Saxon – Inspirations

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Such albums are beyond reviewing, simply because we are talking about a release in between of other two and during these troubled times of the pandemic that forces bands and artists to stay inactive for a long time.

The idea behind the whole thing was to record covers of songs that inspired those old dogs. The difference that… makes the difference though is that unlike most of their peers who recorded such albums during lockdown remotely sharing files over the internet, Saxon actually went old-school and found an old Georgian house in York, Brockfield Hall, which turned into a studio to make this “fun” album. As for which songs they picked, their choices seem obvious and even predictable. The only thing to blame them for though is that they didn’t put too much effort to make most of these songs sound like their own, except from a couple exceptions. One of them, “Paperback Writer” sounds like it was dragged out of Saxon’s early albums, when NWOBHM was born, or maybe those songs were influenced by the Fab4. Biff knows better I am sure!

“Speed King” and “Bomber” should not have been, but “The Rocker” features a smart performance by Biff paying tribute to Phil Lynott with his definitive style. You can’t copy Phil, it’s impossible. “Problem Child” is also good and if you think about, it its lyrics fit Saxon, as well as any other earnest heavy metal band. “Evil Woman”, which actually is the cover of a cover, since Sabbath covered Crow, sounds good, “Immigrant Song” and “Stone Free” are OK, but “Paint It Black” sounds interesting.

And we also have… Toto! It shouldn’t impress you, just think that these guys made a success with that Cristopher Cross song I hate, but the crowd loves it. Of course, you can’t compare it to the original, although Doug Scaratt and Paul Quinn seem to have the time of their lives playing it. In general, the guitars in the album are superb.

So, is this album good or not? I’d say that it’s honest and respectable, just like the band that plays. It’s a party album, for a few spins and to have a good time. It’s not going to be your favourite, but it’s not going to disappoint you, but it will surely make the waiting for the next one sweeter.