Sunday, June 20, 2010

Judas Priest - Steel Album 30 Years Old

Judas Priest's 'British Steel' LP is now 30 years old. I remember back in 1980 at age 16, when I bought the Judas Priest 'British Steel' album. I didn't know who Judas Priest was until I first listened to the song "Breaking the Law", even though it was their sixth album. My favorite song from British Steel was "Living After Midnight". All the reviews say that Judas Priest puts on a great show, but I never did get to see them in concert. An interesting trivia note is that the 'British Steel' album was recorded at John Lennon's home in the studio at Tittenhurst in England. The 30th Anniversary release of the album , came with a Live DVD, and a Live CD recorded on August 17th, 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida as part of the British Steel 30th Anniversary tour. There are live versions of the British Steel tracks available for the game "Rock Band". Below is an article about the 30th anniversary with Rob Halford describing the making of the album, which is from the New York Daily News website at Check out the music videos of Judas Priest's "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight". It's great to celebrate a ground breaking album like 'British Steel' from the launch of the 1980s Heavy Metal era. - Kenny Leibow

Judas Priest - Breaking The Law

Judas Priest - Living After Midnight

Judas Priest Singer Rob Harford on seminole 1980 album 'British Steel', metal's legacy & the parties

New York Daily News
June 1st, 2010

Judas Priest's Rob Halford has been hell-bent for leather since the mid-1970s. But the frontman and his band made a huge leap forward with the release of the seminal album, "British Steel," 30 years ago this year. Now, the Metal God takes the Daily News back in time to the sessions that marked a major breakthrough in heavy metal history and the legendary partying afterwards.

As you're making your music, you're absolutely clueless as to any significance it might have in your career and beyond. But there certainly seems to have been value and importance placed on "British Steel" three decades later.

The '80s were a blur of booze and sex and drugs. Hollywood was absolutely insane, the strip was alive every night. The Rainbow was packed to the gills, night after night after night. It was just a remarkable time. The sixties had the hippy movement, and then the hard rock/metal scene in the '80s, in America especially, was just the opposite end of that scale. Everybody was wondering will I wake up tomorrow and some of us didn't.

The music itself succeeded because of just the simple straight forward manner that it was put together in the very short space of time that we had. Tom Allom, our producer, insisted that we were in and out in 28, 29 days in John Lennon's former house in London, where we recorded the album.

That just seems inconceivable with today's way of doing things. I think from 1980 onward, we were banging out a record every year and a world tour. That's just what young hungry bands do. You get caught up in the excitement and the momentum and all you want to do is play and you'll do whatever you need to do to do that. The "British Steel" sessions were just the next in the process of delivering a release on time to our label. Dates had been booked for a world tour. We don't really have time to think about the situation.

There is a significant amount of fans that have literally been with us since day one – it's heartwarming. It's a bit like supporting your favorite team, whether it's the Mets or the Jets or the Lakers or the Suns. You sort of go through everything together. Then you see, you'll get these young metal heads that are picking on you to be their favorite band and that's mind-blowing.

But it is different era - phrases like "OMG" and "TMI," I mean we live in the speed of light now. I don't think any of us in Priest have become bitter or cynical, which are very easy traps to fall into in the entertainment business. But in fact you probably think it must be really hard now for bands to get a hold on the public's attention and given a fair chance of a listen. Because people are not listening to full releases, they're just going by a download here or a download there. Your body of work, as it was during the early days of Priest, is not being listened to as completely.

Everything changes. I'm going to turning 60 next year, which I can't wait for. I'm determined to be on stage somewhere, preferably in America, screaming out "Painkiller."

I was talking to Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx about that the other day, when I was with Nikki and Ozzy the other week talking abut the upcoming Ozzfest. And Nikki was like, "Man, I'm in bed by ten o'clock and I drive the kids to school." But, I think no matter where you go and what you do, at the end of the day, you just want to be able to walk out on stage and rock out. And do it like you want to do it and do it as the fans want to see you do it.

Not like some kind of decrepit old man trying to squawk a few notes. I'll be the first to hang up the microphone if I can't do my job correctly.

Some of these bands whether it's Priest or ACDC or Kiss or Ozzy, how many years have we been around? And we're still here, we're still doing what we love to do. We're still carrying the essence of rock and roll and people still want to see us.

You just don't want it to stop. I don't think any of us look forward to retirement. What other profession can you get away with having a 59-year-old man going on stage and screaming my lungs out?

The music will still be relevant in another forty years. It's indestructible. The source of it, the sound of it, the essence of what it does to people will always be needed, from generation to generation.