You can say many things about Saxon but you cannot question their work ethic and with Strong Arm Of The Law – an album that celebrates its 37th birthday today – the band released another certifiable classic of British heavy metal.
Released just four months(!) after the classic Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm Of The Law debuted on the UK charts at No. 11 and there’s a noticeable sense of urgency to every facet of this iconic recording. By now, Saxon had truly nailed down their sound and were ready to build on the momentum kickstarted by Wheels of Steel. You can clearly hear Saxon’s ravenous desire to make their mark on the metal world as they steadfastly built on the goodwill already garnered….and this is what makes Strong Arm Of The Law a definitive Saxon album.
Take your pick from “Dallas 1pm”, “Strong Arm of the Law”, “Too Hell and Back Again” and the statement of intent that is “Heavy Metal Thunder”; all hit you in the gut with a power unrivalled by the majority of their peers and remember, they were surrounded by a seriously talented bunch!
Nevermind a top class production, the sheer quality of the songs found here qualify’s Strong Arm Of The Law as one of, if not the, greatest Saxon album and one of the finest albums of the NWOBHM movement. Not only that, but Strong Arm Of The Law can be directly attributed with pioneering a sound that would become speed metal/thrash metal. Saxon’s no-nonsense approach would have leave a lasting impression on those young pretenders who despised hair metal and took the blue-collar leanings of Saxon et al and adapted it for an audience ravenous for real metal; those living in the Bay Area were sure as hell paying attention!
That Saxon are one of the great heavy metal bands there can be no doubt, although they rarely receive the credit they’re so obviously due. Granted, they seemed to lose their way for a period of time in the late 80’s but they rectified their problems, injected some new blood into the ranks and have defiantly improved with age; something that cannot be said for most bands of a similar vintage.
Long may the mighty Saxon reign!
- Strong Arm Of The Law lineup:
- Biff Byford – vocals
- Graham Oliver – guitar
- Paul Quinn – guitar
- Steve Dawson – bass guitar
- Pete Gill – drums