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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should've kept Les Binks....
First, a note on the remaster: The Bonus track live version of "Grinder" was NOT recorded on the British Steel tour as they claim, but is taken from the radio broadcast concert from California on the Defenders Tour. When I first saw this falsehood, I went so far as to attempt to contact the band through their website to find out why they were trying to mislead people like...
Published on Nov. 22 2003 by e5150

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars One of the most overated album of all time
Most metal fans say that this is the Priest's best album, but I strongly disagree. This is a decent metal album, but in no means is this one of the best JP albums. After the brilliant proto-trash metal of Sad wings of destiny, Sin after Sin and Stained Class, Priest decided to make a 180 degree career shift with Hell bent for Leather. But this album, while being more hard...
Published on Feb. 21 2004 by Princess Irulan


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should've kept Les Binks...., Nov. 22 2003
By 
e5150 (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
First, a note on the remaster: The Bonus track live version of "Grinder" was NOT recorded on the British Steel tour as they claim, but is taken from the radio broadcast concert from California on the Defenders Tour. When I first saw this falsehood, I went so far as to attempt to contact the band through their website to find out why they were trying to mislead people like that. I got no reply, but noticed that all the subsequent cd releases after the first four did not specify the source location of the bonus live recordings. I'm not claiming responsibility, but I sure hope they now realize that their fans aren't that stupid.
Anyway, back to British Steel...
Here come the anthems!! "Hell Bent for Leather" was just the preamble, while British Steel was the body of their Metal Constitution and set the stage for the rest of their career, as far as subject matter goes. "Breaking the Law", "Living After Midnight", "You Don't Have to be Old to be Wise"--not a ballad in sight. But as with all of the remasters, take the printed lyrics with a grain of salt, because their accuracy is way off in some places.
British Steel has a very upbeat, good time atmosphere throughout and nearly compels you to raise your fist and shout. Warning: doing this in your car will result in several strange glances from passers-by, and perhaps even the odd restraining order from people you don't even know.
The only real downer here is Dave Holland, the new "drummer". WTF? The guy hardly ever uses his toms, instead utilizing a plain, boring Ringo Starr style of snare/kick-snare/kick which any drummer will tell you saps the music of any extra muscle it could've potentially had. It's no surprise that, four albums later, they replaced him with a drum machine for most of the recording, and soon after that they picked up Scott Travis.
And Dave just didn't "look" the part, either. With that 'gay bar' mustache, goofy hair and bored-out-of-his-mind smirk, I was sure that he was the queer one in the band all along.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Pounding the world like a battering ram", July 15 2004
By 
mwreview "mwreview" (Northern California, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
The track "Grinder" is a perfect description of British Steel. Most of the songs off Judas Priest's first release of the 1980s sound like guitars thrown in a grinder. Those who know this album chiefly by the two singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight" will be surprised at how non-commercial the rest of this album is. Rob Halford, through much of the 1980s, called British Steel the best Judas Priest album. As a fan of 1980s Priest, I'd give the nod to Screaming for Vengeance and I may even put British Steel behind Defenders of the Faith. Still, British Steel is a classic 5-star album and a must for any metal fan. "Living After Midnight" aside, any fan of raw, grinding metal who does not like too much of the good time rock 'n roll sound, will be a big fan of British Steel.
"Breaking the Law" is one of the more well-known songs by Priest receiving a lot of play with the cool retro (although rather silly) music video. It is a very accessible and fun rocker. "Rapid Fire" is one of those grinding songs. It is my least favorite off British Steel as it is very repetitive and doesn't seem to go anywhere. It has no chorus to speak of. "Metal Gods" and "Grinder" also have a very raw sound but are also very catchy. The former is classic Priest and "Grinder" is one of my favorites on this album. "United" is a chanting anthem which was probably more appropriate live with audience participation.
The most played Judas Priest track is definitely "Living After Midnight." It is a good rock 'n roll song, but it is also very commercial and not really what Priest was/is all about. In terms of the best songs on this album, I put it in the middle of the pack. To me, the best song on this album is "Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise." It is a powerful track with excellent lyrics and incredible vocals. Rob Halford really demonstrates his range on this one! The album ends with two more grinders, "The Rage" and "Steeler." The former is the better of the two as it actually comes to a climax. "Steeler," like "Rapid Fire," just grinds away and is mostly instrumental with driving guitars and drums. Metal purists will probably enjoy it. I don't agree with some reviewers that British Steel is Judas Priest's best album, but it is still a classic and essential for any metal collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Pounding the world like a battering ram", July 15 2004
By 
mwreview "mwreview" (Northern California, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
The track "Grinder" is a perfect description of British Steel. Most of the songs off Judas Priest's first release of the 1980s sound like guitars thrown in a grinder. Those who know this album chiefly by the two singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight" will be surprised at how non-commercial the rest of this album is. Rob Halford, through much of the 1980s, called British Steel the best Judas Priest album. As a fan of 1980s Priest, I'd give the nod to Screaming for Vengeance and I may even put British Steel behind Defenders of the Faith. Still, British Steel is a classic 5-star album and a must for any metal fan. "Living After Midnight" aside, any fan of raw, grinding metal who does not like too much of the good time rock 'n roll sound, will be a big fan of British Steel.
"Breaking the Law" is one of the more well-known songs by Priest receiving a lot of play with the cool retro (although rather silly) music video. It is a very accessible and fun rocker. "Rapid Fire" is one of those grinding songs. It is my least favorite off British Steel as it is very repetitive and doesn't seem to go anywhere. It has no chorus to speak of. "Metal Gods" and "Grinder" also have a very raw sound but are also very catchy. The former is classic Priest and "Grinder" is one of my favorites on this album. "United" is a chanting anthem which was probably more appropriate live with audience participation.
The most played Judas Priest track is definitely "Living After Midnight." It is a good rock 'n roll song, but it is also very commercial and not really what Priest was/is all about. In terms of the best songs on this album, I put it in the middle of the pack. To me, the best song on this album is "Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise." It is a powerful track with excellent lyrics and incredible vocals. Rob Halford really demonstrates his range on this one! The album ends with two more grinders, "The Rage" and "Steeler." The former is the better of the two as it actually comes to a climax. "Steeler," like "Rapid Fire," just grinds away and is mostly instrumental with driving guitars and drums. Metal purists will probably enjoy it. This remastered edition has the bonus studio track "Red, White, and Blue" is Turbo/Ram It Down era. I have a 1988 article in Blast! magazine where Halford stated it (as well as "Prisoner of Your Eyes") did not make Ram it Down but might "surface in 1989 or 1990." Well, it surfaces here and "Prisoner" (a nice ballad) surfacing on the remastered Screaming for Vengeance. I don't agree with some reviewers that British Steel is Judas Priest's best album, but it is still a classic and essential for any metal collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the Greatest Metal Album of All Time!!, May 17 2004
By 
David Girod (Westminster, Maryland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
If you like heavy metal, hard rock, guitar rock, or any other one of the endless names given to late 70's / early 80's rock n' roll you have to own British Steel. This album alone shows where rock stood in the dying days of disco and what was to come with spandex sporting Eddie Van Halen wannabe's focusing more on cans of hair spray than guitar work. Judas Priest (the original line-up and not the karaoke years with Ripper as singer) is one of the greatest bands of all time, and British Steel is one of thier best albums. You get the fantastic Priest anthems like "United" and "Metal Gods" to the pre-Metallica thrash of "Rapid Fire". The great songs on this disk all surround what is possibly THE Judas Priest signature song of "Living After Midnight". Priest's dual guitar works is top notch with Tipton and Downing at their prime. Rob Halford is truly an amazing vocalist! If all you have heard off of this disk is "Living after Midnight" do yourself a favor and pick up the disk. I am so glad to hear Halford has reunited with the band and are touring this year. Priest live is must for any metal fan.
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2.0 out of 5 stars One of the most overated album of all time, Feb. 21 2004
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
Most metal fans say that this is the Priest's best album, but I strongly disagree. This is a decent metal album, but in no means is this one of the best JP albums. After the brilliant proto-trash metal of Sad wings of destiny, Sin after Sin and Stained Class, Priest decided to make a 180 degree career shift with Hell bent for Leather. But this album, while being more hard rock than metal, still had high quality songwriting. This is not really the case with British Steel. The album open quite nicely with the simple but heavy "Rapid Fire", with Rob Halford favoring a rough barking vocal style over his banshee screaming of yore. This song is really catchy, but the complex metal of old priest is sorely missed. Then comes "Metal Gods", another ultra-simplistic song driven by nice vocal line and hypnotizing guitar riffage. Once again, the childish simplicity of the song leaves you with an uneasy feeling but it's still an high quality song. "Breakin the law" is the best song of the album, with a nice riff, a nice drive and ultra catchy melodies. But you can't overlook the fact that this song is no more than a re-write of their song "hell bent for leather". "Grinder" is the last good song of the album, once again with simpler-than-punk guitar work but the chorus is pretty memorable and the groove never let down. But all the remaining songs are worthless. "United" is a embarassing Queen rip-off, "You don't have to be old to be wise" is a pure AC/DC pastiche, "Living after midnight" is one of their most popular song but it is too hard-rock/almost hair metal for my tastes. "The Rage" manage to rock quite hard, until you realize with disgust that Priest stole Led Zeppelin's "black dog" riff note-for-note. "Steeler" is a filler re-write of "Rapid Fire", with weaker riffs and a generic Halford melody.
Only for the completist. I'd suggest Sad Wings of Destiny, Stained Class, Defenders of the faith as their best albums, with Screaming for vengeance, sin after sin and painkiller as good albums. The rest is not very good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Priest enters the eighties..., Feb. 4 2004
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
British Steel (1980.) Judas Priest's sixth album.
In the seventies, Judas Priest had proven themselves to be the kings of hard rock/heavy metal. Although most people give Black Sabbath the credit for starting up the heavy metal revolution, these guys deserve every bit as much credit. When the eighties rolled around, many once great rock bands came crashing down - some due to dying band members, some due to the times changing. How would Judas Priest handle the transition into the new decade? Would they be instantly destroyed, or would this new decade bring them to even greater heights than we could have ever imagined? Read on for my review of Judas Priest's sixth album, British Steel.
With this album, Judas Priest began going for a much more "mainstream hard rock" sound than they had been on their recent albums. One way this shows is in the fact that this album contained two of the band's major hits - hits that became so popular, even non-Judas Priest fans know and love them! These songs are the hard rocking and extremely memorable Breaking The Law, and the equally notable Living After Midnight. It's only proper that these songs became so popular - they're everything fans could want. But this album doesn't stop with the hits. The album's opening track, Rapid Fire, is one of the band's fastest and heaviest songs to date. In my opinion, this is the best song on the album. Why didn't THIS song become more popular? The next song, Metal Gods, is also very good. It takes on a slower, more epic sound than the previous one. Another excellent track is the band's take on an arena rock anthem, a little track called United. If you listened to Killing Machine's (Hell Bent For Leather in America) Take On The World, you know how well the band can do songs of this style. Another notable rocker is You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise, in which the band attacks an age-old belief - and does a damn good job of it! However, as good an album as this is, it falls flat when you compare it to, say, Stained Class or Screaming For Vengeance. Grinder is just weak when you compare it to the rest of the album - and the horrible lyrics don't help things either. The Rage and Steeler, though not bad tracks by any means, seem more like fillers when you compare them to the rest of the album. They seem more like B-Sides than tracks that should have been put on the album. Overall, this album is very good, but I don't agree with the editorial review above that calls this the band's best album. It's their most popular, but that doesn't necessarily make it the best.
Like the other rereleases in the Judas Priest remasters series, this one has two bonus tracks. On this particular reissued album, you get an unreleased studio session entitled Red White And Blue, and a live take on Grinder. The former is a much slower and more melodic track than what you're used to hearing this band play, but it's still very good. This is Priest at their most patriotic, as the title may have implied. The latter is disappointing. Grinder is the weakest track on British Steel, so the fact that they chose to do a live version of it is just depressing. Why couldn't they have picked a better track to do a live version of? Halford's intro to the live take is nice, but the song ends up being even weaker than the already weak studio version... what a shame.
Overall, British Steel is a great album. It's not their best one by any means, but I still feel it is an excellent one. If you're new to Judas Priest, this is the album I strongly recommend starting with. DO NOT buy one of the band's hits compilations, as they are bound to disappoint you. Stick to buying the studio albums, as they give you a number of underrated masterpieces you won't soon find on any hits compilation!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Britsh heavy metal so let us rock, Sept. 30 2003
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
You can devide the Judas Priest(halford)-era in three periods of four albums. You got the silver period:Rocka rolla,Sad wings..,Sin after sin and Stained class that's characterised by searching for a sound, vague experimentation and a bluesy feel to it. You got the bronze period:Defenders..,Turbo,Ram it down and Painkiller that's charaterized by different moods on each of the albums and trying different things out. And then you got the golden period:Killing machine,British steel,Point of entry and Screaming.. that's charaterized by raw agressive riffs, flashy solos, short songs, sing-a-long choruses and a meaty sound. Too many people this is classic Priest and it is the sound that defines the band and also heavy metal in general. British steel is a Priest-gem. It's short,sharp and deadly.The first song on it is the anthemic Breaking the law, a real classic. No wonder that Beavis and Butthead sing it. Rapid fire is one of Judas Priest's fastest songs ever. and Grinder proves that mid-tempo songs can also sound very agresive as does Metal gods with it,s machines destoy the eart fantasy-text. United is an infectious football style sing-a-long tune and ofcourse the catchy yet heavy sounding Living after midnight. If you're a metalfan you must have this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars British metal doesn't get much better than this, Sept. 27 2003
By 
John Alapick (Harveys Lake, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
British Steel would be Judas Priest's breakthrough album and along with Screaming For Vengeance is their best work. Beginning with their previous studio album Hell Bent For Leather and then with this album, the band began to write shorter and catchier songs while sacrificing little of their metallic crunch. Rush did this around the same time with their Permanent Waves album. The result? A huge increase in popularity, new fans discovering their older albums, and a long recording and touring career for both bands.
Every track here is great, and the band still play many of these tracks live. "Living After Midnight" remains their catchiest and most enduring track and it still gets consistent airplay. "Metal Gods" and "United" are two of the best heavy metal anthems ever recorded. "Grinder", "The Rage", and especially "Breaking The Law" all contain great riffs and are very strong tracks. "Rapid Fire" and "Steeler" are the heaviest tracks and are both first rate. Finally, "You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise" is one of their most underrated tracks as well as one of their most melodic. This is one of the best British heavy metal albums ever recorded. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars JP's Dark Side Of The Moon, Dec 16 2003
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
What's that mean? It means this is the Judas Priest album that everyone bought. In the eyes of the American media it also seems to be the only album Judas Priest ever recorded-or at least the only album that's any good. All JP and metal fans know this isn't true, but there's no denying how good this album is. I don't know about you, but I don't skip over one song when I listen to this album, I just hit play and let it go to the end. Priest is in top form here(as usual) and carved their niche in the music world. Really, who hasn't heard Breakin' The Law? Aside from that classic, this album gives you much better and lesser known tunes. You also get those great "metal" lyrics like: "Forging the furnace for the final grand slam." If anyone knows what exactly that means, please email me and let me know. There really isn't anything new I can say about this album, so I won't try. It's a classic for a reason. Buy. Buy now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Metal classic, May 10 2004
By 
S B "sdb70" (Phoenix, Arizona United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: British Steel (Audio CD)
If you bought only two Judas Priest records, they would have to be 'Unleashed in the East' (1979), 'Screaming for Vengeance' (1982), and this 1980 debut of the most successful line-up, including Dave Holland on drums and Tom Allom as producer. There is no filler here, and Priest does a great job of actually executing the intent of 'Stained Class' - to create a complete heavy metal record covering all the subgenres - pop metal ("Living After Midnight", the first bona fide hits and videos), goth ("Metal Gods"), speed ("Rapid Fire"), and supreme riffs ("Breaking the Law", "The Rage").
As for extra tracks on this remaster, there is an excellent live version of "Grinder" from a 1984 show. But the studio cut, "Red White & Blue", an outtake from 'Turbo' (1986), is sorely misplaced here.
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