BIFF BYFORD Says SAXON’s Early Albums Were ‘Just As Good As’ IRON MAIDEN’s ‘The Number Of The Beast’

Bif Byford

In a recent interview with Metal RulesSAXON frontman Biff Byford was asked at which point he and his bandmates started to reap the financial benefits of their success.

“I don’t think we ever did, to tell you the truth,” Byford said. “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 [IRONMAIDEN — 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 frontman] 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.

Biff continued: “At that point, [around] ‘Power & The Glory’, we could have broken America quite big. 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 f*ck 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 SteelStrong 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,” he 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.”

On February 4th, SAXON will release their 23rd studio album, Carpe Diem, through Silver Lining Music.