British Heavy Metal legends Saxon will deliver a full-roar-fun-down set of covers 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.

Set for release on March 19th2021, via Silver Lining Music, Inspirations gets things rolling with the release of Saxon’s crunching take on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’.  Biff Byford comments: “Loved this band since I first saw them and heard them.  I liked the Beatles, but the Stones appealed to my rebel side; their iconic look… so many great songs, such a great attitude in the music!” 

Inspirations was recorded at Brockfield Hall near York in the UK, which was built in 1804 and holds the largest collection of paintings by Yorkshire’s impressionist artists – the Staithes Group.

For Byford, recording Inspirations all together within such a rich historical environment was a major ingredient of the project. “The warmth and feel of Inspirations had so much to do with being together in this magnificent place and doing it ‘old-school’ style,” Byford explains. “This is how many bands back in the day -including some of the ones covered here- made such great albums, so it just felt really good to be able to do this somewhere like Brockfield Hall.” The results speak for themselves.

From the super-charged melodic romp of The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ to their freeway mad take on Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Stone Free’, Saxonshow their love and appreciation with a series of faithful, raw and ready tributes.  Maintaining a firm eye on the old school way using Marshall cabs, Marshall amps, real drums and produced by Biff Byford with Jacky Lehmann recording and mixing, 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.

We wanted to do an album based on our influences, the songs and bands that inspired us to write what we did and still do,” continues Byford, “and it was also interesting to see what my voice could do as I haven’t sung many of these songs before.

Byford does, indeed, take on some new vocal challenges, which he duly smashes on the likes of Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Rocker’. The net result is that whether cranking up a heavyweight take on Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Immigrant Song’ or throwing down AC/DC’s ‘Problem Child’, Saxondoes a supreme job of entertaining both themselves and their audience throughout Inspirations.

We didn’t want to change any of the songs too much, just play them more like Saxon,” concludes Byford, “and we also think it’s very important to have -and share with the fans- some fun in these dark times.”
You want 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.
Saxon’s Inspirations is available on Vinyl, CD, digital formats and limited edition D2C products; to pre-order go  Here


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Call it what you like but Weezer have always done things outside of the box and this new record is certainly that. Sort of an appetizer for the new Black Album that’s about to drop this is a ten-track pop record of some fairly big hitters from yesteryear and Weezer have only gone and covered them with immaculate attention to detail and I very much doubt not a single tongue in cheek anywhere during the recording nor the selection for this record.

I’m sure there are plenty out there who will fondly look back on school discos where they first heard these tunes or TOTP shows where the likes of ‘Take On Me’ was on every week for half a year and even without MTV there was no escape but Rivers has excelled in his pop detail here and like Marmite this will divide opinion no question about it.

Me, It’s nice to hear his voice and such passion in pop classics but I’m sure once the (Real) new album drops this will enter the curio shelf and won’t ever get played again until someone reminds me of the time when Weezer did a pop Covers album.

‘Sweet Dreams’ is an immaculate pop tune and whether you dissect it like Marylin Manson did and make it your own or you pay homage to it Weezer style there is no denying its a slice of classically written pop from Dave Stewart and I’m sure he’ll appreciate the royalties kerching kerching! One of the most covered modern pop songs isn’t really a stretch for Rivers and co.

Now I must admit to never listening to A-Ha and always found Morten Hackets voice excruciatingly annoying and nothing has changed all these years later. Yuck! ‘Happy Together’ sees Weezer take a trip back into the ’60s and a grande take on this hall of fame number and its played with the same amount of gusto and pomp as the original.  I see a pattern emerging.

Aha (no not another Scandinavian cover but something with a bit of guitar on it. ‘Paranoid’ by Sabbath has a sickly sweet take I just hope they wore fringe satin jackets during the recording and consumed whisky whilst laying down the tracks. It wouldn’t be right if they didn’t – good effort though. We stay in the Midlands for a pomp rock version of ‘Mr Blue Sky’ which isn’t that much of a stretch if I’m being honest and if I were to guess that Rivers Cuomo has the entire ELO collection and no doubt is proud of it too.

‘No Scrubs is a song performed by TLC and was number one in about a bazillion countries which is no surprise and it now seems that since it was made public that Weezer covered it Chilli from TLC has given it her seal of approval (oh shucks thanks I’m sure) and has made it known that she wants to perform the track with the band.  Wow didn’t see that coming. Next up is a cover of Jacksons ‘Billie Jean’ whatever next?  It’s starting to wear thin now oh thank God there is only one more to go.  What started off as a hoot has worn thin please let it stop and get on with some original Weezer songs pleaseeeee?

Thankfully this circus is brought to an end with a set-closing performance of ‘Stand By Me’ which to be fair is again immaculately sung by Rivers and rocked up (if that’s really a thing) but it isn’t so much mirrored the original but twisted Weezer style and that’s fine by me.  ITs a great pop song pretty much like a lot of this but please can we have the real new album now please? Now that’s what I call music… Not that this isn’t its just not something you are going to listen to for long and is like a bit of a novelty.  so if you too are curious then check it out but be warned you might find yourself out looking for a DeLorean to go find some leg warmers and skinny tie. Oh and Teal is such a lovely colour. there end on a good point.



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