I was fascinated by the new wave of British heavy metal, so I thought why not do a post about one of the most notable bands from that movement, Saxon, since Sea of Tranquility talks very highly of them. What better way to get a taste of Saxon than to include them in my Songs with the Same Title series? The last band I took on was Van Halen, so if you haven’t already, feel free to check it out! I’ll compare two songs for each round (one by the respective artist and one by a different artist), I’ll pick my favorite of the two, and then I’ll pick the winner of the overall battle after the final round. Without further ado, let’s get on with the music!
”Fire in the Sky” (1981) by Saxon
“Fire in the Sky” (1988) by Ozzy Osbourne
I’m sorry, but I do not like Ozzy Osbourne, so that already put him at a disadvantage for this round. On Hannah Montana, Jackson did a hilarious impersonation of him and ever since then, I couldn’t take the guy seriously, despite his success with Black Sabbath. Osbourne’s “Fire in the Sky” started off good, I liked that it was moody and dark, but then the song dragged on forever and half of it was repeating the chorus over and over again. While Osbourne’s “Fire in the Sky” was bloody six and a half minutes, Saxon’s “Fire in the Sky” was only three and a half minutes, so that was bearable. I loved that it was fast and straight to the point, and I enjoyed the punchy bass line too. Therefore, Saxon takes the win for round one.
”All Guns Blazing” (1990) by Judas Priest
“All Guns Blazing” (1999) by Saxon
This one was really hard because both songs are awesome. However, I remember listening Painkiller (1990) not too long ago and being fascinated with the title track, “Leather Rebel,” “Between the Hammer & the Anvil,” and “All Guns Blazing.” The opening lines for “All Guns Blazing” set the bar high; there’s nothing better than hearing Rob Halford screeching at the start of a song. I like Saxon’s “All Guns Blazing” too as it was loud, fast-paced, and aggressive, but because I have a history with the Painkiller album, Judas Priest takes the win for round two.
”To the End” (1994) by Blur
“To the End” (2015) by Saxon
I don’t know if it’s cause I only got about fours hours of sleep previously, but I got bored with Blur’s “To the End.” It’s a very positive and uplifting ballad, but it’s not for me. Saxon’s “To the End” is a slow headbanger, so it’s mid-tempo, and I interpret the lyrics as someone preparing to go to war, leaving their family behind and wondering if they will stand by that person “to the end.” That’s how I see it because it talks about leaving everything behind, not knowing when they’ll be back, and a feeling in the person’s heart that they must follow. Biff Byford, the band’s lead singer, was 64 years old when they recorded Battering Ram (2015) and he sounds just as killer as he did back in the 80s. Saxon’s “To the End” is an uplifting headbanger, that doesn’t make me want to fall asleep and the band still kicks butt years later, so Saxon takes the win for round three.
”Lionheart” (2004) by Saxon
“Lionheart” (2015) by Demi Lovato
Congratulations Demi Lovato, I don’t hate this track of yours! I’m not a fan of her R&B and dance-pop stuff she’s been doing recently, if anything, I prefer Lovato’s pop rock stuff from Get Back (2008) and Here We Go Again (2009). Despite my disinterest in her current music, I can’t deny the power in her voice because she can still belt out notes that are out of this world and “Lionheart” is living proof of that. Saxon’s “Lionheart” was good too, but it wasn’t my favorite chorus of theirs; that’s not even the best track on their Lionheart (2004) album. With that said, Lovato takes the win for round four.
”For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1985) by Metallica
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1988) by Saxon
Whenever I think of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” I think of an insanely long intro with a bell, Lars Ulrich pounding on the drums towards the end, and screaming “FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS,” in the chorus. Metallica gets a lot of hate for moving away from their thrash roots and going more commercial, but I still like them because they’re fun-loving guys and either way, they were young and hungry on their first four albums (just ignore my hatred for “Master of Puppets” for a bit). Saxon’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” didn’t have the same wow factor, the long instrumental towards the end bugged the heck out of me, and the guitar riff wasn’t their best work. Of course, Metallica takes the win for round five.
”Dogs of War” (1995) by Saxon
“Dogs of War” (2014) by AC/DC
AC/DC has appeared in a couple of these Songs with the Same Title posts already; I guess I’ll have to cover them in the series one day. I’ve listened to AC/DC’s Rock or Bust (2014) album about three times and I wasn’t fond of “Dogs of War” at first, but I grew a new appreciation for it when I listened to it again for this post. I love the moody intro, Brian Johnson sounds great on the vocals, and again, I am a sucker for Phil Rudd’s hi-hat sound. Saxon’s “Dogs of War” was cool too, but I don’t like how Byford sings softly in the verses, then he screams in the chorus; it was a bit contrasting. Maybe it’s because I still feel guilty for picking Kiss’ “War Machine” over AC/DC’s “War Machine” when I covered Kiss in January, but AC/DC takes the win for the final round.
Saxon won two of the six rounds, so they lost the overall battle sadly. But I did listen to a few of their songs before covering them in the series and I enjoyed what I heard. They may not have won the battle, but they are still winners in my heart because I am now a fan of Saxon!
What was your favorite song from each round? Let me know in the comments below!
Take care and see ya real soon!