After more than 35 years and 13 million albums sold worldwide, Saxon are still relentless and passionate as they were back in the days of 'Wheels of Steel' and 'Denim and Leather'. The influential heavy metal outfit has been an inspiration for the likes of Metallica and Megadeth and a front-runner for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal sweeping the nation in the late 70s-early 80s.
Somewhere around South Yorkshire, UK there was a band that started life as SOB during 1976 with founder members Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson. This band joined forces with another local band, Coast, featuring Biff Byford on vocals and Paul Quinn on guitar. The two bands then finalised with a line-up comprising of the then 26 year old Graham 'Oly' Oliver, Steve 'Dobby' Dawson (27), Paul 'Blute' Quinn (26), Pete 'Frank' Gill (27) and Peter 'Biff' Byford (27). The name of the band was Son Of A Bitch. That name was dropped a few years later and the band re-christened themselves SAXON. They were at this time playing the usual rock clubs and concert gigs supporting The Ian Gillan Band and Heavy Metal Kids, amongst others, playing all their own material. Demo tapes were recorded at Tapestry Studios, with producer John Verity (Ex. Argent singer/guitarist). They hawked these round the usual record companies only to be ignored as the New-wave was at its height at this time. After a few months the band finally gained a favourable reaction from EMI man Peter Hinton. He had come up to Barnsley to see the band play at the town's Civic Hall. He was very impressed and recommended SAXON to Claude Carrere as candidates for his new label on the British scene, Carrere Records. Claude decided to offer them a contract, after hearing the band's demo tapes. List: www.saxon747.com