Cd review: Inspirations
Formed in 1977 Saxon has been a staple of Heavy Metal music. They were United Kingdom’s most successful heavy metal band and have sold 13 million albums worldwide, they have been a major influence and have inspired thousands of headlining bands like Mötley Crüe, Skidrow, Metallica and Pantera. After 43 years and 23 albums later, Saxon has never put out a cover album, so they recorded one with 11 songs from bands that inspired them hens the albums name “Inspirations”.
The recording of “Inspirations” was superb and is headphone worthy. If you appreciate stereo recording and good effects that are panning from right to left and back, this album was mixed right. Bands now days tend to over produce. Listening to this album made me feel like I was watching them live.
I enjoyed listening to Saxons take on some Iconic bands. Paying tribute to their inspirations. I think more band should try it. Saxon is going to tour this summer with another legendary band Judas Priest. Cannot wait to see that, I’m sure it will be epic. JRocks
British Heavy Metal legends Saxon will deliver a full-roar-fun-down set of covers with their latest album Inspirations, which drops a brand new 11 track release featuring some of the superb classic rock songs that influenced Biff Byford & the band.
Set for release on March 19th 2021, via Silver Lining Music, Inspirations gets things rolling with the release of Saxon’s crunching take on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’. Biff Byford comments: “Loved this band since I first saw them and heard them. I liked the Beatles, but the Stones appealed to my rebel side; their iconic look… so many great songs, such a great attitude in the music!”
The release of ‘Paint It Black’ is also accompanied by a behind-the-scene video which was filmed during the band’s recording session earlier in the year.
From the super-charged melodic romp of The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ to their freeway mad take on Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Stone Free’, Saxon show their love and appreciation with a series of faithful, raw and ready tributes. Recorded at Brockfield House near York, UK, with a firm eye on the old school way using Marshall cabs, Marshall amps, real drums and produced by Biff Byford with Jacky Lehmann recording and mixing, Saxon approach the likes of Motörhead’s ‘Bomber’ (with added whistle!), AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Evil Woman’ and a raucous Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King’ with refreshingly warm, unfiltered, “vintage” sounding renditions.
“We wanted to do an album based on our influences, the songs and bands that inspired us to write what we did and still do,” continues Byford, “and it was also interesting to see what my voice could do as I haven’t sung many of these songs before.”
Byford does, indeed, take on some new vocal challenges, which he duly smashes on the likes of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Rocker’. The net result is that whether cranking up a heavyweight take on Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Immigrant Song’ or throwing down AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’, Saxon does a supreme job of entertaining both themselves and their audience throughout Inspirations.
“We didn’t want to change any of the songs too much, just play them more like Saxon,” concludes Byford, “and we also think it’s very important to have -and share with the fans- some fun in these dark times.”
You want even more proof of the validity behind that statement? Wrap your ears around their sparkling take on Toto’s ‘Hold The Line’ and consider Saxon’s Inspirations a mission accomplished.