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British Steel – Judas Priest

British Steel © Judas Priest, Columbia Records [Fair Use]
British Steel © Judas Priest, Columbia Records [Fair Use]

British Steel is the sixth studio album by Judas Priest, released on April 14, 1980. Rob Halford has said the band may have been inspired by AC/DC on some tracks after supporting them on a European tour in 1979.

British Steel was recorded at Tittenhurst Park, home of former Beatle Ringo Starr, a recording studio located on Tittenhurst’s grounds, after a false start at Startling Studios in December 1979. Digital sampling was not yet widely available at the time of recording, so the band used analog recording of smashing milk bottles to be included in “Breaking the Law,” as well as various sounds in “Metal Gods” produced by billiard cues and trays of cutlery.

It is the first Judas Priest album to feature drummer Dave Holland, and it was released in the U.K. at a discount price of £3.99, with the advertisements in the music press bearing the legend, “British Steal.”

The album was remastered in 2001 with two bonus tracks added. Bonus studio track “Red, White, and Blue” was written in the sessions for the Twin Turbos album (which would become Turbo) and recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau in July 1985. The second bonus track, a live performance of “Grinder,” was recorded on May 5, 1984, in Los Angeles during the Defenders of the Faith tour.

In 2009, Judas Priest kicked off their 30th anniversary tour in the U.S. by playing British Steel live in its entirety for the first time. The only other Judas Priest albums of which all the songs have been performed live are Defenders of the Faith and Rocka Rolla, but neither of them were played in the original LP running order or during the same tour.

The 30th anniversary release of the album came with a DVD and CD of a live show recorded on August 17, 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida as part of the British Steel 30th Anniversary tour. The live versions of all the British Steel tracks from this release were also made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band video game series beginning May 11, 2010.

Track listing

1. “Rapid Fire”
2. “Metal Gods”
3. “Breaking the Law”
4. “Grinder”
5. “United”
6. “You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise”
7. “Living After Midnight”
8. “The Rage”
9. “Steeler”

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article British Steel (album)which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0