Friday, May 6, 2016

Throwback Thursday: British Steel, by Judas Priest

In 1980, metal legends Judas Priest put out the album British Steel, which would launch them into super-stardom and cement them as an institution of the world of mainstream metal. After years of hard work and building up fame and reputation among the more dedicated metal fans during the 70's, the band refurbished their sound to a more radio friendly vibe and then finally broke into the sight of the general public and put out a record packed with classics from start to finish.

British Steel as mentioned earlier is when Judas Priest worked more on making their hard hitting, unrelenting metal sound a bit more digestible by the masses. While the tunes on here are still by all means Judas Priest, they are a bit easier to follow. Songs like Breakin' the Law, Livin' After Midnight, United, etc. were exactly the kinds of hit singles they needed in order for them to attain the kind of commercial success they needed if they were going to keep going into the 80's.

United is probably one of my favorite Judas Priest tracks of all time. It might not have any wicked guitar solos, but what it lacks in technical prowess it makes up for in raw power and inspiration. It's such an anthemic tune, just like the title might suggest. It's all about banding together as brothers/sisters and not letting anything that may come our way get us down or make us give in. It packs a punch and makes you want to march and bang your head. That big chorus at the end really makes you feel like you're a part of something big and grand.

Breakin' the Law of course is a Judas Priest classic and a metal standard. I don't think I've ever seen a metal bar band that DIDN'T play this song at some point during their set. Honestly though, I think it's for good reason. Its riff is iconic. It makes you want to put your pedal to the metal and sing along with every last word as though you were more bad ass than you really are. Of course everyone can sing along with the chorus pretty easily because there is absolutely no melody to it whatsoever. However, that is by NO means a bad thing. Naturally Rob Halford makes up for it with his gritty punchy vocals.

Honestly, British Steel does deserve all the hype it gets. It's by no means my favorite Judas Priest album, but it's a classic for a reason. It has a lot of memorable fun songs that everyone expects to hear at their concerts, and is a great way to satisfy your metal soul if you need something to give you that extra bit of punch to get you through your day. Plus, if you're new to metal it's a great way to get your feet wet. You can never go wrong by popping this album into your player.

British Steel, by Judas Priest receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Rapid Fire
2. Metal Gods
3. Breaking the Law
4. Grinder
5. United
6. You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise
7. Living After Midnight
8. The Rage
9. Steeler

Buy the album on Amazon:

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