Reviewed: December 2001
Released: 2001, Isis Productions / Eagle Rock Entertainment
One of many in the VH1 \’Classic Album\’ series that spotlight the making of a specific album.
If you have any knowledge of the history of heavy metal, and of one if it’s premiere bands, Judas Priest, you also know that BRITISH STEEL is a monumental album. It may not be your favorite album by the band, but it’s place as a classic album in the annals of heavy metal is unarguable.
If you’ve seen any of these “Classic Albums” specials being made, you know that they are high quality. This is actually about the MUSIC and not the sensationalist topics covered in some of the other documentaries. What you’ll see on this DVD is K.K. and Glen Tipton with the producer of BRITISH STEEL sitting at the mixing board talking about recording, mixing, and the unique studio “tricks” they were a product of the era from which this album comes. For example, I bet many didn’t know that the marching sound at the end of “Metal Gods” was made from the sounds of shaking cutlery? Glen and K.K. also strap on their guitars and show how some of the songs riffs and licks fit together. I could have watched that alone for the full duration but the little they do show is damn cool. The interviews with the guys and their history didn’t reveal anything new to me but it’s always a laugh to see “ancient” footage of Priest from back even before BRITISH STEEL when they looked more like hippies then the “metal gods.” Seeing Rob Halford with long hair, when he’s known for the “Mr. Clean” look, is funny in itself!! The sections of the DVD where Rob Halford is interviewed are done in a separate location. Even though their relationship is on the mend, I guess it’s not solid enough to have them all in the studio talking about the past at the same time (YET). Bassist Ian Hill is interviewed briefly, but sadly there is no interview or hardly a mention of the drummer of BRITISH STEEL – Dave Holland. Near the end of the DVD they give a blurb on what they are doing now and how Ripper Owens is now the lead vocalist in Priest. They also interview drummer Scott Travis and he tells how he was the one who first heard of Ripper who was at that time in a Priest tribute band. The Judas Priest story itself should be made into an in depth and lengthy documentary because there is a lot of history to cover.
If you’re a Priest fan then this DVD belongs in your collection…and let’s face it, you’re not much of a heavy metal fan if you don’t at least like something by or respect Judas Priest!!!
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