Paul Samson's Samson operation started in 1978 and proved to be one of the earliest successes of the NWOBHM movement, and one of its most influential. Under the original membership of Bruce Bruce (Real Name: Paul Bruce Dickinson; vocals), Paul Samson (guitar/vocals), Thunderstruck (Real Name: Barry Graham; drums; replacement for first member Clive Burr) and Chris Aylmer (bass), they rode the wave of NWOBHM from its very beginnings.
After loosing Burr to Iron Maiden, a band they supported in the early days and increasingly were to play in their shadow, Samson launched their debut 1979 set Survivors. As the NWOBHM movement raged on Samson found themselves with a major label deal on M.C.A.' for their follow-up Head On (1980), an album that showed them gaining a following and making a 34 in the U.K. Shock Tactics (1981) would forever be tarnished by the departure of Bruce Bruce who now assumed his name proper, Bruce Dickinson, and was the second to leave to Iron Maiden, a group to which he garnered massive fame and fortune leaving Samson to make do with steerage. To add insult to injury that album failed the previous' success.
Nicky Moore's gritty vocals would step in for the next album Before The Storm (1982). Mel Gaynor was the temporary sit-in on drums before he quite rightly went on to success in Simple Minds, being permanently replaced by Pete Jup. But times were tough for Samson for by this time the NWOBHM had pretty much run its course and their blues laden Don't Get Mad Get Even (1984) came and went with them disbanding the next year after one more attempted line up with Dave Colwell (guitar), and Merv Goldworthy to replace Aylmer on bass; the aptly titled Thank You And Good Night live effort being released posthumously.
In May of 1986 Paul Samson formed a new act as Paul Samson's Empire with Nicky Moore (vocals), John McCoy (bass) and Edgar Patrick (drums) to release the one-off Joint Forces (1986) but he took a completely different group of NWOBHM musicians on tour with him in the form of Dave Colwell (ex-Samson; guitar/vocals), Mark Brabbs (ex-Tank/ex-Dumpy's Rusty Nuts; drums), Sam Blue (vocals) and Kevin Riddles (ex-Titan/ex-Angel Witch; bass/synth.).
Samson reformed in 1988, however, to ride the NWOBHM Rediscovery movement that had a failed start at the turn of the decade with the membership of Paul Samson with Mick White (vocals), Toby Sadler (keyboards), Dave Boyce (bass) and Charlie Mack Golie (drums). After their new debut EP And There It Is (1988), Peter Scanlon replaced White, and they were off with their Refugee album in 1990, followed by 1993 (1993) with both albums boasting competent if not predictable material. Their self-titled 1993 studio effort,featuring Tony Tuohy on drums, would prove to be the final of their career for Samson was thought extinct. Silent maybe but not gone officially until the death of Paul Samson on August 9th, 2002 after a long battle with cancer; predictably (and probably rightfully) it caused the final closure for the act.