Album #465 – British Steel

Album #465

Judas Priest did not receive huge success until the early 80’s. British Steel is their sixth album and their second to have a more commercial sound. Around the release of Killing Machine, the sound and look changed. Members, including lead singer Rob Halford, started wearing leather  and studs, changing the style of metal for years to come. But, they also influenced Metal bands with their sound as well. Halford’s operatic vocals, influenced by many before him, were the catalyst for a change in the sound of heavy metal. Where would Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson be without Halford and Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan? The more commercial sound, with double guitars, gave the band success on the charts with their two biggest UK hits, Living After Midnight and Breaking The Law, both of which went to #12. British Steel also marks the first time all the album’s tracks were written by the group. Even where this album was recorded is historic: John Lennon and Ringo Starr’s former home in Ascot, England (Tittenhurst Park). I loved British Steel. It was a great sounding album and it made me appreciate Judas Priest’s role in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that happened in the early 80’s. I am now more of a fan and overlooked their influence before. British Steel is definitely being added to my collection. The sound is great-sounding heavy metal, not what it is stereotyped as. Metal today is somewhat different than it was during this time but, the rise in metal acts from the UK led to metal becoming the dominant form of hard rock in the 80’s. And sadly, the genre would spawn hair metal and grow out of control. Luckily, those days are gone, and we are left with metal bands, filled with true musicians like Priest, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Metallica et al. The new metal bands are more musical, than fashionable. Judas Priest are still touring and continue to make music. Excess has never gotten in the way. The energy this band brings is great and every song, just like Motorhead’s Ace of Spades, is as good as the one before it. Something hard rock and metal bands seem to do right. Other Highlights include: Rapid Fire, Metal Gods, Grinder, United, You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise and The Rage. Overall, I give British Steel, 5 out of 5.

Next: Group Sex by Circle Jerks

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