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Baker's Dozen

(13 On The) Wheels Of Steel: Biff Byford Of Saxon's Favourite LPs
Michael Hann , February 13th, 2020 10:48

Biff Byford guides Michael Hann through the 13 records of riff-heavy magic that shaped Saxon

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Deep Purple – Machine Head
This album was a statement – here we are, Deep Purple. I think it changed a lot of musicians and the way they looked at music, in the same way Zeppelin did. But this rang British bells. They had other great albums, but this was the first one I got into – it’s great from beginning to end. Before this line-up, with Ian Gillan, they weren’t so heavy, then they went funky with Glenn Hughes, because he was a big R&B singer, though David Coverdale’s singing was brilliant. Come Taste the Band was when it went truly funky, after Ritchie Blackmore left. We toured with Blackmore in Rainbow a few times – nice guy one minute, then the next he could be odd. Once, someone threw a lighter on stage and he walked off and went back to the hotel. Other times he would play all night. He was very moody. First time we played with them was Donnington but we didn’t have much to do with them. One time we toured with them we did two shows and went down really well and they kicked us off – we turned up at Wembley for the next show and the gates were closed and we were told to go home.


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