JUDAS PRIEST — British Steel (review)

JUDAS PRIEST — British Steel album cover Album · 1980 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
666sharon666
Released in 1980 British Steel marks the start of Judas Priest's 1980's work and is their sixth album. The 1980's represent the most stable time in Judas Priest's history in terms of line-up. With the introduction of Dave Holland on drums the band would keep the same line-up up to and including the 1988 album Ram it Down, putting out six full-lengths during the decade. The trouble is that I find the 80's to also be quite an inconsistent time for Judas Priest although I guess that's true of every decade they've been active and it's certainly better than the 2000's. The 80's do however have two of my least favourite Judas Priest albums, however those are stories for forthcoming reviews.

There was a time when I would have counted British Steel amongst the very best albums of Judas Priest but my regard for the album has declined over time and I now consider it to be a step down from Killing Machine, the last 70's album. Given that Stained Class before that was also even better this period in Judas Priest history represents a declining quality for me. This one is still a pretty great album overall though. Breaking the Law is of course one of their most well known songs and that one is indeed top quality work, but the other hit which is Living After Midnight I'm quite indifferent to these days. Rapid Fire is a great song though.

To be honest, at least for me I think Judas Priest's 80's work was mostly eclipsed by the growing New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, particularly by Iron Maiden, whose debut shares release date with British Steel. Of course the NWoBHM might have turned out very different without bands like Judas Priest preceding it, so that's why I'd recommend newcomers to Judas Priest to start with the 70's work (plus 1990's Painkiller) before exploring this era. British Steel may be one of their most famous records and is a solid Judas Priest album overall, but a classic? I think not.

Attribution: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/judas-priest-british-steel-t3805.html
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adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Well you've got to also remember that Glenn's supposed to have said at some point:

"You must remember that two albums went missing between 1990 and "Jugulator". To us, it's not the huge leap some people see it as"

666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It's not just the absence of Rob, the whole sound has the much more modern groove metal thing going on. It's not as if Priest don't have other albums that are oddities, I'm making a point in my review series here in pointing them out even, but Jugulator always seemed the biggest jump to me. Maybe it's because of the large gap between it and Painkiller (which in itself is quite different to their other albums).
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I agree, even though Jugulator didn't have Rob Halford it was still a good album.
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I like Jugulator on its own merits. Definitely not the worst album to bear the Judas Priest name. Demolition on the other hand...
666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
The 70's were definitely their most consistent era. My favoruite is actually Pankiller but it's a bit hard to say 90's Priest is the best overall when they only released the two albums, one of them being Jugulator. Which I actually do enjoy but it really doesn't strike me as being the work of Judas Priest if you know what I mean.
more than 2 years ago
70s Priest is the best Priest. I do enjoy this album a lot though
more than 2 years ago
I love this album, and 70s Priest. I think almost no Priest is outright bad, and most is pretty great. I think there's a place for all their different styles and albums.
666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
That's the one song I don't like so much from Killing Machine.

It takes all kinds I guess.

Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
'Killing Machine' is still a great album, I love 'Take on the World', I just like British Steel a little bit more.
666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I count Killing Machine as one of their underrated ones along with Ram it Down.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I don't think this album is their best, but I actually enjoy it more then I do Killing Machine. 'Steeler' is one of my favorites.

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