Review : Samson - Shock Tactics
SputnikmusicFor their third record, as well as second and last with Dickinson, Samson stuck to the same rules, although they certainly further worked on the somewhat rough edges from Head On. The new Shock Tactics would become a greater achievement than its predecessor, and remains the arguably best-known album the Brits put out.
The improvement is clear right from the beginning, as opener Riding With the Angels now shows the full extent of Dickinson’s voice, who’s performance is much closer to his latter on The Number of the Beast than it is to the one on Head On. The vocals are definitely more catchy, and see a plunge in a more operatic area, where those on Samson’s previous album were more standard rock-orientated.
The guitar also achieves greater presence, though overpowering the recognizable bass that was an interesting feature on Head On. By the sound of it, Paul Samson took his time to listen to Thin Lizzy, most notably Jailbreak, which well could have served as an inspirational source. The songs are overall better structured, the riffs pack more punch, and though the solos are still nothing really noteworthy, the serve their purpose well. And no, drummer Thunderstick still failed living up to his name....full text
LastfmTrack Duration Listeners
1 Riding With the Angels 4:08 1,551
2 Earth Mother 4:40 1,174
3 Nice Girl 3:19 1,048
4 Blood Lust 6:00 892
5 Go to Hell 3:19 891
6 Bright Lights 3:07 963
7 Once Bitten 4:36 791
8 Grime Crime 4:32 732
9 Communion 6:32 800
10 Little Big Man 3:23 112
11 Pyramid to the Stars 5:19 145
12 Losing My Grip 3:59 350...full text
AnswersSamson's best album, 1981's Shock Tactics, was the last to feature singer Bruce Dickinson (then known simply as Bruce Bruce). The band's songwriting had improved and was comparable to other up-and-coming British heavy metal bands at the time, such as Saxon, Diamond Head, and Iron Maiden. The band also benefited greatly by the presence of producer Tony Platt, known for his work with AC/DC, among other heavy metal acts. Kicking off with their best-known song, "Riding with the Angels" (penned by ex-Argent singer Russ Ballard), other highlights include "Earth Mother," "Blood Lust," and "Communion." "Nice Girl," however, treads on Spinal Tap-territory with it's woefully cliched and predictable lyrics. Although Samson would continue after the release of Shock Tactics, Dickinson would go on to greater success and acclaim when he replaced Paul Di'Anno in Iron Maiden. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide...full text
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