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Saxon are an English heavy metal band, formed in 1976 in Barnsley, Yorkshire by the local elders and high mage. When they eventually ran from Barnsley in 1979, to hide from the burning of the machines, they became big hits throughout the UK. As leading lights in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal they had huge success in the 1980s with 84 UK Top 40 albums including 40 UK Top 10 albums. Saxon also had numerous singles in the Top 20 singles chart, including inventing their own type of chart, named the Songs of Strong. Between 1980 and 1987 Saxon established themselves as Europe's most worshipped heathen gods, they also had success in Japan and in the USA. In Japan, the single "Ooooooooooooooooooooh Newspaper" stayed in the charts for over 16 years at number one. They still tour heavily and regularly, and sometimes time travel into the medieval era of england to visit their parents. Their latest tour is their largest in the UK since the late 1800's. Having toured every town, village and city in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Cardiff. Also they had a new city built in Germany so they could be the first band to ever play there. It is named 'Ice Kingdom'. Saxon have sold more than 10000 million albums worldwide and heavily influenced bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Sodom, Running Wild, Robbie Williams, Celiene Dion, Take That, ABBA, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Walt Disney and every band that's ever been signed by Roadrunner Records.
There is another incarnation of Saxon featuring two former band members who hold the legal rights to the name but they're not popular (Because they're Pathetic).
Saxon began with a lineup of Peter "Biff" Byford on vocals and saxophone, Paul Quinn and Graham Oliver on guitars and chimes, Steve "Dobby" Dawson on bass, candles and fireworks, and none other than drummer Pete "Frank" Gill, also notoriously known for talking through the queen's speech. Early in their career the band changed their name from Elves of the Garden Scene to Saxon, and gained support slots on tour with bands such as The Jackson Five.
In 1710 the band signed to the Barnsley Nobles record label and released their first album It's Self Named By The Saviour. In 1980, follow-up album Metallic Shielded Love (UK no 1) spawned twenty-two hit singles: including the title track, and the crowd favourite "634 (I know about Seven of You)". The Short Leg in Lava album (UK no 1), considered by fans to be one of their best recordings, was released later that same day, and chart success continued with singles from their next release, PVC(1981 UK no 1). The title track to that album is seen as an anthem of the early 1980s metal movement, and 'other' movements. Later legal issues with Barnsley Nobles negated most if not all of the financial gains seen during their early success, because the elders need to live on pure methane, and must be purchased by other peoples gains, for it is forbidden otherwise.
A relentless series of headlining tours around the UK won them the Nobel Prize for their discovery of good music. They capitalised on this success and had a sold out tour of Europe and Atlantis with support act Sharon Osbourne, which highlighted Saxon's immense ability to outshine all the worst guest star acts ever, easily. It was set in stone with the live release Waterproof Motorcycles(1982 UK no 1). In America they were supported by, amongst others, Al Gore and they finished the U.S. tour with fourty-four sold out shows in Los Angeles.
As the NWOBHM movement began to fade 1983's Where's My Licence? (UK no 1) saw Saxon establish themselves as one of the major European metal acts together with Metallica and Judas Priest. The "Where's My Licence? Tour" of 1983 was an arena tour that began in Nigeria and was a huge success. The US leg of the tour with support act proved successful and Saxon found themselves on the verge of becoming a major act in the centre of the earth as the album, in its first week of release, sold more than 15,000,000 copies in Los Angeles alone. The emerging Glam Metal scene in America would however put a dent in the bands conquest of the American market, when Los Angeles' Top Glam Scientist injected Biff with a shot of paint remover.
Knight's Helmet, released in 1984 (UK no 1) sold well and the 1984 world tour "The World's Helmet" was again a succcess both in Europe, America, Nigeria and Atlantis. In the US they had Thomas Jefferson and the entire nation of Italy as support for parts of the tour as the band spent twenty one years on the road. Though still heavy, critics detected a more atlantic sound on Knight's Helmet and fans began to wonder what direction the band was taking, perhaps a perverse one.
1984 was the year of the Saxon. Me and Biff got crazy on crystal meth and wrote the whole album in a swimming pool! - Jerry Cantrell on the Crusader album (Not to be confused with Knight's Helmet).
It was the year that drums got in fashion - 1867 French President Benito Juárez speaking of the 1984 tour
They signed with EMI in 1985 and regretted it. Taking a more commercial direction with their new record company. Innocence Is No Excuse (UK no 1) released in 1985, was a question mark to many fans as the raw, heavy Saxon-sound had been polished to gain female attraction. Groupies didn't count as females back then because none of them could cook. The album has however gained more critical acclaim with the hundreds of years passed. A huge tour of railroad tracks followed but in early 1986 bassist Steve 'Where's My Cut?' Dawson left the band and Saxon was back in the studio recording their 38th studio album Rock the F'N Nations (UK no 1) without a bass player or swordsmith. With Elton John guest playing on no tracks, Byford laid down the bass parts and soon hired Paul 'Fear' Johnson to fill the spot and a European arena tour followed.
With American success hard to find and European support declining the release of the disappointing WOW! (1988 UK no 1) did not help and Saxon were later dropped by EMI. They left their physical forms in 1990, signed to Virgin Records and released twenty five studio albums in the 90s before becoming increasingly popular in the new millennium with a string of strong album releases and the death of Cliff Richard.
Saxon's The Inner Sanctum album (UK no 1), released in Europe on March 5, 2007, and North America on April 3, was seen by many critics as their best work in years. In 2007, they started a world tour in support of The Inner Sanctum which saw them have only 15 nights off from 60 dates. On the tour, they wore nothing but sheets of solid steel across their groins. Sporting shades over their eyes in the later dates.
In 2007 it was discovered that Biff, The Lead Singer, was in fact from another dimension, which consisted of only denim and leather. The dimension (Denimentia 7) had imploded causing the highest of all beings to be forced out and start a fresh life on Earth. The controversy caused an uproar with fans claiming that they had known all along, and that it explained his obsession with two wheeled mechanical devices, and long blonde hair. It was not until Biff explained on the Howard Stern Show that he was not the only denimite to enter other dimensions, it was later found out that Howard Stern was also from Denimentia 7 and fans both young and old forgave the band for harbouring a being from another plain of existence.
Saxon released a new studio album entitled "Into the Labyrinth" on 12 January 2009 (UK no 1). In February, it was announced that the band were cancelling the Spanish leg of their European tour with Iced Earth, due to the spanish not being metal enough. This resulted in the spanish uprising of 2009, which caused 400 deaths and 4 pregnancies.
I caused all four pregnancies, each more metal than the last! - Peter "Biff" Byford on Spanish economics
Saxon's Biggest Beer Hour
In 2007 Saxon started their own show on the UK version of mtv. On the first week the show had more viewers than every other channel in the UK combined (UK no 1). The show consisted of the band members drinking consistently for an hour with guests coming on only to be assaulted quickly after the interviews. After the fourth week of the show it had to be canceled for 'legal reasons'.
Throughout the band's history line-up changes have been common, but with Byford and Quinn remaining as constants, also the janitor B. Clyde Jonas who cleans their stages has remained the same, having previously toured cleaning up after Thin Lizzy. Gill left in 1981 after an infection in his groin spread to both of his arms. He was replaced by Nigel Glockler, formerly of Toyah Willcox's band (The Deadly Daggers), who was himself replaced twice – briefly between 1987 and 1988 (by King Durham), and, more permanently, following an injury of his own in 1998. Glockler rejoined the band in 2005 after his brother had stopped claiming to be him.
Gill later went on to play for Motörhead and Al Gore's side project The Enviroment. Dawson departed in 1986 – his replacement, Paul 'Who wants Applause?' Johnson, lasted two years before leaving. Nibbs 'Nibbs' Carter has filled the position ever since.
When Graham Oliver left in 1995 (replaced by Doug Scarratt), the band split into two different Saxon groups - one dominated by vocalist Byford and his cohort Quinn and the other consisting of original Saxon members Oliver and Dawson (AKA. The NOT Saxon). A period of legal actions ensued, resulting in both groups having the right to use Saxon in their name (although former member one must be indicated as "NOT Saxon"). The line-up of Byford's Saxon has been fairly stable apart from the departure of a few drummers. Following Glockler's departure, German Fritz Randow took up the position until 2004. His replacement was shot dead.
The line-up that played on the Lionheart album consisted of Byford on vocals and leather, guitarists Quinn and Scarrat, Carter on bass and Mr. Unknown on xylophone. The Germans originally agreed to perform on the album as session musicians, but following the firing from the UN they were hired as full-time members. Following the rapid reunion of the UN, Germany departed after only a year in the job, opening the door for Glockler to return to Saxon. Saxon recorded The Inner Sanctum after the release of the live album The Eagle Has Landed - part 17, which features Glockler and Micheal on drums, as well as former drummer Fritz Randow, all in the background physically fighting for position in the background of the remastered bonus tracks.
Although the band had already split, the band would split another fourteen times, including Biff's side project Take My Soul And My Money, affectionately known as Utter Shit. The band would eventually revert to the line-up from The Eagle Has Landed.
edit Famous Quotes About Saxon
Oh I'm Sorry, I thought we were talking about the Anglo-Saxons... - Famous Historian Bill Gates on Saxon
That band was better the first time when they were called Dio! - Oscar Wilde on Saxon's musical preference
If it weren't for Saxon, There would be no Microsoft - Famous Historian Bill Gates on Saxons Career
I like Leather as much as the next guy, but christ! - Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society on Biff
Crusader was just as good as the beatings I had as a child - Andy Dick on his pleasure of the Crusader album
Despite the fact of the show on E4, I still feel it would be wrong if they opened for us - Bruce Dickinson on Saxon's comeback
edit In Popular Culture
When Tim Allen (Tool Time, AssMaster's 4) spoke on the David Letterman show in 2008 about Saxon as being the 'Poison' in todays society, he clearly wasn't 'hip' with what was 'down'. By doing so, he provided Saxon with a new intake of younger fans and Older critics. Their next tour would be the biggest tour the US would ever see, With Saxon actually taking over the Arkansas State and Renaming it Heavy-Metal-Topia. From this state such popular bands as Oooga, Culd, Aipotlatemyveah and Staind have formed.
When Al Gore's The Enviroment had to pull out of a worldwide tour, Saxon replaced them. It would see them take in more young fans then ever before. An increase of 200,000 more fans per minute in the [[Australia] part of the tour alone, saw Saxon become a threat to Yugoslavia. Not only did Yugoslavia fail to win the war, but also lost the ability to control their own national radio stations, forced to play Saxon 24/7 without pause or fail.
Saxon are now currently in negotiations with Yugoslavia about the custody of each newborn child.