A three-disc collection from The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal 1978-1986. A reminder of a classic period for rock music and of how difficult it was to say NWOBHM…
Release Date: 31st July 2020
Label: HNE Recordings / Cherry Red Records
Pull on your tightest jeans or if you still have them, your spandex kecks. Don the bullet belt and brush the mullet. Doesn’t matter if your jacket is denim or leather (as the song goes), it’ll bring us all together.
A nostalgic trip to a much-maligned period. When it was all the rage to have a denim jacket plastered with patches or even get your mum to do some creative embroidery. We all had one – some of us still do. Yet in hindsight, what a fertile period it was for heavy rock and metal. One that had the balls to challenge punk, with which the NWOBHM shared many DIY similarities. In fact, a reaction in itself to the staleness in the scene, where the legends had disappeared within themselves…all contained in 44 tracks.
They’re all here. Some of the big names who are still going strong today, some of those we’d forgotten about and then those we’ve never heard of. The common thread that they all played their part in flying the flag for the unfashionable and the bloody-minded. And often in face of adversity yet with an unbridled passion and belief.
Saxon’s Heavy Metal Thunder acts as the curtain-raiser to a set that gathers assorted versions of Metal from familiar names such as Samson, Diamond Head, The Tygers Of Pang Tang and Venom. In case you’d forgotten, a reminder of pre-Leppard Phil Collen in Girl too. However, while it comes as a bit of a surprise that there are actually more bands and songs than you remember, there’s no denying the thrill of discovery, even after all this time. There are the delights of the slightly cooler Liason, a ballad from Saracen and anyone remember Demon Power. There will be those students of the genre who know the depth of the output so the term, ‘tip of the iceberg’ springs to mind.
In hindsight and listening across forty-odd tracks, the common denominator seems to be that all roads lead to Maiden who ran with it, got the breaks, and became the ones to aspire to. Not without a bit of talent too! Tarot’s Feel The Power owes more than a debt to the sound that Maiden were building and Tokyo Blade were doing things that van Halen also did
One branch led to Girlschool and Rock Goddess, setting a trend which we take for granted now, when women in rock were a rarity – sometimes seen as a novelty, but here’s proof that they could hold their own.
Ending the set with Fist’s Lost And Found seems apt. A quick search on Youtube, as with many of these songs and bands, results in a clip that sees the band still performing in 2019. The look may be different but as someone once said, the song remans the same. Get down the front and relive some of the excitement!
Listen to Saxon’s Heavy Metal Thunder here: