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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

British Steel

Judas Priest

1980

Buy At Rough Trade
British Steel
Album Summary

British Steel is the sixth studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 14 April 1980 by Columbia Records. It was the band's first album to feature Dave Holland on drums.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.3

Votes

13319

Genres

  • Metal
  • Hard Rock

Reviews

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Fri Oct 16 2020
5

Man, 80s metal is so hit and miss. But THIS was a hit. Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and AC/DC defined a whole genre and spawned a dozen half-assed offshoots (coughHairMetalcough). This album is an absolute face-ripping example of the style and I love it. Normally, I comment on guitar tones but the real stand out on this album is the drummer. Dave Holland keeps things tight and crispy without the drums feeling overproduced. The whole tone and feel of the album is built on his nearly mechanical but powerful approach to his drums. Not much else to say. Just a great frikkin' album.

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Tue Sep 28 2021
4

This was the tits but did get a little samey. Deffo gonna listen to more JP

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Thu Sep 28 2023
1

Wish Thatcher would’ve taken this particular British Steel out of the public’s hands.

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Tue Dec 08 2020
5

Classic British heavy metal album

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

I was torn between giving a 4-star vs. a 5-star review. I bounced of Judas Priest throughout my life; I always thought they were a little cheesy. But, giving this album a critical listen, I can see where I was wrong.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

British Power metal, can see how Ozzy/Black Sabbath influenced these guys. Also motor head vibes. Yeh dope, 4 stars (just about...)

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Fri Sep 22 2023
4

I went into this with low expectations and was shocked by how much fun I had listening. Bombastic, old-school heavy metal that finds a sweet spot of campy and corny without being annoying or insincere.

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Sat Apr 08 2023
3

Wikipedia: This album was recorded in Ringo's house For some reason I feel that it's the most vital piece of info to share about "British Steel" S'good HL: the singles

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Mon Sep 11 2023
5

The most interesting thing about Judas Priest is that they present very clearly as a heavy metal band, but their lyrical content seems like it actually toes the line really well with punk, which I think enhances the overall output exponentially as it taps into 2 genres seamlessly.

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Thu Sep 21 2023
5

Really liked this, more than I thought I would when I saw Judas Priest

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Now here we go! I'm not going to lie, I haven't listened to a lot of heavy metal albums in their entirety ("heavy metal" in this case referring to the specific metal genre of heavy metal instead of the colloquial definition describing most aggressive music as heavy metal), but I think it is safe to say that this is the best heavy metal album I've listened to. I've sang the lyrics "Breaking the law, breaking the law," since I was a kid, after watching Beavis and Butt-Head sing it when Beavis chopped off Butt-Head's fingertip with a chainsaw. Anyway, one of the interesting things about this album being so good is that it is apparently the band's 6th release. In my experience the vast majority of bands are in decline at that point in their career, so it's cool to see such an iconic release at that stage of their career. My personal enjoyment: 4/5 Did it belong on this list: 4/5

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

An absolute solid album with some great tracks. I think this album is a great representation of the genre, the sound, the messages, all of it. I will definitely be giving this album another run through to hear some of the lyrics again.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
3

3/5 decent but didn't fully hold my interest. Definitely dated by now but can see where it would sit in general rock history

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Thu May 06 2021
1

I cannae really be that eloquent here, just shite.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
4

I like some heavy metal, always did. But I was always put off by NWOBHM, especially the dual guitar attack, wannabe Beethoven compositional approach of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. At first listen, this was no exception; I dismissed the first two tracks as totally insignificant, but acknowledged the classic status of Breaking The Law; Argentinean band Riff has a song from 1985, Dios Devorador, which features the exact same riff as Grinder; of course I am not saying that Judas Priest ripped off an Argentinean band, pretty much the opposite, but having known the Riff song for many years made Grinder sound more familiar to my ears. What with United? Isn't that a corny song? Were they attempting to re-write We Are The World for a metalheads crowd? Geez, that's horrible! On to You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise, great title but too long to re-type. Living After Midnight seems to give a template to a whole bunch of too-many-hair-metal-bands that were to come soon, especially out of LA. The Rage is really interesting! A reggae-like guitar, bass and drums intro that soon morphs into a classic metal, bluesy groove and comes back in the middle of the song; this one should have been huge, that's unfair. All along I can't help but think about some 80s movies with rebel teens in them or some kind of horror, and that's fun! And this is the whole point: British Steel comes up as a thing of its time. A second listen reveals some more details that make the experience more entertaining. Suddenly Rapid Fire seems to hint at the thrash that were still to come a few years later; Metal Gods is a headbanging anthem in the most irresistible way. Grinder still sounds great and even more so. I still don't like United though and I guess I never will, while the patriotic Red White And Blue could have been written by Ted Nugent were he British I guess. Let's face it: with its macho-ish, tough guy imagery of fire, steel, and epics, heavy metal hasn't aged well, but British Steel is still a lot of fun to listen to if only at an entertaining level; if you still listen to this with teenage conviction, that's ok honey, there's nothing wrong with you... but I would be worried. (*Hides underneath the table in order to call the psychiatric hospital*) 

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Sat Feb 17 2024
4

Was anyone like "I had no idea that leather clad man with the beautiful operatic vocals was gay" when Halford came out in 1998? I was too young to remember but it seems pretty obvious when we look back on it. All in all a badass classic album that was pretty revolutionary for its time and influenced tons of great metal and probably non-metal bands.

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Tue Jun 14 2022
3

This album is from a definite place and time. Not sure it holds up all that well even though there are a couple of great songs here. Don't think I'd listen to the album again though.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
3

I somewhat like this, but is sounds very dated. You listen to this and then Master of Puppets by Metallica (86) or Appetite for Destruction by GNR (87) and this feels 25 years older...

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Tue Nov 01 2022
3

Influential 80’s metal album, better metal albums would come off the back of this, and does sound a bit dated and cheesy now.

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Wed May 01 2024
3

It's kind of edgy but also some of the lyrics are pretty stupid. Guitar is pretty fire though. Although it's good, Black Sabbath is way better.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
2

This bored me, for me it's at best an average entry for this genre. It's not a terrible album by any means but it gave me nothing. Also there are too many albums of this genre I'd rather listen to that would probably be 3* so it gets 2* from me.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘 🤘. Best track: Breaking the Law

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

The riffs, the metal. It had me

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Sat Jan 02 2021
5

Very nice, been a long time since I listened to that :)

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

Quintessential heavy metal album. A must.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

A lot of great songs in this album. First time listening to this album admin couldn’t get enough of it

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Very metal, gets me going- third beer hits just right kinda energy

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Brilliant from start to finish

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

A great metal album that maintains musicality and a powerful lead voice. Get pumped

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

Short, effective, energetic. A great rock album!

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

Hard rock meets NWOBHM in an album that gets the best of both worlds. All-time classic!

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

A ton of fun. The hits were great, but a number of other tunes I'd never heard that frankly never got their due.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

Wow! I've never really been into metal but this was great!

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Wed Jun 09 2021
5

Can't go wrong with Judas Priest.

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Sat May 08 2021
5

Real banger. Great for traveling, west coast, and out in the wilderness. Good for on way to destination. High energy throughout.

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Tue May 25 2021
5

An absolute perfect encapsulation of 80s heavy metal. Every track is fierce, powerful, and surprisingly accessible. Rob Halford has the best range in metal and it shines through this whole album.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
5

Wow, wasn't really into Judas back in the day but really appreciate this now!

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Sun Aug 08 2021
5

This album fucking rocks so hard.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

This is an awesome 80's heavy metal album. An album with some meat to it! Songs like Metal Gods, Grinder, United not to mention the two great singles Breaking the Law and Living After Midnight. Great from beginning to end. Easy 5 for me.

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Thu Sep 02 2021
5

Een van de meest belangrijke heavy metal albums, bijna perfect

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

-Just a strong album -Obviously "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight" are great. Other tracks I liked were "Rapid Fire," "Metal Gods," "Grinder," and "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise"

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

This is one of the greatest metal albums ever made, best among the best. It should be on anyone's short list who wants to get into this genre. It also has great mainstream appeal as metal albums go. Judas Priest adeptly straddles that line between metal and classic blues rock. I think that ultimately it gives a more timeless quality to the music. There's a reason you hear Judas Priest on classic rock radio more than you will hear most metal bands. But make no mistake, this music rocks hard, and how. Priest opened the door for metal that was actually metal, not just hard English blues. Music got harder, darker and faster after these guys showed up. Rob Halford is riveting as a vocalist. Piercing, growling, screaming, commanding, the man can do anything he wants with that voice. Oh and, lordy, those guitar solos are insane. That double barreled guitar assault by Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing defined their sound, and probably launched a hundred bands. Tight, powerful rhythm section manned by Dave Holland and Ian Hill. No bad songs, no filler, just an album full of beautifully crafted metal. So much fun to listen to, and it just freaking rocks. Fave Songs: Breaking the Law, Living After Midnight, The Rage, Steeler

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Tue Nov 02 2021
5

Great metal album; has some songs I love, and no songs I dislike. Definitely not my FAVORITE album by Judas Priest, but still great. I've been a fan of them for a little while and prefer some of their other work. I love their unique, sleek metal sound; they were pioneers of the genre for sure, and this album definitely deserves a listen imo. This album has great vocal performances and catchy riffs, and the percussion is quite fantastic. I definitely like them better than the other the pop hard rock/metal bands of their era, like ACDC. I loved "The Rage." This one could grow on me a bit more perhaps, but for now I think I'll give it a 4. Almost a 5. Its a 5!

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

Heavy metal. Dos megahits. Vinilo.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

It's very gentle, I expected something heavier. +1 star for the album cover

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Mon Nov 15 2021
5

45 mins of pure headbanging heavy metal. Bonus point for British way of lyrics writing. Favourite tracks: Rapid Fire, Breaking the Law, You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise, The Rage.

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Mon Nov 29 2021
5

INJECT THE METAL DIRECTLY INTO MY VEINS GRRRRRRRRRRRR

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Sat Jan 29 2022
5

J’adore, du bon metal dun des meilleur groupe. 5

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Sat Apr 02 2022
5

Classic album from one of the founding bands of NWOBHM

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

One of the best examples of best heavy metal albums!

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

A really lively enjoyable thrash/metal album that features some amazing guitar playing by Glenn Tipton. What really struck me is how polished and tight the arrangements are and they really know how to build a song up to a climax. Rob Halford on vocals has a great range, sings in a number of styles and knows how to use his voice as effective instrument. I would sooner listen to him over someone like Robert Plant! The production is crisp and bold, there's a few neat effects here and there and the guitar solos are tasteful (i.e. they don't ramble). There's not much to fault on this album, which was an unexpected pleasure and is going on my discovery list. Cool cover artwork as well. Great stuff.

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Thu May 12 2022
5

Where heavy metal sometimes falters, in its inevitable sameness that overtakes most albums, Judas Priest I think shines. Every song on this album was a joy to listen to, some obviously more than others like 'Breaking the Law' and 'You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise.' Judas Priest just does something for me that other musicians don't. They're strangely calming in their intensity, and British Steel is perhaps the best showcase of what they offer. Fantastic album, fantastic band. 5/5.

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Tue May 24 2022
5

Metalklassieker! zalig headbangen, en af en toe wat kalmer nummer. Ik vind dit een fantastisch album

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Fri May 27 2022
5

Rob Halford has one of the greatest metal voices of all time and this album showcases it perfectly. He does such a good job at everything a rock vocalist could want. Powerful chest voice, legendary shrieking high register yell, incredible finesse with when to release his voice and also when to keep it tame and build the tension. He's also a pioneer for gay men in rock and I think he probably single handedly made the biggest difference in heavy metal fans' outlook on accepting gay people into the culture. He's flamboyant in his own way- he doesn't make it his whole personality or make it a point that sees him stand out from others / take the attention away from the music. And yet at the same time he wears a ton of stereotypical biker leather with spikes (the whole band does as well- and the rest of the band are straight men) and has a "I'm gay, you don't give a fuck, let's jam" attitude. I love it. I once went to an Ozzfest when I was like 14 and Ozzy was set to sing with Black Sabbath, with Priest being the act right before Sabbath. Ozzy was sick and couldn't perform. Rob Halford sang the Sabbath set. One of the most amazing moments for a fan of metal to witness. I simply love this album, this act, and the musicians. When I hear Priest I think nothing can stop me- nothing can fuck with what I'm doing.

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Sat Jul 30 2022
5

I’ve avoided this album for 42 years. Another one my older sister owned, but when I borrowed this I quickly returned it. I’ve avoided Judas Priest ever since. What the hell was wrong with me?! I LOVE THIS!! I loved every song! These guys know their way around those instruments. The guitars and drums are fantastic. And those vocals - hits the high notes with great harmonies! What a great album! Given my absolute love BRITISH STEEL maybe its time to reassess everything…

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Sun Sep 25 2022
5

Breaking the Law and Living After Midnight are obviously great, but Rapid Fire and Steeler are great opening and closing tracks. United is slower and more accessible, but has really has a solid groove and is a nice showcase for Ian Hill and Dave Holland. I'm not a big metal guy, but this is a top shelf album, and is a really nice representation of the genre as a whole.

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

Auténtico discazo de uno de los precursores del heavy metal británico. Canciones con ritmo y auténticos temazos

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Easy 5, but thankful to listen again. I'm very familiar with Judas Priest, but not this album as a whole. Groovy, poppy, heavy metal! There's some 3 star songs, but a lot more 5+ stars.

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

Heavy metal. Dos megahits. Vinilo.

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Mon Nov 14 2022
5

I mean it’s Priest, what needs to be said. It’s amazing music.

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Fri Dec 09 2022
5

Rock Album...Gives Energy While Listening...Added to fav.

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Tue Dec 13 2022
5

Well balanced berween metal and ballads. Would love more high tempo tracks though

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

I absolutely love Priest and this album was what started it for me. When the first song you ever hear from a band is "Living After Midnight".....yeah....game OVER. I can't believe that "United" never became an anthem played at sports stadiums everywhere.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
5

The OG of heavy metal. At 42 years old, it's still a very listenable album. 11/10.

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

Le mostre el album a mi viejo y m dijo que este album es PURO METAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL. me desgusto la noticia q era rock, pero este album encabezo la ola del heavy metal a principio de los ochentas y coloco al hevy metal en la escala mas epica, me encanto. 9/10

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Sun Mar 05 2023
5

JUDAS PRIEST!! ROB HALFORD!!!

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Wed Mar 08 2023
5

Judas Priest is a formative band for me, so of course I love this album. Still incredible

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Mon Apr 03 2023
5

Pretty much all I want from hard rock

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Wed Apr 12 2023
5

I'm not usually a fan of metal but I really liked this album. I found myself headbanging for a bit. Very solid album with plenty of good tracks.

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Fri May 12 2023
5

cool, very classic metal album

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Tue May 16 2023
5

Great listen! Went through it twice. Lots of classic hits in this one.

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Sun May 21 2023
5

My cup of tea. An all time classic from one of the all time greats!! Most know Breaking The Law and Living After Midnight. Those got radio play. But pale in comparison to the heart of this powerhouse heavy metal masterpiece. Tipton and Downing in stellar form. The crunch and the speed. Halford and that rythym section. Rapid Fire. Metal Gods (from the Metal God himself) Grinder (I think there’s even an app they named after it LOL) You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise. It’s about time they were finally out in the Rock and Roll HOF!!

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Tue May 23 2023
5

I really like this album. This distinctive (maybe a little bit industrial) Judas Priest music with unforgetable Rob Halford voice is just too good. Breaking the law was probably the first song of Judas Priest I have ever heard. It still is one of my favourites.

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Tue May 23 2023
5

Today I decided to return to 1001 albums after a week-long pause. *click* "did not listen", and the next album showed up. Judas Priest - British Steel? No way! I listened to it last Wednesday - it must be destiny or a sign. What do I think about the album? I can appreciate a good album if I hear one and for sure it's an album we must hear before we die! Its history and influence on other artists speak for itself. The best tracks: Breaking the Law (obviously), Living After Midnight, United. I've to admit I can't stand looking at the cover.

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Sat May 27 2023
5

Rapid Fire, Metal Gods, Breaking the Law, Grinder, You Don’t Have to Be Old to be Wise, Living After Midnight and Steeler. Amazing riffs, great drumming and iconic singing by Sir Rob Halford. Amazing and Painkiller should be on this list as well. 9/10 but giving 5 stars because it’s better than other 9’s.

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Tue Aug 15 2023
5

I'm not that into metal in general, and talking specifically about this kind of classic heavy metal, Judas Priest is probably the only band I would rather listen to a full record instead of going to the dentist. But man, this one is SO GOOD.

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Thu Aug 17 2023
5

This is a pivotal album in heavy metal and rock history. It completes Judas Priest's transformation from niche metal/rock band to "Metal Gods". Rapid Fire starts off by punching you right in the face, setting the stage for "Metal Gods" which tells everyone who they are. Are they the evil robots mentioned in the song? Of course not, but we know that they are on another level. Then, the iconic "Breaking the Law" which is a major crossover hit. The album is great, and while maybe not the best Priest album (Screaming for Vengeance?), It is worthy of its legendary status. 4 or 5 stars. Was even better than I remember. The extra track doesn't work though.

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