British Steel

CD (Sony)

Available from 13/05/2010

10.00 €

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Judas Priest is one of the true classic heavy metal bands and they are known worldwide for their spectacular stage shows. It was British Steel that took Judas Priest to the masses with huge anthems like “Breaking The Law” and “Living After Midnight”. 
In 2009 Judas Priest performed British Steel in its entirety for the first time ever as part of their 30th Anniversary US tour. This ultimate live experience was captured in front of a vibrant American audience on the 17th August at The Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood and in full 5:1 surround and stereo sound, courtesy of original British Steel producer, Tom Allom. This show is included on DVD in both formats and also features other live tracks from their impressive catalogue. 
The Standard format includes the original album plus the live DVD and exclusive 30 minute ‘Making of British Steel’ interview.

With most of their rough edges shorn away (along with Rob Halford’s locks), Judas Priest donned their now trademark leather gear and studs to embark on world-wide campaign to conquer the world. Unleashed In The East was a live souvenir that primed an expectant market when it reached the UK’s top ten. Tom Allom, who had produced the live album, and who had cut his teeth engineering Black Sabbath’s first three records, was brought back to help Priest take things to the next level.
Written and recorded in just a few weeks, together they came up a flat-out commercial album that nipped, tucked and tweaked the formula in order to make it palatable for the expanding audience. The degree to which the album took off probably came as a shock to everyone concerned. “Breakin’ The Law” and “Living After Midnight” epitomised the new breed of radio friendly metal, breaking the band at home and significantly in the American market; their cross-over status confirmed after the former was adopted by MTV’s Beavis and Butthead and the latter achieved the ultimate global accolade of becoming a punch line for a character from The Simpsons.
Though “Steeler”, an effective torrent of sharp-edge rock, is an undoubted highpoint, and “Grinder” and “Metal Gods” maintain the de rigueur horror / sci-fi elements expected of the genre, there’s a sense that the writing has become more broad-brush than ever before. Evidence for this can be found on the lowest common denominator approach on the “us against the world” camaraderie of “United.”
This designed-for-the-terraces singalong is Priest’s attempt at Queen’s “We Are The Champions” but without the Mercurial wit. Worse still, the remastered version of the album contains the risible flag-waving, “Red, White & Blue” that flaps uncomfortably between a knowing, tongue-in-cheek pastiche and inadvertent self-parody. Though the album is hailed as a classic, and established the band as a dominant force, it’s also where some of their original mettle was blunted and diluted. --Sid Smith

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