Founded by guitarist and vocalist Paul Samson in London, England in 1976 – first as Scrapyard and then as McCoy before switching to their permanent name in 1977 – Samson was one of London, England’s most promising heavy metal bands in the 1970s before their luck ran out rather quickly. Although they recorded many albums during their career, they are best known for the two albums they recorded featuring future Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson: Head On (1980) and Shock Tactics (1981). With more than 30 line-up changes and a 25-year career mired in management difficulties, Samson never had it easy. Despite these issues, the band never appeared to have any problems attracting top class musicians and past members include drummers Clive Burr and Mel Gaynor, vocalists Nicky Moore and Dickinson, and guitarists Bernie Tormé and Dave Colwell. Samson’s debut album, Survivors, was released in 1979 and featured guitarist Paul Samson handling the lead vocals. Just after the recording of the album, Bruce Dickinson was brought in as lead vocalist. The band's second album Head On (1980) featured Dickinson on vocals – listed as Bruce Bruce – and became a hit in the UK, climbing to the Number 34 position on the UK Albums chart. The follow-up, Shock Tactics (1981), was a success as well, but financial problems were brewing and when their label went bankrupt, cancelled their tour, and grounded the group, Dickenson took the opportunity to leave Samson and join Iron Maiden. Samson replaced him with vocalist Nicky Moore, signed with Polydor Records and released an EP and two more albums – Before the Storm (1982) and Don’t Get Mad, Get Even (1984) before breaking up. Paul Samson pursued a solo career before reforming a new Samson in 1987. The group’s albums Refugee (1990) and Samson (1993) were not strong sellers and Paul Samson broke the band up again. Paul Samson continued creating music as a solo artist and with various ad hoc versions of Samson, but the group never realized their full potential. After years of struggling to make their mark, the legend of Samson came to a final end when Paul Samson died of cancer on August 9, 2002. Four years later, his final recordings with vocalist Nicky Moore were released on the album P.S. The band’s recorded legacy has been celebrated with a series of reissues (featuring rare bonus tracks) and compilations including Last Rites (1984), Riding with Angels: The Anthology (2002), and Classic Albums Collection, which gathers together their Polydor Records recordings (with Nicky Moore) including many rarities. Original bassist Chris Aylmer died on January 9, 2007. Drummer Clive Burr died on March 13, 2013. Vocalist Nicky Moore died on August 3, 2022.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Samson

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