"I'm surprised to find out how many Saxon fans dislike this album. I'm one of the few who like it. Some have lumped it in the embarrasing "hair metal" genre, but only one song, the sub-par "Waiting For The Night" fits into the category. The rest of the album is good hard rock/heavy metal. "Rock the Nations," "Battle Cry," "We Came Here to Rock," "Empty Promises" and "You Ain't No Angel" rank among some of the better songs the band has put out. "Battle Cry" is an especially good song showcasing Nigel Glockler's double bass drumming. Heck, I'd put it on a Greatest Hits!"Northern Lady" was actually the song that brought me to the album. I remember hearing this back in the mid-80's on Z-Rock. I already had the "Crusader" album and had been saving up my allowance to buy any other Saxon albums I could get my hands on. I heard this song and had to get the album. The unlikely addition of Elton John on piano makes the song really come to life. Another addition to my version of Greatest Hits! Now the band's image at this time definitely was a LOW POINT. They hit ROCK BOTTOM trying to pretty themselves up a-la Def Leppard. It just didn't fit their image... in fact, it looked rather stupid. But the music was there and that superceded any image problem the band may have had at this time. As for the music on this CD, I love it!"
1 star is nonsense
J. Phoenix | 05/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album may not be a 5 star but it is certainly not a 1 star. Great, great songs are on this effort. Maybe party till you puke could have been left on the cutting floor but there is Saxon signature all over this thing. I rated a 5 to help balance out the uninformed non saxon fan who rated it a 1. It is a 4 at best or a 3 at the very worst. If you like saxon get this CD it is great. Too many really good tunes on here to miss."
Don't Compare - Just Listen
wizey | Margate, Tasmania, Australia | 10/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's get one thing straight from the start - DO NOT try to compare this album to Dogs Of War, Unleash The Beast (Saxon's best album), Metalhead or Killing Ground.
This album was recorded by a different Saxon line up at a different time. The mid '80s was the time of experimentation for most metal bands and Saxon was no exception. Rock the Nations sees Saxon trying a more commercial sounding approach whilst still trying to be true to their roots, and I think they got the mix right.
However "Party 'til you puke" is one of the worst songs they've ever done. A lighter, humours moment? maybe, but I skip it every time.
Northern Lady does not sound like any other Saxon song but I still think it's great.
They took the commercial approach too far on their following album "Destiny" which is the worst album they've ever made, not this one.
Don't try to compare Rock The Nations to modern metal, just remember the mid 80's and consider and appreciate this album in it's own right.
I think it's a winner."
"We just wanna have some fun, fun before we die"
mwreview | Northern California, USA | 06/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rock the Nations was Saxon's 1986 release. It is an album of extremes. There are four amazing tracks that I always include on my Saxon compilation tapes. On the other end of the spectrum, there are two tracks that are unlistenable. I literally rush to my player to skip these tracks.
The good (actually, the blow-your-mind stellar): I usually do not like "all hail rock and roll" type songs because I find them unoriginal, but Saxon had a knack of writing excellent odes to their craft. The title track and "We Came Here to Rock" are two examples. The verses to this tracks are so catchy they are additive. 1986 seemed the year when the ladies of the PMRC had their panty hoses in a bunch because several metal bands presented responses to the music censorship group on their albums (Judas Priest had "Parental Guidance" off Turbo that same year, not one of their better moments). "We Came Here to Rock" is definitely a stab at the PMRC (but tastefully done as opposed to Warrant's obscenity-ridden "Ode to Tipper Gore"): "We didn't come for bureaucracy, we didn't come for their views, we don't need their mentality, we don't need their abuse." The warrior anthem "Battle Cry" is my favorite on the album. It sports pounding drums, killer guitar, amazing vocals, a thundering chorus; it's very powerful. The fourth excellent track is "Empty Promises" which proved a relief because it follows the worst track I've ever heard by Saxon. Unlike the other stellar numbers, the chorus makes this track.. It has some soul to it. Great song.
The not so bad: "You Ain't No Angel" (5:27) has a classic rock sound and a pounding beat. It is not as catchy as the above tracks but it is good. It is heavier and has a female voice at the bridge to give it a more distinct sound. "Running Hot" is the typical Saxon motorcycle song. It has just enough of that signature Saxon guitar sound to make it better than the average straight-forward rocker. The guitar solo flies. "Northern Lady" is a slower track that is one of two on which Elton John appears. It is a nice power ballad but over-produced. I know they want to showcase Elton John's piano playing (he really flies here), but it is a little much and not what you'd expect from a Saxon album.
The really ugly: "Waiting for the Night" is cheesy, radio-friendly tripe that, unfortunately, Saxon sometimes put out amidst their masterpieces. Sometimes I can tolerate them, this one I cannot. The syrupy guitar hooks are unlistenable. This one is just embarrassing. "Part Til You Puke" is so sickening, it may make you puke without the party. It is the other song showcasing Elton John jamming on the piano. This track is horrible and not because of Elton John. It's something they might have thrown into a live show where people are in that kind of partying mood and may not notice how terrible it is because they've been drinking too much. Well, I don't drink and to listen to it sober on a CD player...well, I can't do it I always skip the track before it is half-way through. The only saving grace is that it is only 3:27.
I almost gave this album 3 stars because two of the tracks are so bad they each demand a star be removed. However, the best this album has to offer is so amazing I am giving Rock the Nations the benefit of the doubt and adding back a star. There are definitely two extremes here, but, fortunately, the best extreme outweighs the worst."