This set from Saxon represents eleven interpretations of rock classics, all the big names of rock are here, Stones, Zep, Purple, Hendrix, the Fab Four to name but a handful.
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Silver Lining Music
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Biff Byford – vocals * Paul Quinn – guitars * Doug Scarratt – guitars * Nibbs Carter – bass * Nigel Glockler – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Paint It Black (Rolling Stones) * 02 Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin) * 03 Paperback Writer (Beatles) * 04 Evil Woman (Black Sabbath) * 05 Stone Free (Jimi Hendrix) * 06 Bomber (Motorhead) * 07 Speed King (Deep Purple) * 08 The Rocker (Thin Lizzy) * 09 Hold The Line (Toto) * 10 Problem Child (AC/DC) * 11 See My Friends (The Kinks)
There wasn’t much for touring rock bands to do in 2020 other than stay home, watch Netflix or get out and walk the dog with pooch and face mask in tow. For Saxon, who haven’t released a studio album since 2018’s ‘Thunderbolt’, this effort would’ve been pretty easy for the Barnsley boys to slap together even under strict lockdown conditions.
This set represents eleven interpretations of rock classics. These songs don’t extend themselves, in some cases they are deliberately truncated, three songs are within the two-three minute range, the longest track is just over four minutes. All the big names of rock are here, Stones, Zep, Sabbath, Purple, Hendrix, the Fab Four to name but a handful.
Remember these are Saxon’s interpretations so don’t be thinking these are 100% facsimiles. Byford gives it a go with his vocal treatment, most noteworthy on the Black Sabbath track ‘Evil Woman’, the Ozzy style kept intact otherwise it wouldn’t really sound like a Sabbath track.
‘The Immigrant Song’ and ‘Paperback Writer’ are kept short but still pack a punch. Just imagine if Lennon and Harrison had chanced upon distortion and overdrive guitar pedals back in the 60’s? The Thin Lizzy cover ‘I’m A Rocker’ is an admirable version, though the dry sounding fuzz guitar and Biff’s rendering of Lynott’s storytelling style of singing doesn’t quite work.
I enjoyed ‘Bomber’ and ‘Speed King’, both given a bit of guitar zing, while the surprise inclusion was Toto‘s ‘Hold The Line’, a very punchy cover and more metal than AOR in the final output. ‘Problem Child’ is a hefty guitar rocker, a powerfully delivered number that the AC/DC boys would be proud to have added to the thousands of official cover songs already released.
‘Inspirations’ won’t set everyone’s candles alight but I found it an enjoyable romp for the fact that a few of my favourite tunes were included within the set. Obviously a strict copycat impersonation wasn’t possible for Saxon and nor should it be. What would be the point? As the title says, it’s all about inspiration and at a touch over 36 minutes, the album won’t overstay its welcome. Go for it.
Paint It Black
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