BIFF BYFORD Says SAXON's Early Albums Were 'Just As Good As' IRON MAIDEN's 'The Number Of The Beast'
December 11, 2021
In a new interview with Robert Cavuoto of Metal Rules, SAXON frontman Biff Byford was asked at which point he and his bandmates started to reap the finical benefits of their success. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't think we ever did, to tell you the truth. I don't think I can remember having a big, fat check. You have to remember that in '83, around the 'Power & The Glory' time, is when we really started to break America. And I think something happened with the record company at that point. We were touring with [IRON] MAIDEN — a pretty big tour — and then halfway through, it sort of stopped. So I don't really know what happened. Maybe because you had to buy on the tours back then. I don't know. Something happened and we were taken off and I think FASTWAY was moved up the bill and someone else on before them. I don't know. Maybe there was a lot of political talking going on behind our backs. There's people who said that [IRON MAIDEN singer] Bruce [Dickinson] didn't like the way we were going down. I don't know if that is true or not, but it has been said.
"At that point, [around] 'Power & The Glory', we could have broken America quite big," he continued. "We should have broken America on 'Wheels Of Steel', but it was a French [record] company [we were on], so they really didn't know what the fuck they were doing. 'Crusader' was the first headline tour we did of America, and that was with ACCEPT, which was very, very successful. I just think that, for some reason, 'Wheels Of Steel', 'Strong Arm Of The Law' and 'Denim And Leather' didn't really have enough momentum in America as MAIDEN's albums did, for some reason. I think it's down to management and record company. I think 'Denim And Leather' and 'Strong Arm Of The Law' are just as good as 'The Number Of The Beast'…
"A lot of American people, ['Power & The Glory'] is their favorite [SAXON] album," Biff added. "It was the first time we ever saw some of them, and it was the first time we got airplay — MTV. And I think we were on the Billboard charts at some point with 'Power & The Glory', and the tour was absolutely massively successful. So it was a great tour to be on. I just think that whether it was our manager that decided we could do it on our own, or something happened, and it just didn't quite take us far enough, if you know what I mean. In some states in America, we were massive, and in other states we couldn't [draw any crowds]. And that's the problem — I don't think we had the record sales in America that anybody else had. So I don't think we had that big check. 'Power & The Glory' didn't sell a million albums in America when we were there. I think if it had, then that would have given us the power to go on and to get quite a lot of money. The way it was then, I don't think it was set up for the band to make any money. At that point there, we could have broken America. 'Power & The Glory' could have been a platinum album — definitely."
SAXON will release its 23rd studio album, "Carpe Diem", on February 4, 2022 via Silver Lining Music. The LP was produced by Andy Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, EXODUS, ACCEPT) at Backstage Recording Studios in Derbyshire with Byford and Sneap mixing and mastering.