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British Steel Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

258 customer reviews

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British Steel
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, May 29, 2001
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British Steel + Hell Bent For Leather + Stained Class
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Editorial Reviews

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The guitar riff from "Breaking the Law" is one of the most recognizable from early 1980s heavy metal. Though British Steel sounds dated these days, it's also a classic slice of metal, 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, from the lightning-fast riffs on "Rapid Fire," the anthemic "Metal Gods," and "United" to the obligatory party song "Living After Midnight" to the equally obligatory youth-rebellion song, "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise." British Steel is unquestionably Priest at their peak. The 2001 remastered reissue includes two bonus tracks--a previously unavailable studio selection called "Red, White & Blue" and a live take on "Grinder." --Genevieve Williams


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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Rapid Fire (Album Version) 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Metal Gods 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Breaking the Law 2:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Grinder 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. United 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise (Album Version) 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Living After Midnight 3:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. The Rage (Album Version) 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Steeler 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Red, White & Blue (Album Version) 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Grinder (Live) 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 29, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00005K9LN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,257 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By S B on June 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Reissued in the original non-U.S. running order, this record cemented Judas Priest as the preeminent heavy metal band. I say "heavy metal" because of the music and the themes. On its previous studio records, the band had intermixed Sabbath-type lyrical themes and plodding melodies with songs that could best be described as hard rock (a la AC/DC). They would return to the hard rock format on later (and lesser known) records like 1981's 'Point of Entry' and 1986's 'Turbo'. But 'British Steel' is the first of a line of records that would define heavy metal.
The record had its share of thematic anthems, such as "Breaking the Law" and "United" - paving the way for pop metal of the 1980s (e.g., "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister). But the record also had faster and more intense songs, with lyrics of darker mythology, such as "Rapid Fire" and "Steeler", which were the precursor for a metal style of bands like Metallica that has aged more gracefully.
As for the bonus tracks, "Red, White & Blue" is an anthemic outtake from the 'Turbo' sessions which should have probably remained an outtake. "Grinder" is a good live version of one of the classics on 'British Steel' which was taken (despite what the liner notes say) from a show that was performed and broadcast live on the radio at the height of Judas Priest's career (the 1984 'Defenders of the Faith' tour).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Darth Pariah on July 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This was the first Judas Priest album I ever got, and along with Black Sabbath's "Heaven And Hell" (which I also got around the same time, summer '81), these are my two "Desert Island Discs". I've owned various permutations of both on vinyl, cassette and CD.

This remaster is, of course, excellent, but curious in a couple of ways.

1. Why change the track order? It was fine as-was.

2. The extra tracks are more of a curiosity than anything else. The live "Grinder" is excellent, but "Red, White and Blue" is from the "Turbo" sessions (in my estimation, Priest's lowest point) and is a typical mid-80's lighters-in-the-air chant-along. Clever (if contrived) title, though, since both the British and U.S. flags are red, white and blue.

However, as to the actual music, this is music that has, and will last, the test of time. At this time the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was happening in the UK, where bands would go to a studio, set up, play live, and put the finished product out as a record (the early Iron Maiden and Saxon efforts were done this way). Priest did this on "British Steel" and the results showed the new upstarts that the elder statesmen had as much energy as they did.

Some have said that Priest "commercialised" on this album. With the exception of "Living After Midnight", I disagree. This is as heavy as anything they've done, the Tipton/Downing guitars are well upfront, and Rob Halford (with hair!) sounds as angry as ever. Listen closely, bass fans: Ian Hill is actually AUDIBLE doing the intro to "The Rage"!

Dave Holland (is he still in prison?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey G. Stevenson on August 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
What can be said about the great JP and their contributions to the Heavy Metal genre? Other than Black Sabbath, these guys were soley responsible for what I consider to be TRUE Heavy Metal.... A "crunching" guitar assault, "Head-pummeling" tempos, and "soaring" vocals abound. And as far as "looks" go, this band epitomized the visual side of the genre BETTER than any band before or since....literally Hell bent for Leather...and studs...and chains...and boots.

Although "British Steel" is not my all-time favorite from the band (that HAS to go to "Screaming"), I feel it contains a varied mix of music that encompasses what made this band so acssesable and likeable. Metal Anthems such as "Breaking the Law", "Grinder", "Metal Gods" and "Livin' After Midnight" can still be heard on FM stations across the land. Cult followers of the band would surely cite cuts such as "Rapid Fire", "The Rage" and "Steeler" as the real "treats" on this album. Personally, I like every song here...including the "lesser" tracks such as "United" and "Don't Have to be Old to be Wise" (though somewhat "burnt" on "Livin" and "Breaking the Law"). The first band I was ever in (Pure Grain...are you out there!?!), literally "cut their teeth" to this 'Metal' great, and played no less than half the tracks on this album on any given "Gig". If there is anybody reading this that is not familiar with The Priest and is searching for the REAL DEAL, "Old school" version of Heavy Metal....look no further, you've found IT! Also recommended for the "budding" Metalist: Maiden's "Piece of Mind", Metallica's "Ride the Lightning", Priest's "Screaming for Vengeance" and Sabbath's "Master of Reality".

P.S. As I was about to submit this review, it occured to me that I failed to mention the individual members of Priest.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Stratton on February 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In 1980, the musical landscape was going through some big changes. Punk rock and disco were considered dead, and new wave music was gaining popularity. However, in the U.K., a new musical scene was emerging: heavy metal. Many bands came out in this time period including Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Diamond Head, Angel Witch, Witchfinder General, and of course Judas Priest. Now, the band had been around for years, but this was when they started gaining more mainstream recognition. In fact, many people credit Judas Priest for influencing the whole British metal scene. On this album, the band went for a more commercial sound that was hinted at on their previous album, Hell Bent for Leather (1979). However, the band still manages to keep their trademark ass-kicking sound.

The album begins with the speed metal song Rapid Fire. Fast paced guitar riffs start the song, a bit of drum pounding, and Rob Halford growls, "Pounding the world, like a battering ram." Very old school speed metal right here. Listening to this song is like someone throwing concrete blocks at your head. Glenn Tipton and KK Downing really display their guitasr abilities well on this album and this song is no exception, the guitar solos they play on here are FAST. The song segues into the more mid-paced Metal Gods. I love the part when Rob sings "Fearing for our lives, reaped by robot scythes." And then he starts chanting "Metal Gods" It may be a slower song, but it is still heavy as hell. Next is Breaking the Law, a very commercial and catchy song that I am sure everyone knows. The riffs on here are just powerful, I really can't get enough of this one. United is VERY anthemic, it's almost impossible not to sing along. This would be an awesome song to hear in concert. Another well known song by the band.
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