Denim and Leather

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Denim and Leather
Studio album by Saxon
Released 5 October 1981
Recorded 1981
Studio Aquarius Studios, Geneva, Switzerland
Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
Genre Heavy metal
Length 38:00
Label Carrere
Producer Nigel Thomas, Saxon
Saxon chronology
Strong Arm of the Law
(1980)Strong Arm of the Law1980
Denim and Leather
The Eagle Has Landed
(1982)The Eagle Has Landed1982
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. The album was certified Gold status in the U.K. 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).

Song notes[edit]

The album 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 steam locomotive 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. "Midnight Rider" is a song about Saxon's 1980 North American tour.

The name of the album and song was inspired by the popular attire of metalheads in the early 1980s, defined by either denim jeans and jackets or a leather biker jacket (often worn with a denim cut-off waistcoat). 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).


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 7/10[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 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".[1] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff had mixed feelings about Denim and Leather, which he considered "Saxon's stadium rock album... boppier and sillier than Wheels of Steel, but still catchy", denouncing "the band's progressively feeble song skills while gaining points for conviction."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written 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.


  • Nigel Thomas - producer
  • Andy Lydon - engineer
  • Aquarius Studios, Geneva - recording location
  • Polar Studios, Stockholm - additional recording location, mixing location


  1. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Saxon Denim and Leather". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-06-17. 
  2. ^ 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.