Sometimes great cover art just isn't enough. That's partly what befell the great British heavy metal band Savage. When their vicious debut album, Loose 'n' Lethal, was finally released in 1983, its artwork featured a warrior astride an armored vehicle, smiting an opponent with his whirling morning star. In classic heavy metal fantasy art style, the image was ahistorical, recalling a medieval battlefield while suggesting a mechanized future war. Similarly, Savage's music was stuck between two worlds. Named after a Judas Priest song, the band channeled their heroes' eviscerating power. But despite rave reviews upon its release, Loose 'n' Lethal would be Savage's high-water mark. Record company woes destroyed any momentum they had, and after just one more full-length, they disbanded. Contemporaries like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard went on to fruitful careers. However, the Sanctuary Records Group has come to the rescue with this spectacular Savage retrospective. Featuring every hard-hitting moment from their first two albums and including some decent material from a latter-day reunion, This Ain't No Fit Place: The Best of Savage is a must-have for any fan of early-to-mid-era British heavy metal. It was an odd choice to sequence this release's tracks in opposite chronological order, as '90s material like "Control Freak and "Choke" -- while decent songs -- don't live up to the truly savage early material of the band. Once the hair-flying thrash of "Let It Loose" and dirty groove of "Berlin" hit your stereo, you'll want to turn it up and tear off the knob all over again. This reissue even includes a reprint of the Loose 'n' Lethal artwork on its backside. Of special note are two demos tacked on to the end of this release. "No Cause to Kill" and "The Devil Take You" both date from 1980, a full three years before Savage was able to claw its way out of the pubs and onto wax.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus