Wednesday, December 6, 2017

SAXON - "A DECADE OF THE EAGLE"


RATING: N/A

LABEL: UNION SQUARE

REVIEW BY: ALAN HOLLOWAY

So where were you in '79? Were you wearing denim and leather, or were you like me and still a wee bit young for all that heavy metal malarkey? I soon caught up, however, with Saxon having the honour of being my first gig headliners on the 'Crusader' tour. Sinnve discovering the band I've never fallen out of love with them, and this compilation from their first decade as recording artists really brings back happy memories.

Whoever put this 34 track double album together has definitely hedged their bets, producing a solid 'Best Of' that befits the title. With the extreme quality of some of the albums covered within it's inevitable that some favourites will be missing, although the singles are here along with quality album tracks. It all kicks off with early faves 'Stallions Of The Hiughway' and 'Big Teaser', followed by 'Backs To the Wall' and 'Militia Guard'. Although from the band's fledgling period, they still entertain, with funky, heavy rythms all held together by the unmiustakable vocals of Biff Byford. From then onwards it's wall to wall quality, starting with the legendary 'Wheels Of Steel' and going right through to 'Red Alert' from 1988's 'Destiny' album. Not once did I think 'why is this track on here', which is a bit of a rarity for a best of compiliation.

'Decade Of The Eagle' does exactly what it says on the tin, delivering a pretty perfect collection from one of metal's most constantly entertaining bands who, judging by their latest single, are still on top form all these years later. It's one of those that may not be needed by fans with all the albums already a couple of live tracks aside) but it's nonetheless a sweet package that will bring a smile to the face of any metalhead to unwrap it on Christmas day.

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