The main guitar riff from "Breaking the Law" is one of the most recognizable from early '80s heavy metal. Though British Steel sounds dated these days, it's also a classic album, one of the best from a band that defined the genre in the late '70s and early '80s. Everything that ultimately became characteristic of heavy metal is here; the lightning-fast riffs on "Rapid Fire," the anthemic "Metal Gods" and "United," the obligatory party song "Living After Midnight," and the equally obligatory youth-rebellion song, "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise". Metalheads are a dying breed these days, and those unfamiliar with Judas Priest will probably want to start with The Best of Judas Priest: Living After Midnight. Of all their albums, however, British Steel is unquestionably the best. -- Genevieve Williams
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Essential Judas Priest
Zero | Pennsylvania | 11/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"British Steel was my first Judas Priest album, which I bought on casette back in junior high. Thinking back now, I can't remember what turned me onto it. Maybe it was the "Breaking the Law" music video I saw on Beavis and Butthead, but it's not important now. I listen to everything from Marilyn Manson to Cannibal Corpse and British Steel is still one of my top ten favorite metal albums.
It's not bone-crushing heavy, no. It's not that kind of music. I wouldn't call it "pop metal" but it's not lyrically deep or technically complicated. I would relate it most closely to ACDC's Back in Black. It's just real catchy, fun, and good.
It's more than just good melodies. There's a certain punch to it, and I think it's in the delivery. The mid-tempo song like Grinder and Metal Gods get a real good groove going and then just keep it up. It's something about Rob singing those short staccato syllables over the beat. Some of the tracks like Living After Midnight and Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise have more of a rock 'n' roll feel to them rather than what I think of as metal, but still rock none the less. And of course Rapid Fire is here as the obligatory fast tempo priest screamer with the banshee wail at the end. The Rage, while it does seem out of place on this album (as another reviewer pointed out) with its moody, brooding, sludgey feel and decidedly darker lyrics, becomes one of the album's best tracks with repeated listens. This song always gave me the most colorful mental imagery, though admittedly partly because of misheard lyrics (like early Ozzy, I find rob's voice sometimes garbles itself).
The big picture is that British Steel is a very solid (not one mediocre track to be heard) and fairly diverse collection of classic metal that's best heard while shouting along in one's car on the highway."
Hell Bent or British Steel--Their Best
Drummin' Joe | Granada Hills, CA United States | 07/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a great review:
"This was one of those rare ocasions when everything falls into place to make a masterpiece since the band line-up to the chemistry between band producer, recording company and even the studio chosen to record the album. The result: an unforgetable metal album, one of the best of all times. Raw, simple and diect to the point, but not vulgar or cheap"
As a drummer, I loved Dave Hollands pure groove and metronomic timekeeping. His drum sound was perfect and it stands up today. The general reviewer who said this recording sounds dated is insane. This recording is fresh and it comes.
Les Binks was a great drummer as well. His stuff on Hell Bent for Leather and JP Live in Japan is so underrated. That guys was a perfectionist and played perfect parts for the songs. No wasted notes, just brillant drumming. His drums sound was also great and the double bass work tasty. Great bass drum sound as well. The recording back in the 70's is superior to today. Ya gotta have a great booming Bonham-esq BD sound!
British Steel is perfection and Steeler in mindboggling rock N roll. The guitar sounds are what metal is about. BUY THIS CD!
Also, Hell Bent & BS have two of the best looking album covers!"