Saxon - Power And The Glory

edited July 22 in year-1983

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ARTIST: Saxon
ALBUM: Power And The Glory
LABEL: Carerre
SERIAL: CALP147
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2009, EMI, 50999 6 99341 2 4 (bonus tracks, remastered)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Biff Byford - vocals * Paul Quinn - guitars * Graham Oliver - guitars * Steve Dawson - bass * Nigel Glockler - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Power And The Glory * 02 Redline * 03 Warrior * 04 Nightmare * 05 This Town Rocks * 06 Watching The Sky * 07 Midas Touch * 08 The Eagle Has Landed

Background

Saxon were only five albums into their recording career, but to many they peaked with 'Power And The Glory'. The four previous albums were rough slices of boogie-metal fusion, but natural progression saw the first shades of metallic AOR creep into their sound.

Not to mention an ever increasing polished production. This allows the album to stand with Def Leppard's 'Pyromania' and Iron Maiden's 'Piece Of Mind' as one of 1983's best albums from the NWOBHM pioneers.

It should have cracked the American market wide open for Saxon. Due to record company politics and some bad breaks, it never happened. Quite amazing when you consider Motley Crue were opening for them.

The Songs

The title track remains one of Saxon's key moments. The riff is brutish and carries the entire track. Nigel Glockler was making his first appearance as drummer and kicks the crap out of his kit with some thunderous double bass kicks.

'Redline' is a street machine anthem, one of early Saxon's trademarks, although far more sophisticated than the dirty 'Freeway Mad' sound from 1980. Noted producer Jeff Glixman was at the helm, so gleaming precision was a sure thing.

'Warrior' is a traditional metal classic, with a bodyblow of a riff. The Nordic 'rape and pillage' lyrics were never better. Crushing. Then the first shades of AOR are explored with 'Nightmare', while not a ballad, it has a fine sense of atmosphere and a great chorus. It was a sign of the direction pursued for much of the decade.

'This Town Rocks' is another full speed metal burner, but 'Midas Touch' and 'Watching The Sky' let the album down a bit. They are missing an essential chorus or piece or melody. Some unfortunate filler. The momentum is regained with the epic drama of 'The Eagle Has Landed', huge on buildup with plenty of tension in the guitar work from Oliver and Quinn.

In Summary

Saxon's AOR direction would grow stronger with 'Crusader' and 'Innocence Is No Excuse', before peaking in 1988 with 'Destiny'. Foremost they were still a metal band. But for all round excellence, 'Power' will always be the Saxon album to own.

The clinical touch is as equal to 'Pyromania' in many ways, a good balance between all-out heavy metal with just a tinge of AOR. It solidified Biff and the boys reputation as legends of the genre, a tag never to be lost.


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Comments

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    It took me all these years to figure out that 'Redline' is a shameless rip off of Montrose's 'I Don't Want It.'

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    Very much an underrated album that saw the fortunes begin to tail off. I remain and always have been a massive fan of every era of this band.

    That said, I haven't ventured into their recent covers album. I mean, what's the point in that then?

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    If you’ve ever listened to Martin Popoff’s podcast or read any of his books, he always praises this album. (while he loves metal, unfortunately he’s not always kind to AOR!)

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