Formed in Yorkshire in 1976, Saxon achieved a major breakthrough during the boom of so-called new wave British heavy metal in the 1980s. With their fierce, uncompromising guitar-based rock, they sold over 13 million albums and influenced others who followed in their wake, including Metallica and Megadeth. Originally formed by singer Peter “Biff” Byford, bass player Steve Dawson, drummer Pete Gill, and guitarists Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn—all of whom had been veterans of other bands—they originally dubbed themselves Son of a Bitch. They released their self-titled debut album in 1979, and hit the charts with Wheels of Steel in 1980 which included the hit single “747 (Strangers in the Night)”, and its follow-up, Strong Arm of the Law. More success followed with 1981’s Denim and Leather, with the title track became an anthem for 1980s British heavy metal. Alongside kindred spirits like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Saxon blazed a new trail for hard rock, though hardcore fans became critical when the group adopted a smoother, more obviously commercial style as they broke into the American market. Despite personnel changes they continued to be a headline act at festivals and attracted attention through the 1990s and 2000s, winning rave reviews for their Inner Sanctum album in 2007 and Into the Labyrinth in 2009. Call to Arms came in 2011 followed by Sacrifice two years later and, after an interview in 2014 during which front man Biff Byford hinted at a new album, they released Battering Ram in 2015. 2017 saw the announcement of Saxon's 22nd studio album titled Thunderbolt along with a European tour with Magnum, Rock Goddess and Diamond. They looked to the past on the 2021 album Inspirations, which contained covers of famous songs by The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and others. Carpe Diem, their twenty-third studio studio effort, was released in 2022 to both great critical and commercial, hitting Number 17 on the UK Albums Chart and becoming the group's highest-charting effort there since 1983's Power & the Glory. After completing the Seize the Day tour in support of the album, Saxon went back into the studio and issued a second collection of covers titled More Inspirations in 2023.