The UK heavy metal band formed in the late 70s by Peter ‘Biff’ Byford (vocals), Graham Oliver (guitar), Paul Quinn (guitar), Steve Dawson (bass) and Pete Gill (drums). Their first album was a heavy rock outing, but the release of ‘Wheels of Steel’ saw them embracing metal. Saxon’s popularity soared, earning themselves two UK top 20 hits with ‘Wheels of Steel’ and ‘747’. They capitalized on this with the release of ‘Strong Arm of the Law’. A further Top 20 hit arrived with ‘And The Bands Played On’, from the following year’s ‘Denim and Leather’ by the ‘Eagle had Landed’ (UK top 5) the band were at their peak.
Relentless series of headlining tours around the UK capitalized on this success and a sold out tour of Europe with support act Ozzy Osbourne highlighted Saxon's immense ability on the road and was set in stone with the live release The Eagle Has Landed (1982 UK no 5). In America they were supported by, amongst others, Metallica and they finished the U.S. tour with four sold out shows in Los Angeles. Nigel Glockler then replaced Gill. The departure of Dawson contributed to their malaise.
In 1990, Saxon returned to the public eye with a UK tour that featured a set-list built on their popular old material. ‘Solid Ball of Rock’ was their most accomplished album for some time, but in early 1995, Oliver, Dawson and Gill played live together while contesting the rights to the name ‘Saxon’ and with Byford. The issue was soon resolved, however, and Byford was back in place for ‘Dogs of War’ with Oliver having taken his leave. Oliver, Dawson and Gill formed ‘Son of a Bitch’ before winning the right to adopt the Oliver/Dawson Saxon moniker. Byford and Quinn remain at the helm of the official Saxon.
Saxon continue to tour.
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