Judas Priest : British Steel-80’s-1980.

Judas Priest:Heavy Metal from United KIngdom.

Members:

Ian HillBass (1970-present)
See also: ex-Freight
Rob HalfordVocals (1973-1992, 2003-present)
See also: Halford, ex-Fight, ex-Hear ‘n Aid, ex-Black Sabbath (live), ex-2wo, ex-Abraxas, ex-Athens Wood, ex-Bullring Brummies, ex-Hiroshima, ex-Lord Lucifer, ex-Thark
Glenn TiptonGuitars (1974-present)
See also: ex-Glenn Tipton, ex-Merlin, ex-Shave ‘Em Dry, ex-The Flying Hat Band, ex-Tipton, Entwistle and Powell
Scott TravisDrums (1989-present)
See also: Thin LizzyRacer X, ex-Fight, ex-Hawk, ex-Animetal USA, ex-The Scream
Richie FaulknerGuitars (2011-present)
See also: ex-Deeds, ex-Christopher Lee, ex-Lauren Harris, ex-Voodoo Six

Past Members:

John EllisDrums (1970-1971)
See also: ex-Freight
K. K. DowningGuitars (1970-2011)
See also: KK’s Priest, ex-Freight, ex-MegaPriest, ex-Stagecoach
Al AtkinsVocals (1970-1973)
See also: Al AtkinsAtkins / May ProjectLyraka, ex-Holy Rage, ex-Blue Condition, ex-Freight, ex-Halfbreed, ex-Judas Priest, ex-Lion, ex-Sugar Stack, ex-The Bitta Sweet, ex-The Reaction
Alan “Skip” MooreDrums (1971-1972, 1975-1977)
See also: ex-R.P.M., ex-Sundance
Chris “Congo” CampbellDrums (1972-1973)
See also: ex-Machine, ex-Thunderbay Inn
John HinchDrums (1973-1975)
(R.I.P. 2021) See also: ex-Hiroshima, ex-The Bakerloo Blues Line, ex-The Generation, ex-The Pinch
Les BinksDrums (1977-1979)
See also: Les Binks’ Priesthood, ex-KK’s Priest, ex-Tytan, ex-Fancy, ex-MegaPriest, ex-The Shortlist
Dave HollandDrums (1979-1989)
(R.I.P. 2018) See also: ex-Al Atkins, ex-Finders Keepers, ex-Trapeze
Tim “Ripper” OwensVocals (1996-2003)
See also: Beyond FearCharred Walls of the DamnedKK’s PriestLeviathan ProjectThe Three TremorsTim Ripper Owens, ex-Brainicide, A New Revenge, Dio Disciples, TRED, ex-Hollentor, ex-Iced Earth, ex-Killing Machine, ex-Spirits of Fire, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Carthagods (live), ex-Twist of Fate, ex-Winters Bane, ex-Arena, ex-British Steel, ex-Hail!, ex-MegaPriest, ex-Seattle, ex-Soulbender, ex-Trinity, ex-American Dog (live)
Side A
1.Rapid Fire04:06  Show lyrics
2.Metal Gods04:01  Show lyrics
3.Breaking the Law02:35  Show lyrics
4.Grinder03:57  Show lyrics
5.United03:34  Show lyrics
Side B
6.You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise05:04  Show lyrics
7.Living After Midnight03:31  Show lyrics
8.The Rage04:45  Show lyrics
9.Steeler04:29  Show lyrics
 36:02 

British Steel is the sixth studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 14 April 1980 by Columbia Records. It was the band’s first album to feature Dave Holland on drums.

British Steel saw the band reprise the commercial sound they had established on Killing Machine. This time, they abandoned some of the dark lyrical themes which had been prominent on their previous releases, but some of it still remains. In a June 2017 appearance on Sirius radio podcast “Rolling Stone Music Now,”[3] Rob Halford said the band may have been inspired by AC/DC on some tracks after supporting them on a European tour in 1979.[4] British Steel was recorded in December 1979 at Tittenhurst Park, home of former Beatle Ringo Starr, after a false start at Startling Studios, also located on the grounds of Tittenhurst Park, due to the band preferring Starr’s house to the recording studio itself. Digital sampling was not yet widely available at the time of recording, so the band used analog recording of smashing milk bottles to be included in “Breaking the Law“, as well as various sounds in “Metal Gods” produced by billiard cues and trays of cutlery.[1] It is the first Judas Priest album to feature drummer Dave Holland, and it was released in the UK at a discount price of £3.99, with the advertisements in the music press bearing the legend “British Steal”. The songs “Breaking the Law”, “United“, and “Living After Midnight” were released as singles.[1]

The album was remastered in 2001 with two bonus tracks added. Bonus studio track “Red, White, and Blue” was written in the sessions for the Twin Turbos album (which would become Turbo) and recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau in July 1985.[1] The second bonus track, a live performance of “Grinder“, was recorded on 5 May 1984, in Los Angeles during the Defenders of the Faith tour.

In 2009, Judas Priest kicked off their 30th anniversary tour in the US by playing British Steel live in its entirety for the first time. The only other Judas Priest albums of which all the songs have been performed live are Defenders of the Faith and Rocka Rolla, but neither of them were played in the original LP running order or during the same tour (though the original US debut LP had a different running order than the UK version).

The 30th anniversary release of the album came with a DVD and CD of a live show recorded on 17 August 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida as part of the British Steel 30th Anniversary tour.[5] The live versions of all the British Steel tracks from this release were also made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band video game series beginning 11 May 2010.[6]

Judas Priest

Production

One thought on “Judas Priest : British Steel-80’s-1980.

  1. Forever Underground, May 7th, 2022

    The image we have of this album today, 42 years after the release when I am writing these words, is difficult to explain. On one side, since it was the definitive commercial success of Judas Priest, it is considered an essential album for conversations about the band or heavy metal in general, since it became a standard of the NWOBHM, and therefore it is an album that everyone who is minimally involved in this music has listened to, but at the same time, due to its success, historical acclaim and classic status, it has made it more vulnerable to criticism. There have been many comments around British Steel questioning its quality, comparing it to the rest of the band’s discography, and even questioning its authenticity, denigrating the album for containing deliberately radio friendly songs with excessive hard rock elements.

    Tracks like “United” “Living After Midnight” or “Breaking the Law” are usually songs criticized by the most hardcore fans of the scene due to their highly commercial tone, I will not lie I also used to think the same about these songs, but over time I have been appreciating more these tunes, “United” being the weakest of them all with an extremely mellow chorus surprises me with the effectiveness of it and with the sound of their sharp guitars at the beginning of the song, musically there is something there but it is not exploited. “Living After Midnight” is another easy one to hate, it’ s predictable and extremely repetitive with a chorus designed to be cheap and mainstream, none of that can be denied, but it’s true that it fulfills the only function it’s supposed to have, being damn catchy, plus the lyrics seem to be a reflection of Halford’s double life when he was hiding his homosexuality so to think that this song has been sang by homophobic people makes me happy and makes me give it an extra point. And with “Breaking the Law” I don’t even need to defend it, it’s a great song and the reason why it works so well is because of its simplicity and its short duration, that’s where its strength lies, its success is the result of its own quality and honestly I don’t find any fault with it.

    This album has also been commented a lot mainly on its side A in opposition to the criticisms of the commercialization of the sound, “Rapid Fire” and “Grinder” are the heaviest standards of the album and are undoubtedly classics in JP’s discography. “Rapid Fire” surprises for having a structure that is not recurrent in the rest of the album, it bases its potential in a section where they intercalate crazy dualistic solos between passages sung by Halford, the rhythm is accelerated, close to speed metal, and in just four minutes it works as an opener where drums, guitars and vocalist have their space to shine. “Grinder” and, the sometimes undeservedly hated, “Metal Gods”, go for this more classic structure, not so much for its speed but for its heaviness that many times is increased thanks to the use of the almost industrial percussion, fitting in with one of the main topics of the album.

    However, as the years go by and I listen to the album more and more, the A-side gets progressively more boring (with the exception of “Rapid Fire”) and I feel that all my attention goes to the B-side, a totally underrated side in an album that has a reputation of being overrated. On that side, excluding “Living After Midnight” we have some of the under appreciated gems from the british band, each one deserving a special mention for one factor or another. “The Rage” contains an interesting experimental side with that reggae-like sound that intrudes at times, but far from being the only memorable part of the song, “The Rage” comes across as a heavy and calm track that has a skin-raising second half when Halford’s piercing scream accompanies an instrumental that gives him room to shine but still claims his importance at every second with a laconic solo at the end marked by the powerful riff that accompanies the whole song. With “You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise” we have simply Halford’s best performance on the whole album, the track is far from the heaviness or speed of others on the same album, but simply for the chorus part the song is worth its weight in gold even with its exaggerated hard rocker tone.

    Thinking about how to close this write up I realise that I have always had problems to finish my reviews, maybe it’s my problem but I think that giving a correct ending to something helps a lot to the final impression that we will take from it, at least at the first time, many bands usually close their records with the longest song of the album just for having that impression of a big finale, something epic, apotheosic. But here Judas Priest don’t need more than four and a half minutes to give us what is, in my opinion, the best album ending of all time. “Steeler” begins like any other song, although with the subtle detail that the drums enter with the same pattern with which it ends, it has its guitar solo, its rhythmic cut to add diversity and movement and so on. But with barely two minutes left, a spectacular and unexpected build up begins to emerge, suddenly the electric and sidereal sound of the guitars begins to flood the ears while the growing riff and the drums raise more and more the intensity transmitting in a very short time an absolutely perfect exercise of tempo control. Every time I listen to this track I can’t ask myself why the hell aren’t more people talking about this track and why JP doesn’t close every single concert with this fucking masterpiece that closes an outstanding album.

    Like

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