Five Records That Changed My Life, Part 66: Biff Byford

Biff Byford co-founded British heavy metal band Saxon in Barnsley, England in 1977. Now, at the age of 70, he remains the band’s lead vocalist and continues to tour and record with the band. Saxon’s most recent album, “Inspirations”, was released by Silver Lining Music in March 2021. Roppongi Rocks’ Stefan Nilsson checked in with Biff to find out what five albums made him put on his denim and leather to become a metalhead and a solid ball of rock.

Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin” (1969)

“This for me was the first heavy album. It changed everything with its power and pomp. A truly ground-breaking sound and four young guys going for it. Classic British rock based on American blues and no compromise: heavy blues rock, even the soft bits are hard.”

Yes “Close to the Edge” (1972)

“This album introduced me into prog rock. The musicianship is superb. The only way to describe it is “melody and power”, blending jazz, blues and classical. It’s a magical journey into their musical minds. It ebbs and flows through making its way to the last note.”

ZZ Top “Fandango!” (1975)

“The first time I heard Southern blues rock. These guys were taking things to another level, mixing live with studio, great playing masters of groove and feel and that guitar sound was to die for.”

Alice Cooper “From the Inside” (1978)

“Loved this! I used to listen to it all the time. Its sound and autobiographical lyrics are great writing. Top notch.”

Deep Purple “Machine Head” (1972)

“All-time favourite! The playing on this is brilliant. Shades of classical, blues, R&R, a ground-breaking album. Vocals are on another level: took the screams of Little Richard and turned them into his own.”