From: United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Disbanded
Latest Samson News
Below is our complete Samson news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
This month marks thirty five years since one of the most important terms in heavy metal history was coined. After a show featuring Iron Maiden, Angel Witch and Samson, Sounds writer Geoff "Deaf" Barton wrote a review of the concert in which a phrase was used that still stands strong today. It was the time when head banging public was introduced to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The term was arguably created to cause a stir amongst fans who would argue that heavy metal bands in Britain was nothing new and that the likes of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest had been packing out large venues and appearing on such television shows as Top of the Pops for the last few years, despite the dominance of punk rock. However, these bands were different. They possessed the energy of punk but had the look and volume of the early metal bands before them. They took heavy metal away from the grandiose indulgence which some bands had become embroiled in and brought it back to the common man.
It was truly an exciting movement, full of high quality bands which would go on to influence hundreds more and in some cases, become superstars themselves. More or less every metal fan will be able to tell you that Iron Maiden was one such NWOBHM band, with a slightly smaller number being able to point to Def Leppard as another group from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal who went on to stardom after the release of their excellent self-titled EP and debut album, "On Through the Night," following which they shifted direction to the band we know today. More...
Last month we took a look at Wolfsbane and saw what singer Blaze Bayley was up to before (and eventually after) he joined Iron Maiden. This week we take a look at what another of Iron Maiden’s singers did before he joined the band, this time it’s world renowned and current vocalist Bruce Dickinson and the band, Samson. Samson was formed in 1977, a time when punk had exploded in the United Kingdom and for a brief time, long haired, hard rock and heavy metal bands became rather unpopular. Nevertheless, the band continued to hone their craft and in 1979, they released their debut album, "Survivors," which featured guitarist and bane namesake, Paul Samson handling the vocal duties in a lineup which also included bassist Chris Aylmer and iconic drummer, Thunderstick. However, shortly after the release of the record, Samson stepped away from the microphone to make way for the band’s new vocalist "Bruce Bruce," better known today as Bruce Dickinson.
With Dickinson now in tow, the band re-released "Survivors" to feature their new vocalist and soon released their second album, “Head On.” The album proved to be a successful one for Samson, reaching number 34 in the UK album charts and earning rave reviews from critics. The record is also notable for the song, "Thunderburst," which was co-written with Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris and would appear the next year on the Iron Maiden album, "Killers," in the guise of, "The Ides Of March." Despite the success of the record however, the group soon found themselves being booked on mismatched tours as a result of poor management and after one more album, "Shock Tactics," which featured the charting single, "Riding With The Angels," Bruce Dickinson left the band to join Iron Maiden, after Maiden’s manager Rod Smallwood got talking to Dickinson following Samson’s performance at the Reading festival in 1981 (which was later released as a live album in 1990.)
The band then soldiered on, recruiting new vocalist Nicky Moore. The change in singer was not without it’s rewards, as the subsequent album, "Before the Storm," yielded two singles, "Losing My Grip" and "Red Skies," which were able to hit the British singles charts. Unfortunately this was to be the last taste of chart success Samson would receive, as their later releases were overshadowed by other heavy metal stars of the time, not least Iron Maiden, and the New Wave Of British Heavy movement had begun to grind to a halt. Although the band hadn’t released an album since 1993, they never officially disbanded, but were effectively forced to do so in 2002, when guitarist Paul Samson tragically passed away after a battle with cancer. Five years later, bass player Aylmer would also pass away, effectively ending any speculation there may have been regarding a Samson reunion of any kind. Nowadays, the band are often looked upon favourably by NWOBHM fans as one of the best of it’s day. They released some truly spectacular music and stood out amongst many of the other groups, not least for locking their drummer in a cage at any given opportunity. More...
Planet Rock, Britain's leading rock station will be airing a special tomorrow at 6PM U.K. time. Appearing on the show will be Iron Maiden/former Samson singer Bruce Dickinson, Saxon lead vocalist Biff Byford, Diamond Head guitarist Brian Tatler, Tygers Of Pan Tang's Jess Cox and the infamous Thunderstick who's past bands include Iron Maiden and Samson. You can listen to the show by heading to the stations website.
It's been announced that a new DVD entitled Iron Maiden And The New Wave Of British Of Heavy Metal will be released on June 10th via MVD Entertainment. The documentary is described by its distributors as follows:
"Back in 1976, nobody really knew that there was an old wave of British Heavy Metal. But within two years of their formation, Iron Maiden had spearheaded what came to be abbreviated the NWOBHM, and as with punk the year before, a new generation of Rock musicians bought in a new wave of the genre - and in the process made loud, raw, heavy rock the global phenomenon it is today. For the first time this film investigates this New Wave - the bands, the records, the media and the series of unconnected events that led to this astonishing, durable and still hugely relevant form which is still heard today in virtually every rock record released. Focusing on Maiden and the other pivotal bands of the time, such as SAXON, SAMSON, PRAYING MANTIS, DIAMOND HEAD, TYGERS OF PAN TANG and many others, this DVD is the ultimate expose of a style that may not get as much press as punk, but is equally as relevant to the music of the second millennium. It features rare footage of all the main NWOBHM bands; Live and studio recordings of the pivotal tracks; Scarce news items and archive of the movement, from the time, as it unfolded around the UK; Seldom seen photographs, many from private collections. It also includes exclusive interviews with many of the major players, including, Iron Maiden's PAUL DIANNO and Dennis Stratton, Diamond Head's Brian Tatler, Tygers Of Pan Tang's Rob Weir, Samson's legendary drummer Thundersticks, Tino and Chris Troy from Praying Mantis, the current line-up of GIRLSCHOOL and many other high profile names from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. There's also commentary, review and expertise from; Malcolm Dome [Kerrang, Classic Rock] Jerry Ewing [Metal Hammer, Classic Rock] Geoff Barton [staff writer at Sounds during the New Wave] Garry Bushell [Sounds journalist and champion of NWOBHM] Neil Kay [legendary metal DJ from the Soundhouse club] and British metal author and journalist, Joel McIver."
In addition to the documentary, there will also be extended interviews and a NWOBHM interactive challenge.
A brand new Paul Samson CD, consisting of recordings the leader and founder of the seminal NWOBHM act SAMSON was working on in the months prior to his death in 2002, will be issued this summer under the title "PS..." No further details are currently available.
In other news, Angel Air Records will be releasing a SAMSON retrospective CD on April 3. Entitled "Tomorrow and Yesterday", the album will include an extensive (4,000-word) biography, and a 20-page booklet, featuring many previously unseen pictures.
Samson passed away at his Norfolk, England home during the afternoon of Friday, August 9, 2002 following a lengthy battle with cancer. Paul was 49 years old.
SAMSON had previously featured in their ranks IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson, who sang on two of the group's albums (1980's "Head On" and 1981's "Shock Tactics"), before moving on to fame and fortune with his current outfit.
The 2004 edition of the Sweden Rock Festival is set to take place June 10th - 12th in Solvesborg, Sweden.
The latest act to be added to the bill is former SAMSON vocalist Nicky Moore who will be playing a set of Samson material as a tribute to late Samson guitarist Paul Samson, who passed away at his Norfolk, England home on August 9, 2002 following a lengthy battle with cancer. Nicky's performance at Sweden Rock will take place on Saturday, June 12th. Nicky will be backed up on stage by Swedish band Locomotive Breath, featuring guitarist Janne Stark (ex-OVERDRIVE). This show will be exclusive for Sweden Rock Festival.
The list of confirmed bands for Sweden Rock 2004 is as follows: More...