Byford in 2008
|Birth name||Peter Rodney Byford|
5 January 1951 |
Honley, West Yorkshire, England
|Genres||Heavy metal, hard rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, bagpipes, recorder|
|Labels||Carrere, Capitol, Enigma, EMI, Steamhammer, SPV|
|Associated acts||Saxon, Fastway, Air Pavilion, Freedom Call, Avantasia|
Byford sang with a band called Blue Condition from around 1970 to 1976, when he formed Saxon with guitarists Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn, bassist Steve Dawson and drummer Pete Gill. The band was originally called Son of a Bitch, but changed to Saxon in 1978. They released their self-titled debut album in 1979, and became part of what was known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which also included bands like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. The band had commercial success as well, charting eight UK Top 40 albums and five Top 40 singles between 1980 and 1986.
At the end of the 1980s, the band (along with the genre) declined in popularity, and Oliver and Dawson formed a new band with the same name, though they were later forced to change it to Oliver/Dawson Saxon. (Byford's) Saxon maintained a recording and touring career centred on Germany for much of the 1990s, before coming back into broader attention with 2007's The Inner Sanctum.
In April 2007 Byford released his autobiography, entitled Never Surrender after the Saxon song of the same name. Gigwise.com reported on 18 January 2010 that Byford was launching a campaign to have Britons declare heavy metal as their religion in the United Kingdom Census 2011, inspired by the Jedi census phenomenon (where 2001 Census results suggested that Jediism was the UK's fourth most popular religion).
- with Saxon
- with Air Pavilion
- Kaizoku (1989) – vocals on "She's Hot Stuff"
- with Fastway
- Bad Bad Girls (1990)
- with Freedom Call
- Taragon (1999) – narration on "Tears of Taragon (Story Version)"
- with Destruction
- Inventor of Evil (2005) – vocals on "The Alliance of Hellhoundz"
- with Helloween
- Gambling with the Devil (2007) – spoken word on "Crack the Riddle"
- 7 Sinners (2010) – spoken word on 'Who is Mr. Madman?'
- with Doro
- Celebrate – The Night of the Warlock (2008) – vocals on "Celebrate" (track #2)
- with Avantasia
- The Mystery of Time (2013)
- The Hybrid (2014)
- Never Surrender, 2007
- BYFORD v OLIVER AND DAWSON – High Court Decides Saxon Name. Swanturton.com (2003-03-03). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
- Retrieved 15 July 2009 Sputnik Music ''The Inner Sanctum Review''. Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
- Campaign Launched To Get Heavy Metal Recognised As A Religion. Gigwise (2010-01-18). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.