash then I suggest you check your pulse, because you may not have one!!

The muscular title track follows with the cautionary tale of a run-in with the police whilst the band were on tour and the subsequent harassment as the policeman was sure that they must be on drugs or high since they were in a band. Like Wheels, the title track is a crowd pleaser losing none of its heaviness with the slower tempo. "Taking Your Chances" kicks it back up a notch with the story of a relationship that’s reached its cold & bitter conclusion. The music matches the intensity of Biff’s lyrics to a T. The blistering track "20,000 Ft." follows as you travel with SAXON in the clouds onward to their next adventure.

5 songs in and the band shows no signs of letting up with a swift kick of Boogie in your ass as "Hungry Years" shakes your speakers. Are there Heavy Metal strippers anywhere??? If so, this is the song for them. If "Hungry Years" is a boot to the backside, then "Sixth Form Girls" up next is a punch to the throat. A meaty riff that begs to be played with your finest air guitar and headbanged till your vision is blurred. This track made many a Mix-tape back in the day! The album closer is as much a history lesson as a barn burning Metal anthem. A bludgeoning riff (3 of them to be exact) leads into "Dallas 1pm" the story of the assassination of our 35th president John F Kennedy in November of 1963. Even including actual radio broadcast footage, a song that gives me chills to this very day even though I was only days old when it happened. A powerful song and brings to a close another in SAXON’s catalog of sheer brilliance.

But with the digibook, you not only get great pictures of band and flyers, you get even more music! Taken from their BBC Session from April of 1982, the band tear thru tracks "20,000 Ft.", "Dallas 1pm" from Strong Arm, a killer early version of "The Eagle Has Landed" from the as-yet unreleased at the time album Power And The Glory and "747 (Strangers In The Night)" from Wheels of Steel. Quality stuff right there! But there’s still more! Some alternative versions of "To Hell And Back Again", "20,000 Ft." and "Heavy Metal Thunder" and "Mandy", which is a very early version of what ended up becoming "Sixth Form Girls"! Another classic SAXON creeper from their archives!

Sheer greatness here and essential for anyone claiming to be a Metalhead or a worshipper of the NWOBHM!

And for the Vinyl fans, an amazing multicolored Vinyl release that looks just brilliant. But unfortunately again, no bonus tracks! So for fans like myself whose had the album since it’s release, no Vinyl version of those outstanding bonus tracks to spin on your favorite turntable. A damn shame it is too.

4.9 Out Of 5 Skulls


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