on 22 March 2013
I got this album on its original release,after hearing the Hammerhead 7inch single.and have been a huge fan ever since.This has got some underated classics on it like the aformentioned hammerhead,Vice Versa,Too close to rock, Take me to your leader and closer Walking out on you.I never could understand why Samson seemed to get left behind the crowd asI believe this holds up better than some of the more successful albums of the time(I wont name which).This re issue also has Angel with a machine gun added and with good sleeve notes all in all a quality package.The sad thing is Samson will never play again as both Paul samson and Chris aylmer are no longer with us.But who knows maybe if Bruce dickenson and Thunderstick could get their act together/ bury the hatchet they could resurrect these classics one more time.
The aggressive band name and cover art seem deceptive when you've heard 'Head On.' This is hard rock that falls somewhere between Ian Gillan and Wishbone Ash, with some fast-paced metal thrown in. 'Hard Times' is no more metal than The Who, especially the percussion, which, throughout the album is nearer Keith Moon than John Bonham. 'Take It Like A Man' is a fiery track, however, and the showstopping 'Too Close To Rock' even more so. There are unexpected subtleties, especially on 'Vice Versa,' while 'Hunted' has a 'Ticket To Ride' riff near the end.
'Head On' is mostly lean and fit, not especially distinctive, but well-crafted and the material is of a high quality. Of the bonus tracks, 'Angel With A Machine Gun' sustains this, but 'Kingsway Jam' is filler. A terrific rock album nevertheless.
on 9 July 2002
I picked up this album cos I read somewhere that Bruce Dickinson was singer with this band (although he goes by the name Bruce Bruce according to the notes)before joining Iron Maiden. I wasn't disappointed. If you like NWOBHM, Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Angel Witch etc...then you'll probably enjoy this.
on 20 October 2014
Head On is the second album bij NWOBHM band Samson but the first with Bruce Dickinson a.k.a. Bruce Bruce on leadvocals, and the result is stunning. Full of strong and solid songs, great guitar and vocals, with special mentioning of the fast, furious and ferociuos drumming ot Thunderstick. Although the songs on following up "Shock Tactics" are even slightly better the drumming is more restrained though. Maybe this explains that he left the group after the recording. On the "Live at Reading 1981" the drumstool has been taken over by Mel Gaynor, his moderate drumstyle is more towards the last studio output than on "Head On", with its powerfull drums. From the first note to the last, with the magistral "Walking over you", a real epos, with all kind of noises en sounds rattling throug the speakers, this album won't let you down. Terrific good! With the brand new (2013) release comes 2 bonustracks, of which "Angel with a machinegun" has not the same quality of the original songs but is a pleasant listen nevertheless. Kingsway Jam is what it says, a long jam but with vocalparts. Not the holy grail but a nice look on the inside of this remarakble album.
on 26 March 2008
I remember buying this in 1980 when 14 years old after hearing their Reading festival appearance on the Friday Rock Show. My vinyl version is still gathering dust but on CD it still sounds great. Take it Like a Man is the stand out track with the best milk bottle smashing sound ever committed to vinyl. Vice Versa, Hard Times, Hammerhead and Manwatcher are all great tracks as well. Fantastic drumming from Mr Stick, superb vocals from Bruce, imaginative powerful guitar and solid bass make this a NWOBHM classic. Buy Buy Buy.
on 23 March 2004
yes this IS a fantastic metal album! do NOT listen to this if you are into nu-metal because the production is nothing like you get these days. this album was recorded in 1980, ok the production is a bit weak but you get used to it, after all thats what the nwobhm was right?! if you love Bruce Dickinsons vocals, get it! the songs are simple, nothing complicated, neat guitar sounds, tidy song structures, raw vocals, strong band team work all round. Edgy, raw, will annoy your parents! thats what you want in a metal album-highly recommended!