(Album Review) “School of Hard Knocks” by BIFF BYFORD

by admin

On February 21st, legendary Saxon frontman Biff Byford released his first ever solo album entitled “School of Hard Knocks” via Silver Linings Music.  Based on interview with Madness To Creation a couple of years ago, we learned that Biff was quite the history buff.  Here is what we had to say in regards to “School of Hard Knocks”:

Depending on your level of now cultish interest in 70’s and 80’s Heavy Metal you might have missed Saxon amongst fellow Englishmen and household names, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.  However, Saxon had all the elements of a great British Heavy Metal Band; driving guitars, epic vocals, the occasional baroque element, big hair and theatrics.  Saxon really rocked though and could carry themselves on the weight of their songs, tales of Arthurian conquest and black-top crusades, finding their way into top English rock charts in the 70’s and 80’s.  I had been unfamiliar with the past two decades of the bands work and approached their frontman Bill Byford’s first solo LP School Of Hard Knocks with fresh ears. Its a rowdy listen with excellent production, full of great peaks and valleys, coming out of the gate strong with rock-n-roll anthems, Welcome To The Show and the titular track, School of Hard Knocks before weaving between the ominous interlude Inquisitor and through to a blistering rendition of Scarbourough Fair.  This album does the trick, as someone familiar with Byford’s previous work or as a stand alone effort, School Of Hard Knocks serves as a great expression of a life well-appreciated, of an art and history that didn’t go overlooked by at least one man.

Check out the music video for “Scarborough Fair” below:

Track Listing:

  1.  Welcome to the Show
  2.  School of Hard Knocks
  3.  Inquisitor
  4.  The Pit and The Pendulum
  5.  Worlds Collide
  6.  Scarborough Fair
  7.  Pedal to the Metal
  8.  Hearts of Steel
  9.  Throw Down the Sword
  10.  Me and You
  11.  Black and White

Biff Byford have announced rescheduled tour dates due to the Coronavirus.  Here are the dates listed below for Saxon:

Sat. 8/8- Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, United Kingdom

Sat. 9/5- Eventim Apollo in London, United Kingdom

Sun. 9/6- O2 Apollo in Manchester, United Kingdom

Fans can find Biff Byford and Saxon at the following locations:



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