SAXON – Strong Arm Of The Law [Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition]
Some classic SAXON albums is its remastered / extra tracks edition have been requested here, so let’s go now with “Strong Arm Of The Law” the third studio album by the English band. “Strong Arm Of The Law [Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition]” features no less than 8 bonus tracks, including alternate versions / mixes, a great BBC Session, and a complete booklet in the Rock Candy fashion with rare photos and liner notes by specialist Jerry Ewing (Metal Hammer Magazine) in cooperation with Biff Byford.
A mere six months after releasing their stunning sophomore album Wheels Of Steel, SAXON almost managed to top themselves with the equally timeless “Strong Arm of the Law”. Yes, SAXON released 2 studio albums the same year, 1980… what a great era!
This time, instead of motorcycle engines revving, it’s thunder and lightning launching the album in truly bombastic fashion via the embryonic thrashing of “Heavy Metal Thunder.” And then it soon becomes apparent that Saxon had learned a little something from their then-recent tour of England with Motörhead, because break-neck anthems like “To Hell and Back Again,” “Taking Your Chances,” the very naughty “Sixth Form Girls,” and the high-flying “20,000 Ft” just keep on coming at the listener, full speed ahead.
A few more deliberate offerings are wisely sprinkled in to allow for some breathing room, and include the album’s ever-popular title track (based on the band’s true-life experience of being pulled over by highway police during their first American tour), the uniquely unimpressive “Hungry Years,” and the unusually political “Dallas 1 PM,” which details the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
In sum, as had been the case with Wheels Of Steel, all the right ingredients pretty much fell into place for Saxon on this amazing record, and though it lacked as many clear-cut hits as its predecessor, “Strong Arm of the Law” unmatched consistency from start to finish makes it the definitive Saxon album in the eyes of many fans and critics, and one that influenced hundred of bands.
Suffice to say that you’d be hard pressed to find any New Wave of British Heavy Metal Top 10 list that doesn’t include both of these efforts.
This remastered reissue add juicy bonus in the form of an alternate version of “To Hell And Back Again”, the great new mix of classic “Heavy Metal Thunder [Abbey Road Mix 2009]”, and a must for collectors early version of ‘Sixth Form Girls’, titled “Mandy”.
Additioanlly, there’s a really good BBC Session captured in 1982 with very good quality sound.
This Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition series really do justice to these essential SAXON early recordings. The mere term “remaster” is ambiguous when dealing with music made long before the digital age dawned, as it usually involves replacing the original tape with something presumably “cleaner” and more up to date (read: sterile) that all but ruins it.
To me, the best remaster of an album from 1980 is one that attempts to replicate the sound of hearing a brand new copy of the original vinyl. These SAXON remasters do just that, so much so that I’ve officially retired my worn old Carrere LP pressings of these albums.
If that weren’t enough, each reissue contains expanded liner notes with input from frontman Biff Byford himself, along with various clippings from the day and reproductions of the back covers of each LP, making them essential for collectors.
To summarize, mandatory NWOBHM album, and remasters that give these 30 year old recordings a new lease on life.
01 – Heavy Metal Thunder
02 – To Hell And Back Again
03 – Strong Arm Of The Law
04 – Taking Your Chances
05 – 20,000 Ft.
06 – Hungry Years
07 – Sixth Form Girls
08 – Dallas 1 PM
09 – 20,000 Ft. [BBC Session, 25th Apr 1982]
10 – Dallas 1 PM [BBC Session, 25th Apr 1982]
11 – The Eagle Has Landed [BBC Session, 25th Apr 1982]
12 – 747 [Strangers In The Night] [BBC Session, 1982]
13 – To Hell And Back Again [Alternate Version]
14 – 20,000 Ft. [Abbey Road Mix 2009]
15 – Mandy [Early Version Of «Sixth Form Girls»]
16 – Heavy Metal Thunder [Abbey Road Mix 2009]
Biff Byford – vocals
Graham Oliver – guitar
Paul Quinn – guitar
Steve Dawson – bass
Pete Gill – drums
BUY IT !