British Steel is the sixth album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 14 April 1980. It saw the band reprise the commercial sound they had established on “”Killing Machine”” however; this time, they abandoned many of the dark lyrical themes which had been prominent on their previous releases. British Steel was recorded at Tittenhurst Park, home of former Beatle John Lennon, after a false start at Startling Studios, a recording studio located on Tittenhurst grounds. Sampling did not yet exist at the time of recording, so the band recorded the sounds of smashing milk bottles to be included in “”Breaking the Law””, as well as various sounds in “”Metal Gods”” produced by “”trays of cutlery”” and “”billiard cues””. Songs “”Breaking the Law””, “”United””, and “”Living After Midnight”” were released as singles, while the track “”Metal Gods”” earned the band members their moniker.
British Steel was probably the album that really defined heavy metal, because it did away with the “”last shards of blues”” that had otherwise been characteristic of the genre.
Label: CBS – CBS 32412, CBS – 32412
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Europe (Holland)
A1 Breaking The Law 2:34
A2 Rapid Fire 4:07
A3 Metal Gods 3:58
A4 Grinder 3:56
A5 United 3:31
B1 Living After Midnight 3:30
B2 You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise 5:03
B3 The Rage 4:43
B4 Steeler 4:28
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Records
Copyright (c) – CBS Records
℗ 1980 CBS Records / © 1980 CBS Records
Made in Holland
Printed in Holland.
Rights Society: BIEM/STEMRA
Label Code (Labels): LC-0149
Label Code (Sleeve): LC 0149
All songs written and composed by Halford, Downing and Tipton.
Rob Halford – lead vocals
K.K. Downing – lead guitar, backing vocals
Glenn Tipton – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Ian Hill – bass, backing vocals
Dave Holland – drums
Chart Peak position:
UK Albums Chart 4
US Billboard Pop Albums 34
British Steel, was a calculated attempt by Priest to make a more accessible, simple metal record (and it worked). Taken for what it is, ignoring the context of their previous releases, British Steel is still a great heavy metal record, and one of the best of 1980 for sure.”