Judas Priest – British Steel

      Steve Huey – Predating Metallica’s self-titled blockbuster by 11 years, Judas Priest’s British Steel was a similarly pitched landmark boasting many of the same accomplishments. It streamlined and simplified the progressive intricacies of a band fresh off of revolutionizing the entire heavy metal genre; it brought an aggressive, underground metal subgenre crashing into the mainstream (in Priest’s case, the NWOBHM; in Metallica’s, thrash); and it greatly expanded the possibilities for heavy metal’s commercial viability as a whole. Of course, British Steel was nowhere near the sales juggernaut that Metallica was, but in catapulting Judas Priest to the status of stadium headliners, it was the first salvo fired in heavy metal’s ultimate takeover of the hard rock landscape during the 1980s. Packed with strong melodic hooks, British Steel is a deliberate commercial move, forsaking the complexity of the band’s early work in favor of a robust, AC/DC-flavored groove. It’s a convincing transformation, as Priest prove equally adept at opening up their arrangements to let the rhythms breathe (something Iron Maiden, for all their virtues, never did master). …. on the whole, British Steel is too important an album to have its historical stature diluted by minor inconsistencies. Rather, it sealed Judas Priest’s status as genre icons, and kick-started heavy metal’s glory days of the 1980s. It went Top Five in the U.K. and became their first Top 40 album in the U.S., going platinum in the process and paving the way for countless imitators and innovators alike.

 

Judas Priest – British Steel Tracklist

01 Rapid Fire 0:00
02 Metal Gods 4:07
03 Breaking the Law 8:09
04 Grinder 10:45
05 United 14:44
06 You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise 18:19
07 Living After Midnight 21:51
08 The Rage 26:56
09 Steeler 31:40

Judas Priest - British Steel

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