Wheels of Steel

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Wheels of Steel
Studio album by Saxon
Released 5 May 1980
Recorded Ramport Studios, London, February 1980
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock [1]
Length 38:56
Label Carrere
Producer Pete Hinton and Saxon
Saxon chronology
Wheels of Steel
Strong Arm of the Law
Singles from Wheels of Steel
  1. "Wheels of Steel / Stand Up and Be Counted"
    Released: March 1980
  2. "747 (Strangers in the Night) / See the Light Shining"
    Released: June 1980
  3. "Suzie Hold On / Judgement Day (live)"
    Released: September 1980

Wheels of Steel is the second studio album by the English heavy metal band Saxon. It was released in 1980 and reached platinum status.

Song notes[edit]

"747 (Strangers in the Night)" is about a power cut that forced planes in New York to remain in ascent in 1965 with the power outage provoking a Scandinavian flight to detour to Kennedy airport in the dark.[2][3]

The title track is featured in the video games Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City (Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned and Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony) and Brütal Legend. It has also been covered by L.A. Guns on their album Rips the Covers Off.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Martin Popoff 8/10 stars[5]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars[6]
Ultimate-Guitar.com (7.3/10)[7]

The album received very positive reviews by critics and is today regarded as being a classic metal album helping to define the genre. Canadian reviewer Martin Popoff regards Wheels of Steel as a "qualified classic" and "one of really two or three of (NWOBHM) building blocks"; it is "a record on a mission, willing to take responsibility as spokesvinyl for legions of English punters with a thirst for regular metal guys".[5]

The album eventually went on to achieve Platinum status in the UK. [8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Biff Byford, Paul Quinn, Graham Oliver, Steve Dawson and Pete Gill

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Motorcycle Man"   3:56
2. "Stand Up and Be Counted"   3:09
3. "747 (Strangers in the Night)"   4:58
4. "Wheels of Steel"   5:58
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Freeway Mad"   2:41
6. "See the Light Shining"   4:55
7. "Street Fighting Gang"   3:12
8. "Suzie Hold On"   4:34
9. "Machine Gun"   5:23
  • 2009 remaster bonus tracks 13-17 recorded live at Donington, 1980.