on 28 August 2011
The title track for me is one of my favourite Saxon numbers and sets the pace for the album. Before they went with a more radio friendly sound (and many metal bands were faced with a similar dilemma at the time), this album showed a similar kind of power to its predecessors. Perhaps Nightmare was a glimpse of things to come, but its certainly not a bad track and I wouldn't consider it a filler, in fact there isn't really a bad track on here. As for the extras, the live version of Denim and Leather is the B-side of the title track. The Jeff Glixman mix of Suzy Hold On sounds slightly softer sung by Biff and is in a lower key. The problem with adding studio demos is that they don't have the same kind of production as the album takes, and unless they show a variation of the musical direction of the final tracks they don't really add anything new. As a result they aren't really more than curiosities.
For many this album will be a nostalgia trip but for those only recently familiar with Saxon, its well worth checking out, and indeed any of these remasters of their first albums are well worth the money.
Many people I know will laugh when I say with conviction that in my humble opinion the title track of this record is quite simply the best British Heavy Metal track of all time.
'Power And The Glory' has it all - Passion, aggression, brutal drumming, screaming guitars, atmosphere, thundering vocals but most importantly of all, melody and something very valid to say. Never have I heard a song that sums up humans obsession with war, glory and the curiosity of the human psyche to 'blindly follow orders' just because...
Most of the rest of the album is of a very high standard to and 'Redline' and 'Warrior' combined with the title track opener provide one of the most punishing and brutal openings to an album that I've ever heard - Lemmy would be proud of em'! "Nightmare" is a good song but it is much more in the commercial vein and was an obvious single. True to the bands earlier classics like '747', it is melodic but maybe sounded a little lightweight at the time and is perhaps part of the reason that some original fans accussed the band at the time of 'going a bit Bon Jovi'.
Side two of the original record, inevitably perhaps, is less impressive - a fact not helped by the most uninspired track on the album 'This Town Rocks' being on first. This is of course less of a problem these days now we have cd's and downloads but for old vinyl junkies like me it is a bit of a shame. There is nothing wrong with 'This Town Rocks' as such but unlike the rest of this record, it is simply standard heavy metal and rather cliched lyrically. 'Watching The Sky' sounds to me like a cross between 'And The Bands Play On' and 'Midnight Rider' from Denim & Leather and "Midas Touch' is a more controlled rocker but the final act of real brilliance here is with the final track, 'The Eagle Has Landed'. A sprawling, meandering half instrumental it swirls and builds in a hazy almost psychedelic way and even Biff's vocals are delivered in such a way to give a sense of atmosphere, wonderment and deep thought.
So then, 4 bona-fide classic tracks on one album with a pretty decent if not quite so imaginative or unexpected supporting cast.
on 3 February 2013
So this album marked the end for NWOBHM and what an ending, I personally really like the production, everything has a heavy vibe about it and theres a fair use of reverb, also they turned the gain up to 11 o this album, harmonics and solos just scream, it sounded like the brother of judas priest's screaming for vengeance in some ways.
Again it lost a star just for the same reasons and before, the bonus tracks were a little pointless, just more of the same and this time it was a buttload of demo rehearsals which have no production value to them, but the original album is a gem and a must have
I've never understood the negativity towards this album,for me this was the end of the glory years for saxon,5 stunning albums in a row this could and should have propelled saxon right to the top.From the opening riff of power and glory to the thunderous finale of eagle has landed this is metal at its finest,Jeff Glixmans original production gave this a razor sharp edge and the remaster enhances the sound further.Who can fail to enjoy the likes of redline/warrior and the superb watching the sky? why does a track like nightmare not get the respect it deserves,there is not a duff track here,certainly this town rocks is probably the weakest but it mentions the crowds of scotland!!! aah the glasgow apollo,fine memories,so thats good enough for me.
The bonus tracks are certainly interesting,a lovely remix of suzie hold on, should have been a hit,a slightly out of place 'live' denim and leather and then the demos,which while listenable and a worthy inclusion are never going to upstage the final versions,the demos which never made it are ok and certainly turn out the lights a tad poppy for my liking,a sign of things to come,but all in all a decent release well worth the price,things would never be the same for quite some time after this classic album.
on 5 June 2008
As a fairly big Saxon fan, i looked forward to listening to this album, as i hear a lot of people on forums and such speak about it in rather harsh tones. To be honest, I love this album. It doesn't have the quality of the previous three, but theres a certain old school metal, out and out rockin' feel to this album that is, if not as "pure" as on previous albums, still very much there. Of course Saxon, with this album, take things in a slightly different direction, with some songs (such as the title track) seemingly having a more Iron Maiden like melodic metal feel rather than the hard rock-on-speed of the previous three albums. I Like that. I like the fact that they tried something a little different with this album. Okay, this does not have the same energy as the previous albums, but damn if it isn't an album that gets you rocking out - because it is. To me at least.
But anyway, disregarding style and evolution of the band's sound for a moment, what are the actual songs like? A Lot of people say because of the production the songs don't have the same impact. To me, this is nonsense. Yes, there has been better (much better) production, but the slightly iffy production, in my opinion, simply gives it a rather charming, old fashioned metal sound, harking back to the days before every metal band alive had the ability to overproduce albums til any edge was lost. But anyway, the songs, disregarding the production, quality level in my opinion is equal to what came before. The opening melodic metal slice of "Power and the Glory" is fantastic, containing an excellently powerful little riff refrain and has great, not to mention powerful vocal melodies going on. Very typical power/melodic metal type song, and like I have said before, different for them (at this stage in their career). But for me at least it worked, and it's one of my all time favorite Saxon songs. Other stand-out songs include the fantastic "Warrior" - another slightly more melodic metal
song, which has a classic melody, some more great riffs and more stand-out vocals. There is also "The Eagle Has Landed", which some may find as a diversion too far, with a heavily prog-leaning sound. I personally love this song, i think it is an admirable experimentation for the band, and it sure as hell works well, giving this album a great finishing track.
So to sum things up, this album may not have the energy of the previous three albums but it makes up for it in sheer song quality. At eight songs long there are no fillers and although "Redline" and "This Town Rocks" I consider rather average, they don't spoil the momentum of the greater songs on the album. Slightly iffy production aside, this is a seriously enjoyable metal album, evolving Saxon's sound whilst still retaining what made them special before. Again - not a perfect album, but a great listen if you are a fan of this type of music or especially if you like the band.
on 1 June 2010
The Power and The Glory reminds me a bit of the Boys' comic books you'd read in your childhood with our intrepid hero, Biff the Byford, embarking on a series of adventures whilst wondering at the magic of the cosmos around him. Chapter one sees Biff on the battlefield following the sound of the drum, then he is astride his big iron horse out on the highway, then it's back to the battlefield to tackle the warrior hordes. Then there is a reflective pause, presumably whilst propped up against a mossy rock after the battle, to ponder the nightmares he's been having, before he is whisked away to join a rock band and play in front of a rocking crowd in Valhalla, or Doncaster. Looking up at the sky's he muses on the possibility of life on other planets before marvelling at King Midas who turns everything to gold that he touches - how, Biff must wonder, does the King use the lavatory? Finally, as a fitting end, Biff the Byford lands on the moon and presumably answers the question that he posed earlier as to whether there is any life out there - a rather disappointing no.
What is amazing is that all of these minstrel style lyrics are palatable because the actual music is strong in a breezy summery way. Ultimately you don't care that this is a bloke from Barnsley singing about a mythical man turning everything into gold because Power and The Glory, the track, hits home like a sledgehammer, Redline has a ballsy gut wrenching riff that you could hang weights on, The Eagle has Landed has a dreamy almost bluesy feel to it and Warrior has the subtlety of a night club bouncer. Wrap it all up in a warm but precise American production job, which seems to accentuate the drummers indefatigable power in the mix, and the package holds itself up very well.
This cd is the turning point for Saxon - it was down hill from here - but never fear, Biff was back later after his tiring Crusades and discovery of the colonies - there is apparently some grainy footage of him driving the bluebird across lake windemere attempting to `Break the record speed'....
on 13 June 2009
wow really nice remastered edition with great liner notes and great bonus tracks, i cant belive its been almost 27 years since this classic album first came out. this may have been saxons last incredible album of the 80s but the follow up in 1984 crusader was just about as good i think, after 84 saxon where going for more of a us radio friendly sound wich did not do them all that well till solid ball or rock in 1991...........
on 5 September 2009
This is a must for all Saxon fans and fans of great British heavy metal alike. For me this is Saxon's best album. The riffs from Redline, Watching the Sky and The Eagle Has Landed are great. The production is really top notch and there are some really good solos too.Some of the bonus tracks are well worth having. If you only buy one Saxon cd in your life get this
on 27 November 2015
Top notch ... good price and swift shipping
on 7 August 2007
I bought this one on vinyl when it first came out and was very disappointed, mind you not as as disappointed as I was with the offerings that came after. This album came out at the time when Saxon, and their contemporaries, were suffering from the "Jovi-effect", when bascially they were told to soften what they did or be damned, sadly this meant we got albums like Power and the Glory and sadly most of their other albums after this continued along a similar vein, so very sad really as Saxon were a brilliant band. This album tries to be more American AOR and radio friendly, which it is, but sadly this alienated a lot of British Metal fans of the time who then began to get out of Saxon, or Metal altogether, as a result of what was happening around this time, read some of the other reviewers comments about Saxon at this time which seem to back this up. A nail in the coffin of a truly great band, the albums that followed this buried the band even further and were never a match for what the band produced previously.