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on 12 September 2017
Saxon are probably the only band that have the right to (over) use the word ROCK on nearly all their albums. It always amazes me why their three later 80's albums Innocence,Rock the Nations and Destiny get shunned?. They're all damn fine albums albeit Destiny being their most commercially written album. Perhaps if Rock the Nations had been released prior to Innocence it would have been given the credit it deserves. The opening track sets the pace for the album with its stomping and thunderous sound - just listen to the guitar work and in particularly the drums which feature quite prominently !!....this theme is carried on into Battle Cry and throughout the rest of the album . Every track is killer with the only exception of Party 'til You Puke which isn't meant to take itself too seriously and so can be forgiven. Not forgetting sir Elton John also appears on that track. Perhaps this song can redeem itself because of that small claim to fame?...that's up to you.
To me this is such a consistent album and really does deserve more attention. It was probably the more natural successor to Crusader if we're being honest.
Definitely worth checking out.
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on 31 January 2013
As a longtime Saxon fan I am slightly ashamed that I drifted away from the band during the Innocence/Rock The Nations/Destiny period. My attention was diverted by the likes of Megadeth, Kings X and Guns 'n Roses and I did not return to Saxon until 'Unleash The Beast' by which time they were well back on the up.

But having since caught up with albums I missed, I am always mystified by many fans' negativity towards this album, since it sounds like proper Saxon to me. And whilst it doesn't come close to matching the quality of the early Carrere classics, I'd certainly rate it on a par with albums like 'The Power and The Glory' and 'Crusader'.

There's some genuinely great material on offer here: 'Rock The Nations', 'Battle Cry', 'Running Hot' and 'Empty Promises' are all very strong, heavy Saxon anthems, and although the single 'Waiting For The Night' is a bit girly, we're not exactly in Bon Jovi territory are we? It's still very metal, it's still very Saxon! Agreed, we could probably all cheerfully delete 'Party Til You Puke' from our I-Pods, but I don't think the band actually intended it as a piece of conceptual art...to me it sounds like a clumsy attempt at a novelty song that just doesn't translate very well. But I've heard worse...

So if you're investigating Saxon for the first time, you should bypass 'Rock The Nations' and go straight to their first four albums, then you'll see what the fuss is really all about. However, if you're just filling in the gaps in your Saxon collection, then I heartily recommend it this one, it's the real deal.
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Yup - this album along with Innocence and Destiny were meant to bring Saxon to the masses. More commercial, more accessible and of course therefore more popular. Nope. Saxon kind of shot themselves in the foot a tad and failed to understand that their core heavy metal audience wasn't going to like a lighter sound and the non heavy metal fraternity wasn't going to listen to Saxon regardless.

However whilst many have panned this record I think that Saxon fans should revisit this again, because actually it's pretty good.

Yup, it's probably a little over produced - maybe the slightly softer sound was what they were after, but it's well done and has a quality feel.

I'll get to the bad. Party 'Till You Puke. What on Earth were they thinking of? It may have Elton John on the piano but I'm fairly convinced that we could easily do without that. It's just a bad song.

Empty Promises. Not really bad - just unforgettable. Instantly. I can't even recall it ten minutes after the album.

Filler. There is a bit of that here. Neither good nor bad - sort of okay. Certainly Waiting for the Night falls into that bin.

But, we do have some pretty good songs and in my opinion a Saxon classic. Battle Cry and We Came Here to Rock are good solid Saxon songs. However the gold bar at in the lucky bag is Rock the Nations. It's a seriously good song and is great live.

Can one song justify a four star review - I think so, because the vast bulk of albums punted out have nothing redeeming about them. Saxon even in their wilderness years did manage to create the odd song that stands out. It's probably that which enabled them to continue until they realised that we want proper heavy rock - and we all returned. Rock the Nations is a great song and deserves to be heard. That's why I think this record should be on any Saxon fan's shelf.
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on 5 December 2011
When Saxon run out of songs about the Crusades, Chernobyl, the Sheffield miners, standing in queues, steam trains, King Midas, Panzer tanks, the Kennedy Assassination, the moon landings, the bluebird speed record, nuclear war, airlines in distress and the American Indians they sing about ROCK and ROCKING! The following choice cuts are some of the few that I can remember: 'Rock the Nations', 'Bad Boys Like to Rock and Roll', 'Rock N Roll Gypsy', 'Rockin' Again', 'Just Let Me Rock', 'Stand Up And Rock', 'This Town Rocks', 'Solid Ball Of Rock', 'I've Got To Rock', 'We Came Here To Rock', 'Can't Stop Rockin'', 'Rock is Our Life', 'Make Em Rock', 'Live To Rock', 'Come Rock Of Ages' and so on. When inspiration really runs out then it's time to issue an album with ROCK in the title - hence, the imaginatively titled 'Rock The Nations'.

So it is hard to imagine how the mighty Saxon came up with an album more bereft of ideas and originality than this one (with the notable exceptions of the excellent 'Battle Cry', the clunking but oddly memorable title track and the breezy single 'Waiting For The Night', particularly as it's sandwiched between the slick radio friendly 'Innocence' and 'Destiny' EMI albums, both of which are aimed squarely at the US market, dominated at the time by the emerging Bon Jovi's/Def Leppards of the world. Everything from the inane subject matter of the songs, the basic textbook arrangements, the packaging and the truly, truly dismal production lacks inspiration. The lumpen 'Crusader' was the start of the slide from greatness in the 80s (although it has some medieval charms) and this completes the job. 'Party til you Puke', with Elton John hammering away on a piano, sums this turkey up admirably.

Post script:

Cognicent of the fact that the majority of people don't find my earlier review helpful I revisited this CD and I have re written the review for these people as follows:

Saxon `came here to Rock' and Rock! they certainly do on this great cd. Opener `Rock the Nations' is a massive call to arms for the United Nations. Biff ponders life standing at the side of the stage before coming to the faithful to Rock them every night in this truly great song - depicted brillantly on the cover art work, which shows Saxon in a valley Rocking the Nations of the World with the crowd going CRAZEEEEE! It's good to see that the artist that penned the wonderful Crusader cover hasn't wasted time mucking about on this cover but just blasted it out in 10 minutes. Lyrically the song is a masterclass in raw simplicity - not wishing to vex the listener, Biff cannily half repeats the first verse and amazingly gets the title Rock The Nations into practically every rhyming couplet - a stroke of genius.

The quality control is set to MAX on Battle Cry, a moving homage to Scottish warriors where the band mix the suitably raw production (possibly Iron Age, but maybe Bronze) with the sound of an angle grinder - a neat touch that would be lost on lesser records. Up next is the first single 'Waiting For the Night', which is a breezy half ballad with a charming sing-song riff, before we get the totally killer track - We came Here to Rock. Thankfully Biff saves an unusually lumpen riff with the soaring chorus of `We came here to Rock. We came here to Rock, We came here to Rock, We came here to Rock, We came here to Rock, We came here to Rock, We came here to Rock' - stirring stuff, which in the words of Manowar, is so 'killer hot it'll melt your face!'. But crack open the sherry because the highlight is without doubt the whimsy of 'Party Til You Puke' - a rip roaring, laugh a minute, rock n roll party anthem, replete with that most metal of men, the one and only Sir Elton John on the piano. I can report that the piano does add magnificently to this party anthem, clinking away in a truly 1950s rocky way. Thankfully the ROCK recipe is now set for the rest of the CD and one track follows another in similar vein, totally uncluttered with modern production technology or complicated riffs and lyrics. I can only stand in awe at the Benny Hill inspired lines 'Who's that girl with her pants on fire?' and the leering 'You're Daddy's little girl' which are so deep that they mean many things on many levels. When Biff asks of the 16 year old girl 'Does your mother know you're out tonight?' you know he means business and will definitely be assisting with the girl's homework or divinity studies over an ice cold lemonade.

The whole ROCK cake is then topped off with the pathos of 'Northern Lady', no doubt a song about Biff's mother or a similar dear female family member - this was the other single from the album and it's clear to see why, especially as Elton adds his 'golden' touch on the ivorys again.

So if you are in the mood to ROCK this is definitely the CD for you - so get the crate of Worthington beer and turn this up to the MAX because the party is going on for a year (quote). Just remember to bring a bucket.

Only kidding - it really is bad.
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on 12 May 2012
Usually, when Saxon write songs with "Rock" in the title, they are lousy. The exception to that rule is the title track which opens "Rock the nations": it's actually a really good song, probably one of my favourite Saxon songs. However, that's as good as this album gets. The second song, "Battle Cry" is not too bad and would have made an OK filler on earlier Saxon albums. The rest of this album is atrocious. If you can keep listening as long as "Northern Lady" & "Party til you puke", you are hearing a band plumb the depths and deserve either a medal or a hearing test. It's hard to put into words how utterly dreadful this album is from track 3 onwards. If you are comfortable with buying a CD for one really good song, you might like this (think Motorhead's "Iron Fist" only 100 times worse). If you actually want to hear a whole album, get the title track as an *.MP3 and avoid the rest of it like the plague.

The only other redeeming feature of this release is that it has some bonus live tracks - including a great rendition of the title track from Reading 1986, so at least you get the one good song twice!
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on 24 March 2013
This Saxon cd give you what you want with a smile pluss a lot more with rock's on . Its not like the early music but it gets you there .
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on 28 December 2011
The remastering is fantastic (unless my old version was particularly bad), personally I think one of Saxon's best album's and well worth anyone getting, it's not full of chiselling and thrashy stuff which a lot of their releases in the 2000's seem to be about.
You could say it's abit experimental, which is maybe why alot of diehards don't seem to like it, but everyone to their own, varies from Waiting for the Night which is almost Van Halen ish, Northern Lady acoustic ish, Battle cry rumble rock ish and then ,yes, Elton john on Party til you puke, all very different but good the same.
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