Strong Arm of the Law

Strong Arm of The Law is the third studio album by English heavy metal band Saxon. It was released in 1980, seven months after Wheels of Steel, and debuted on the UK chart at #11.[1]

Strong Arm of the Law
Strong Arm of the Law.jpg
Studio album by
Released14 November 1980
Recordedlate May – August 1980
StudioRamport Studios, London, UK
GenreHeavy metal
Length37:05
LabelCarrere
ProducerPete Hinton, Saxon
Saxon chronology
Wheels of Steel
(1980)
Strong Arm of the Law
(1980)
Denim and Leather
(1981)
Singles from Strong Arm of the Law
  1. "Strong Arm of the Law"
    Released: November 1980

The last track, "Dallas 1 PM" concerns the assassination of John F. Kennedy.[2] "We thought, 'Should we put one shot in there or should we put three?'" recalled singer Biff Byford. "In the end we went down the conspiracy theory route and had three shots."[3] According to guitarist Graham Oliver, the title track was inspired by an incident where the band was driving in Whitehall and was subsequently pulled over and searched by the security detail of then British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.[4]

ReceptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [5]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[6]
Sputnikmusic     [7]

Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic rated the album four and a half out of five stars. He called it "equally timeless" to its predecessor, Wheels of Steel and commented, "All the right ingredients pretty much fell into place for Saxon on this amazing record, and though it lacked as many clear-cut hits as its predecessor, Strong Arm of the Law's unmatched consistency from start to finish makes it the definitive Saxon album in the eyes of many fans and critics."[5] After their peak with Wheels of Steel, Canadian journalist Martin Popoff was a little disappointed, calling the album "comfortable and nostalgic if never remarkable", but "definitely betraying Saxon's lack of ideas"; despite their "stripped, basic and enthusiastic delivery of metal... creatively Saxon was getting left in the dust, both looking and sounding a bit like Slade."[6]

UK Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Biff Byford, Paul Quinn, Graham Oliver, Steve Dawson and Pete Gill.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Heavy Metal Thunder"4:20
2."To Hell and Back Again"4:44
3."Strong Arm of the Law"4:39
4."Taking Your Chances"4:19
Side two
No.TitleLength
5."20,000 Ft."3:16
6."Hungry Years"5:18
7."Sixth Form Girls"4:19
8."Dallas 1 PM"6:29

US Track listingEdit

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Dallas 1 PM"6:27
2."Strong Arm of the Law"4:30
3."Sixth Form Girls"4:15
4."Hungry Years"4:57
Side two
No.TitleLength
5."Heavy Metal Thunder"4:14
6."Taking Your Chances"4:17
7."To Hell and Back Again"4:42
8."20,000 Ft"4:18
2006 reissue bonus tracks, Tracks 9 to 13 recorded live at The Hammersmith Odeon December 15, 1981
No.TitleLength
9."20,000 Ft." (Live)3:30
10."Dallas 1 PM" (Live)6:18
11."Hungry Years" (Live)5:56
12."Strong Arm of the Law" (Live)4:52
13."Heavy Metal Thunder" (Live)4:01
2009 remaster bonus tracks, Studio B15, BBC Sessions 25th April 1982, Tr. 9 - 12
No.TitleLength
9."20,000 Ft." (BBC session)3:17
10."Dallas 1 PM" (BBC session)6:01
11."The Eagle Has Landed" (BBC session)7:32
12."747 (Strangers in the Night)" (BBC session)4:41
13."To Hell and Back Again" (alternate version)4:47
14."20,000 Ft." (Abbey Road mix 2009)4:10
15."Mandy" (early version of Sixth Form Girls)3:58
16."Heavy Metal Thunder" (Abbey Road mix 2009)4:15

PersonnelEdit

Saxon
Production
  • Pete Hinton – producer
  • Will Reid Dick – engineer
  • Saxon – arrangements
  • Blechner Poxon – management

ChartsEdit

AlbumEdit

Chart (1981) Peak
position
French Albums (SNEP)[8] 15
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[9] 37
UK Albums (OCC)[10] 11

SinglesEdit

Single Chart (1980) Peak
position
Strong Arm of the Law UK Singles Chart 63[11]

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Gold 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Saxon Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Dallas 1PM by Saxon". Songfacts. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  3. ^ Elliott, Paul (August 2016). "The gospel according to Biff Byford". Classic Rock #226. p. 54.
  4. ^ Graham Oliver – Classic Saxon Riffs on the Metal Axxe Raider VR2001. Archived from the original on 11 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Saxon Strong Arm of the Law". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  6. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 314. ISBN 978-1894959315.
  7. ^ g, manos (11 October 2013). "Review: CD Saxon – Strong Arm of the Law Album". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste – S". Infodisc.fr (in French). Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2012. Select Saxon from the menu, then press OK.
  9. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Saxon – Strong Arm of the Law". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Saxon | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  11. ^ "UK Singles Archive- Saxon". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  12. ^ "British album certifications – Saxon – Strong Arm of the Law". British Phonographic Industry.