SAXON – Inspirations (2021)

SAXON - Inspirations (2021) full

British Metal legends SAXON will deliver a full-roar-fun-down set of covers on March 19th, 2021 with their latest album ”Inspirations”, which drops a brand new 11 track release featuring some of the superb classic rock songs that influenced Biff Byford & the band.
From the crunching take on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’ and the super-charged melodic romp of The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ to their freeway mad take on Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Stone Free’, Saxon show their love and appreciation with a series of faithful, raw and ready tributes.
Recorded at Brockfield Hall near York, UK, with a firm eye on the old school way using Marshall cabs, Marshall amps and real drums, Saxon approach the likes of Motörhead’s ‘Bomber’ (with added whistle!), AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Evil Woman’ and a raucous Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King’ with refreshingly warm, unfiltered, “vintage” sounding renditions.
For even more proof of the validity behind that statement, wrap your ears around their sparkling take on Toto’s ‘Hold The Line’ (!) and consider Saxon’s ”Inspirations” a mission accomplished.

Covers albums are a risky business. There are, of course, lots of great examples of the form, and we all enjoy the healthy dismantling and reconstruction of a classic every now and then. On the other side of the coin, however, there have been lots of truly dismal covers albums over the years, none of which deserve to be mentioned here.
Fortunately, SAXON are a band of sufficient vintage and legend that they have absolutely no reason to explain anything they do at this point.

“Inspirations” is very obviously a record that was bashed out and glued together during lockdown but sounds every bit as energetic and powerful as you might expect from the British veterans.
It’s an absolute joy to hear Biff singing the likes of “Immigrant Song” and “Speed King”: songs that evidently influenced his own vocal approach, but which he sings, brilliantly, with an audible twinkle in his eye, very much on top of the job throughout.
Similarly, when Biff takes on AC/DC’s “Problem Child”, he sounds squarely in his element, saluting his heroes but also contemporaries from Saxon’s early days.
The vocalist takes on some new vocal challenges, which he duly smashes on the likes of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Rocker’.

It’s inevitable that The Beatles would show up somewhere here and ”Paperback Writer” has gained some attitude and power since its original outing but still retains the singalong charm that hooked so many fab four fans back in the day.
Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt rock out their twin guitar fretboard magic on Jimi Hendrix’ blues rocker ”Stone Free” which oozes energy from start to finish.

Taking a curved ball from the rest of the tracks, and showing a softer side to the guys, comes Toto’s ”Hold The Line”. No namby pamby keyboards here however, guitars all the way!
The Saxon wheels of steel roll out the heavy artillery with Motorheads ”Bomber” which hammers full steam along the tracks, taking no prisoners as this headbanging classic smashes home.

Saxon do a supreme job of entertaining both themselves and their audience throughout ”Inspirations”. A vibrant and brashly entertaining collection of blasts from the past.
Highly Recommended


1. Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones)
2. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
3. Paperback Writer (The Beatles)
4. Evil Woman (Black Sabbath)
5. Stone Free (Jimi Hendrix)
6. Bomber (Motörhead)
7. Speed King (Deep Purple)
8. The Rocker (Thin Lizzy)
9. Hold The Line (Toto)
10. Problem Child (AC/DC)
11. See My Friends (The Kinks)

Biff Byford / vocals
Paul Quinn / guitars
Nibbs Carter / bass
Doug Scarratt / guitars
Nigel Glockler / drums


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