747 (Strangers In The Night)

Album: Wheels Of Steel (1980)
Charted: 13
  • Released the year after the classic UFO album Strangers In The Night, this uptempo Saxon track is one of their most recognizable and certainly one of their best. In his memoir Never Surrender..., frontman Biff Byford said he was once asked by DJ Tommy Vance what was his fascination with songs about night. He couldn't answer. He is more positive about this song which he said is about two things: people, strangers, meeting in airports and generally people having romances, affairs, one-night stands and going off again, like ships in the night. And about a power cut in New York - he saw a documentary about that.

    The plane alluded to was actually Scandinavian Airlines 911, not 101. And it was not a jumbo jet because this plane did not enter service until 1969, four years after the event concerned.
  • Although Biff does not go into detail in his book, the documentary he saw was The Trigger Effect in the Connections series presented by James Burke. It was first broadcast October 17, 1978, and covered inter alia what had become known as the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965.

    The power outage can be traced precisely: November 9, 1965, 16 minutes 11 seconds past 5 in the evening. It happened at Niagara, but because of the interdependence of the system it turned out the lights over a significant area of Canada and North America. Scandinavian Airlines 911 was headed for the blacked out John F. Kennedy Airport with its crew and 89 passengers, but thankfully managed to land safely.
  • "747..." is a group composition, and runs to 4 minutes 58 seconds; it is the third track on the Wheels Of Steel album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Brenda RussellSongwriter Interviews

Brenda talks about the inspiration that drove her to write hit songs like "Get Here" and "Piano in the Dark," and why a lack of formal music training can be a songwriter's best asset.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.

Subversive Songs Used To SellSong Writing

Songs about drugs, revolution and greed that have been used in commercials for sneakers, jeans, fast food, cruises and cars.