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Album Review : SAXON – ‘INSPIRATIONS’

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We all have music that inspires us to do greater things, and Heavy Metal legends Saxon are no exception, but their case they’ve taken a look at those inspirational tracks and created a covers album from it.

Has to be said however, that they themselves have prompted many a band to into being, in the first place!

The Rolling Stones `Paint It Black’ gets the party started and here whilst the arrangement is essentially the same as the original, Biff Byford’s vocal adds a darker, more intense feeling to the iconic song.

Led Zeppelin always had an immense sound but the Saxon boys have made `Immigrant Song’ heavier and meatier than ever in their punchy version.

  It’s inevitable that The Beatles would show up somewhere here and `Paperback Writer’ has gained some attitude and power since its original outing but still retains the singalong charm that hooked so many fab four fans back in the day.

Byford does a brilliant Ozzy style delivery on `Evil Woman’ as the drums pound out the beat accentuated by powerful riffery.

 Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt rock out their twin guitar fretboard magic on Jimi Hendrix’ Blues rocker `Stone Free’ which oozes energy from start to finish.

The Saxon wheels of steel roll out the heavy artillery with Motorheads Bomber’ which hammers full steam along the tracks, taking no prisoners as this headbanging classic smashes home.

 Hurtling headlong along the highway, Deep Purples `Speed King’ is treated to some superb axe wizardry and a stellar performance from Byford who is on fire here. Lizzy’s `The Rocker’ gets the twin guitar treatment which, of course wasn’t present on the original but sounds all the better for it.

Taking a curved ball from the rest of the tracks, and showing a softer side to the guys, comes Toto’s `Hold The Line’. No namby pamby keyboards here however, guitars all the way! With the energy rising still, a sure-fire way to get things jumping is to add some AC/DC and `Problem Child’ fits the bill perfectly.

It may not be quite as raw as the Angus original but it still rips your face off!

Bringing proceedings to a brilliant close, The Kinks `See My Friend’ slows things down but still keeps the heat turned up on this great rendition of the iconic track and shows more emotion in Byfords voice than seen elsewhere.    

Inspirations’ was recorded old school with Real drums and Marshall amps at Brockfield House, York during lockdown. Byford produced the record with Jacky Lehmann (Accept) mixing and recording.

The raw, back to basics feel comes across and in its own way, helps to pay homage to Saxons musical heroes.

This album gives a rare insight into what makes a band like Saxon tick and shows they’re not afraid to jump out of their comfort zone.

Track Listing:
Paint It Black
Immigrant Song
Paperback Writer
Evil Woman
Stone Free
Bomber
Speed King
The Rocker
Hold The Line
Problem Child
See My Friends

Follow Saxon on: www.facebook.com/saxon www.instagram.com/saxon.official www.twitter.com/SaxonOfficial www.youtube.com/PlanetSaxon​ www.saxon747.com

Review by Paul Sabin for MPM

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