Remastered re-release of the sixth full-length album by the legendary British Heavy Metal band.
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. The album is built around the classic singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight", both big hits in the U.K., which openly posit Priest as a party band for the first time. But "British Steel" is hardly a complete break from the band's past. There are still uptempo slices of Metallic mayhem bookending the album in "Rapid Fire" and "Steeler", plus effective moodier pieces in "Metal Gods" and the crawling menace of "The Rage", which features arguably the best Rob Halford vocal on the album. Not everything on "British Steel" quite holds up today - the British hit "United" is a simplistic (not just simplified) football-chant anthem in the unfortunate tradition of "Take on the World", while "You Don't Have to Be OId to Be Wise" wallows in the sort of "eff your parents, man!" sentiments that are currently used to market kids' breakfast cereals. These bits of blatant pandering can leave more than a whiff of unease about the band's commercial calculations, and foreshadow the temporary creative slip on the follow-up, "Point of Entry". Still, 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.
The album was remastered in 2001, with two bonus tracks added. In 2009 Judas Priest kicked off their 30th anniversary tour in the US by playing the entire album live for the first time.
“Louder than Life that “British Steel” was probably the album that really defined Heavy Metal, because, according to him, it did away with the "last shards of blues" that had otherwise been characteristic of the genre. Even the title... how does it get more Metal than that?" - Scott Ian, Anthrax.
Columbia/Sony Music (UK), 1980/2001 (502131 2). Made in Austria.
1.Rapid Fire 04:08
2.Metal Gods 04:01
3.Breaking The Law 02:36
6.You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise 05:04
7.Living After Midnight 03:31
8.The Rage 04:44
10.Red, White & Blue 03:43
11.Grinder (Live) 04:49
Total playing time: 44:40