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Album of the Week #251 - Judas Priest - British Steel

Time for another Album of the Week post and since were in a “Best album an artist ever released” theme this month, I've discovered a big gap in the AOTW history…

Jon and RJ threw out some ideas, like Jefferson Starships “Earth”, and via RJ’s Hidden Treasure post, I got the notion of posting Bryan Adams “Cuts Like a Knife”. Both most worthy of the spotlight and both certainly reflect those artists best efforts. But a quick cross-reference of what Jon’s been listening to knocked them both off of the short list…

So, back to fixing this gap… My absolute favorite Judas Priest has to be “British Steel”, but only by a hair... I was introduced to the band by the hearing of “Hell Bent for Leather”, which I later learned was titled “Killing Machine” in other countries. I am also a big fan of Point of Entry, which I think is criminally underrated and unfairly criticized. It’s a stellar album! And I know there’s a big Screaming for Vengeance contingent which will make a great case for JP’s best as well. Stop and think about these 4 albums, all released back to back to back to back. A band at its absolute peak, and topping the last release over and over. How many bands do this? So, it was definitely hard for me to choose British Steel over Hell Bent for Leather and Point of Entry, they are all so good! But ultimately I had to appeal to what I have played more of, I simply know British Steel top to bottom, and note for note more vividly than the others. So that’s how we got here to this week post.

Click the album cover and Enjoy…

Artist: Judas Priest
Genre: Hard Rock (technically its NWOBHM, just ask Jon)
Nationality: British
Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Member: hahahahahahahahaha…
Album: British Steel
Producer: Tom Allom
Release Date: 1980
Running Time: 36:10
RIAA Certification: Platinum
Peak Billboard Chart Position: 4 (UK), 34 (US)
Singles: Breaking The Law, Living After Midnight, United

Side One…
1. "Rapid Fire" (Track 2 on original US releases) 4:08
2. "Metal Gods" (Track 3 on original US releases) 4:00
3. "Breaking the Law" (Track 1 on original US releases) 2:35
4. "Grinder" 3:58
5. "United" 3:35

Side Two…
6. "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise" (Track 7 on original US releases) 5:04
7. "Living After Midnight" (Track 6 on original US releases) 3:31
8. "The Rage" 4:44
9. "Steeler" 4:30

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This is also my favorite JP-album. 

I consider this my very first Heavy Metal-album. I bought it in May 1980 (I think it was released in March). I became aware of it's excistense, when I for the first time heard both Iron Maiden and Judas Priest on Radio Luxembourg a few days before I tracked down the album in a nearby city. It was THE sound, I had been looking for, for a while.

IMO the two weakest tracks on the album are "Living after Midnight" and "United", and the "third-weakest" is "Breaking The Law", even though that tune was awesome back in 1980.

Yeah, that order is a total mess. I have the original UK release, but I think, the order was the same as the US version.

Enjoyed this, will comment more tonight.

What do I know about Judas Priest?  Not much.  But I did get the complete albums box set for twelve bucks.  In case I've never mentioned that before.  

I've been listening to a new podcast, and the host uses a pretty simple scoring system to rate an album, so I'm borrowing it for a while to see how it works for me.  If I really like the song, it gets +1.  For an okay song, +0.5.  And for a song I don't like, zero.  Then I average it out for a final score.

1. Rapid Fire - Great musical opening, love the drums. +1

2. Metal Gods - Guitar solo saves this one, otherwise it's not that good. +0.5

3. Breaking The Law - Good opening riff, it's famous so it has to be good. +1

4. Grinder - "Grinder, looking for meat".  That's a great lyric. +1

5. United - Cheesy. Zero

6. You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise - This one's pretty cool +1

7. Living After Midnight - Probably the best known JP song. Love the drum intro and Halford sounds great. +1

8. The Rage - I love the intro here.  The guitars and bass really work great together.  This has a great riff too. +1

9. Steeler - I can't give this more than a "fair" rating. +0.5

So the total score for this album is 78%.  I'd say anything over 75% is good.  

Nice pick this week Scott.

I would go....










for an average of 


but thats just me 

Because this is the first time I have ever heard this album, I will review each track. Not something I do, but this seems like a good time to start and then never do it again. 

1. Sounds like Judas Priest

2. Sounds Like Judas Priest

3. Sounds like Judas Priest

4. Sounds like Simon & Garfunkel

5. Sounds like Judas Priest

6. Sounds like Judas Priest

7. Sounds like Judas Priest

8. Sounds like Judas Priest

9. Sounds like Judas Priest

So, what I discovered was that this sounds like a Judas Priest album, at least for the most part. How can that be?

To be serious, if I have a jonesing for JP, this is the album I grab. It never, ever gets old. Good thing you didn't post the bloody cover, that would have scared the youngsters. I also like "Point Of Entry", noticed you didn't pick that for this week's post, probably because I had recently given it a spin. Wise choice.

Yep, this is better than "Screaming For Vengeance". This is the one.

Nice post, I guess. 

I got a Loggins and Messina vibe out of Grinder.  Your way off on that one!!!  The rest?  OK, I maybe sorta kinda agree

This album is a classic!  Metal Gods, Living, Breaking the Law.  The Rage is so underrated!  One of the best.



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