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4.7 out of 5 stars31
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 February 2009
God this takes me back,first saxon album i ever bought,2.99 in the bargain bin because of a small scratch at the beginning of motorcycle man,how i laughed at the hapless shop owner handing over the bargain of the century,well that week anyway,from the opening of motorcycle man to the frantic ending of machine gun this is and always will be a superb example of british metal,sound issues and packaging ive mentioned in the strong arm' review and the same views hold here,but the magic of the music shines thru,747 and wheels of steel rock out the speakers and your head automatically goes into headbang mode and your feet tap the floor repeatedly,cant believe its almost 30 years since this was released,suzie hold on a stunning example of a rock ballad lightens the mood before machine gun closes the original album.

The bonus tracks are a mixed bag the demos of suzie' and wheels are interesting nothing more, the live stallions' from glasgow i believe has been released before so its down to the donington tracks to raise the bar and despite the average sound quality they are a decent addition to the disc a pretty good representation of the band in the early days wheels' and 747 standing out as usual,so its another 4.5 stars if i could, and a neck brace to see out the album.

ps just a thought,can you imagine if saxon had just held back and kept motorcycle man/wheels/suzie and 747 and paired them with h m thunder/strong arm'/takin your chances/hungry years and dallas 1pm,would that have been the greatest metal album of all time,damn right!!!
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on 10 November 2009
not a dud track on the album - fantastic!

If you are only going to get one Saxon CD this is the one to get.

And if you're into metal and you haven't got any Saxon you're life is not complete without this one ...
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on 4 February 2011
Question is which out of Wheels of Steel or Strong Arm Of The Law is the better album, Saxon's arguably two flagship moments. To my mind there is really no contest - so step forward the runner up, Wheels of Steel. Where Steel falls short of the mark is that it has a number of substandard tracks compared to Strong Arm's impeccable and almost flawless line up. So, `Suzy Hold On' limps along with its weak but annoyingly memorable chorus, the lamentable Street Fighting Gang crescendos awkwardly with its jarring final chorus refrain and even Motorcycle Man is let down by some pretty basic lyrics (a situation thankfully rescued by the sheer power of the song). Freeway Mad and See The Light Shining are also relatively straight forward NWOBHM workouts compared to the much slicker counterpart cuts on Strong Arm Of The Law. Also the vocals are noticeably different to Strong Arm - Here Biff is more operatic in delivery and most of these songs sound like they're being sung remotely through a public address system. This gives the whole cd a much rawer and therefore more `garage' feel to it compared to its decidedly more polished successor. Couple this with the cover pictures of the band lolling about and looking `hard' in biker leather chic then the whole package has more of a feel of contemporary Motorhead `attitude' in its DNA than say the contemporary and more mainstream progressive leanings of Strong Arm.

However, what really lifts Wheels is the appearance of TRULY classic Saxon tunes that will require everybody to have this cd somewhere in the collection and lift it to it's rightful place as a Saxon classic. The title track is simply one of the greatest metal songs ever written, a place in history secured due to that sublime and dirty riff, and the atmospheric Strangers In The Night simply soars above the competition. Finally, both Motorcycle Man and the closing pounding Machine Gun are incredibly powerful songs with driving catchy riffs, both worthy of inclusion on the later Eagle Has Landed live opus (brilliantly show casing the drumming prowess of Pete Gill).

It may be that because I came to Wheels along time after I had enjoyed the spine chilling Dallas 1 pm or the powerhouse duo of 20,000 ft and Heavy Metal Thunder on Strong Arm Of The Law that it paled slightly as a result. And to be brutally honest I generally prefer the lighter sounding and more consistent Denim and Leather. But in the right mood Wheels of Steel comes a worthy third on the roster and Wheels of Steel the track simply eclipses all around it.
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Crank this up to 11 and get ready to bang your head. This album along with Number of the Beast and Ace of Spades defines what real, proper heavy metal as invented, refined and bottled by the greats of the NWOBHM is all about.

This is of course the mighty Saxons' second outing and the record that really made us all pick up on them in those fantastic exciting early years. The sound quality is better by far than their first album - although by no means close to what is put out now. But, the tinge of rawness is just perfect for denim clad heavy rock music. It's been cleaned up for this remaster - but it's still very much a product of the time with a limited budget. I love it.

So we have the start of the Saxon classics that have been sung countless times in concerts around the world. Motorcycle Man, 747, Stand Up And Be Counted - but for me and I know many others it is the utterly classic Wheels of Steel that does it. From the first power chord to the last note the only way you could avoid headbanging (or tapping your toes if you are somewhere headbanging isn't acceptable) is if you lack a pulse. The song is exponentially better the louder it gets played and I for one instantly am transported back to my 'yoof,' when I hear it.

So - I guess I'm generally preaching to the converted if you are reading this, I'd say that if your copy of Wheels is a little tired then this would be a good replacement. Better sound, same great songs. If by any chance you have stumbled onto this but are vaguely interested in old school hard rock and heavy metal but have never heard this album - then don't hesitate. Buy it.
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on 17 April 2016
Well packaged, excellent reworking of a classic which is now a double album including live versions of tracks.
It is dispatched in coloured vinyl which is not stated in the description which is a bonus.
Buy it, it really is a full on hard core classic album of British heavy metal.
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on 20 July 2014
I will keep this short and sweet as the other reviews are very in depth. This is a great album.
Good classic heavy metal by a great band at their peak. If you're just starting to get into heavy metal then this album is a must have.
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on 16 June 2010
The word classic is most likely overused these days, im sure most of us would agree on that but this 30 year old gem still ticks so many of the metal boxes, if you think that priest were more metal than saxon then you may have to think again.
This is a great example of the lads work, catchy , hard drilling songs with arrogance stamped through and at 37 minutes its the way metal should be.
There are real quality tracks here that need to be heard, after watching saxon play this album in full at download this year i am totally committed to spreading the word on this album , get it and you wont be sorry.
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on 25 June 2007
the best record saxon ever made, this is the band at their hungry best, 747 still gives me shivers down my spine just as it did when i first heard it, everytime i heard it live and every time someone played it at the pub disco on a saturday night. heavy metal at its best ... bap shoo ap ... and the bands played on,(saxon ozzy motorhead etc) still relevant , still a metal standard, dont just sit there do yourself a favour and buy this cd , coz if you see me riding by - do not stop me do not try !!!
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on 21 September 2013
had this album on vinyl and tape, have updated to cd, as vinyl wearing out and lost tape. still a classic saxon album, arguably the best one they recorded, a must get for thetrue fan.
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on 20 February 2015
Bought this for my vintage motorcycling brother-in-law, he loves it to bits and plays it very load in his car, I think he is living in his second childhood !
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