on 4 November 2013
Recorded for radio in Germany shortly before the release of the Solid Ball of Rock album in early 1991, this live recording is an interesting and worthy purchase for die-hard Saxon fans.
The band sound on good form, and this is (to my knowledge) the last live recording you can find with founding guitarist Graham Oliver accompanying the ever present Paul Quinn on guitar. The class of the songs, and the momentum that Saxon were beginning to rebuild at the beginning of the 1990s really comes through with strong renditions of Motorcycle Man, Denim and leather, 747 etc.
The track listing is similar to 1990's Greatest Hits live - surprisingly it only includes the title track from their forthcoming Solid Ball of Rock album in an effort not alienate their hardcore fan base. Therefore, if you already possess the Greatest Hits Live CD, the only additional tracks you will get are Strong Arm of the Law, Broken Heroes and Solid Ball of Rock. However, as Greatest Hits Live is no longer available, this makes a decent replacement to document their live set and line up of the period.
The sound quality isn't quite as good as their 'official' live albums such as the Eagle Has Landed and Eagles Over Wacken, with Nibbs' bass and the backing vocals somewhat poorly mixed in, but its better than I feared it might be.
The liner notes by Joe Geesin are also a useful précis of the Saxon story up to that point in their career, and includes interesting interviews snippets with Graham Oliver and Biff.
All in all, as a Saxon fan I have enjoyed listening to this, and I feel its a good purchase if you are a big fan of the band. For those just breaking into Saxon, its a useful introduction, but there are better live albums available such as the The Eagle Has Landed parts 1 and 2,and Heavy Metal Thunder Live: Eagles Over Wacken (Glasgow Live Bonus disc version).
Play it loud!!