Samson were an English hard-rock metal band from London, formed in 1977 by namesake guitarist Paul Samson. The band cut two singles on small-press Lightning Records in 1978, followed by the album Survivors on Laser in 1979. Two albums appeared on RCA in 1980/81, followed by another pair of titles on Polydor between 1982 and 1984. The 1986 release Joint Forces on Raw Power was the group’s final studio album of the period, though further titles appeared at sporadic intervals until the guitarist’s death in 2002.

Early Samson drummer Thunderstick (aka Barry Graham Purkis) functioned as the band’s leather-masked mascot in photos and live shows, where he performed inside a metal cage. Vocals on the first two albums were handled by future Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, credited here under the alias “Bruce Bruce.”

Members: Paul Samson (guitar, vocals), Chris Aylmer (bass, rhythm guitar, 1977-78, 1980-85, 1992-2002), Clive Burr (drums, 1977-78), Stewart Cochrane (bass, 1978), Mark Newman (vocals, 1978), Barry Graham Purkis [aka Thunderstick] (drums, 1979-81, 2000-02), John McCoy (bass, rhythm guitar, 1979, 1985-86, 2002), Bruce Bruce [Bruce Dickinson] (vocals, 1980-81), Mel Gaynor (drums, 1981), Nicky Moore (vocals, 1981-86, 2000-02), Pete Jupp (drums, 1982-85, 2001), Merv Goldsworthy (bass, 1985), Dave Colwell (rhythm guitar, 1985), Chris Shirley (drums, 1985-87), Edgar Patrik (drums, 1985-86), Jo Julian (synthesizer, 1985), Kevin Riddles (bass, 1986), Sam Blue (vocals, 1986), Mark Brabbs (drums, 1986)


  • Survivors (1979)
  • Head On (1980)
  • Shock Tactics (1981)
  • Before the Storm (1982)
  • Don’t Get Mad Get Even (1984)
  • Thank You and Goodnight (live, 1985)
  • Joint Forces (1986)

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