Denim and Leather

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Denim and Leather
Studio album by Saxon
Released 5 October 1981
Recorded Aquarius Studios, Geneva, Switzerland
Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden, Spring-Summer 1981
Genre Heavy metal
Length 38:00
Label Carrere
Producer Nigel Thomas, Saxon
Saxon chronology
Strong Arm of the Law
(1980)
Denim and Leather
(1981)
The Eagle Has Landed
(1982)
Singles from Denim and Leather
  1. "And the Bands Played On / Hungry Years / Heavy Metal Thunder"
    Released: April 1981
  2. "Never Surrender / 20,000 Feet"
    Released: July 1981
  3. "Princess of the Night / Fire in the Sky"
    Released: January 1982

Denim and Leather is the fourth studio album by English heavy metal band Saxon released in 1981 (see 1981 in music). This was the last album with the classic line up of Saxon, as drummer Pete Gill would leave the band due to a hand injury, later joining Motörhead; this was also seen as the last of their triptych of classic albums (the previous two being Wheels of Steel and Strong Arm of the Law). Following the release of Denim and Leather the band stopped making albums for over a year, trying to reach mainstream success in the United States.[1]

Song notes[edit]

Though the album is not Saxon's best selling, it spawned two of their most successful singles, "And the Bands Played On" and "Princess of the Night". There are nine songs on this album, which are noted for lyrics about a wide range of topics. "Princess of the Night" is a song about a powerful train and "And the Bands Played On" is about 1980 Monsters of Rock Festival - name checking several of the other acts on the bill including Rainbow and Touch. Other themes for the songs include: partying, the spirit of the music, fighting, and, like many of their songs, motorcycles.

The name of the album and song was inspired by the popular attire of metalheads in the early 1980s, defined by denim pants and leather jackets. The song is seen as a tribute from the band to their fans while describing the history of the sub-culture and the rise of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [2]

The album is regarded as a classic in the band's discography, and has been received positively by critics and fans. Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic gave the album four and a half out of five stars, and called the opening track "Princess of the Night" an "infectiously anthemic opening statement", whilst praising the title track for also being an "unqualified classic". He considered "Out of Control" and "Rough and Ready" to be strong tracks, whilst regarding "Fire in the Sky", "Midnight Rider", and "And The Bands Played On" as "spectacular". In regards to the band's inability to maintain the level of commercial success that this album helped to achieve, he said that even the album's weakest tracks "hardly gave notice that Saxon's incredible run was in fact coming to an end", also commenting that "If only Saxon had managed to stagger the amazing triumvirate of Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law, and Denim and Leather over a longer stretch of years, we might still be talking about the group today in the same hallowed tones reserved for fellow N.W.O.B.H.M. standouts Def Leppard and Iron Maiden."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Saxon

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Princess of the Night"   4:01
2. "Never Surrender"   3:15
3. "Out of Control"   4:07
4. "Rough and Ready"   4:51
5. "Play It Loud"   4:11
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "And the Bands Played On"   2:48
7. "Midnight Rider"   5:45
8. "Fire in the Sky"   3:37
9. "Denim and Leather"   5:25
2009 remaster bonus tracks
No. Title Length
10. "20,000 Ft." (remix; b-side Never Surrender) 4:07
11. "Bap Shoo Ap" (live at Castle Donington 1980; b-side Never Surrender) 6:41
12. "Intro/And the Bands Played On" (live) 4:34
13. "Princess of the Night" (live) 4:17
14. "Midnight Rider" (live) 5:40
15. "Never Surrender" (live) 3:58
16. "Fire in the Sky" (live) 2:41
17. "Machine Gun" (live) 2:44
18. "Play It Loud" (live) 5:25
  • Bonus tracks 12-18 recorded live on the Denim and Leather Tour, 1981.

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Producer : Nigel Thomas
  • Engineer: Andy Lydon
  • Recorded at Aquarius Studios, Geneva
  • Also recorded at Polar Studios, Stockholm
  • Mixed at Polar Studios, Stockholm

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Saxon - Denim and Leather". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  2. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Saxon Denim and Leather". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-06-17.