This book is the second in our CD sized series on ‘landmark’ rock albums and documents Judas Priest’s seminal 1980 release British Steel, a pivotal album within the band’s roster.
Judas Priest’s sixth studio album has rightly earned its place as one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. It comfortably – perhaps too comfortably for some fans’ tastes – sits between Priest’s harder-edged heavy metal of the seventies with their far more commercial albums of the eighties. Sure, it is a world away from the likes of Killing Machine and it’s not as pop-orientated as, say Defenders Of The Faith and certainly not Turbo, but it set the benchmark for the kind of metal that was to become popular in the decade of its birth.
From the furious opening track ‘Rapid Fire’ (had the twin-guitar attack of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton sounded better?) to the blistering closing song ‘Steeler’, British Steel is a monster of an album; adrenalin fuelled and endlessly listenable. While not every track is the perfect Priest song, it is a hugely infectious piece of work that represents the Mighty Priest in near perfect style. But despite its impact it is not their best album yet it is undoubtedly their most popular.
Not only has British Steel gone on to become a cherished item amongst ardent metal supporters but it inspired a whole generation of metal bands, notably, the American thrash metal bands of the eighties such as Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer and later, Annihilator and Pantera. Even the name ‘British Steel’ conjures up the working class sounds of classic British heavy metal.
British Steel is quite simply, genre-defining. This fans hand-book, will tell you why.
Foreword by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.
68 pages, 17 monochrome images.