Judas Priest - Turbo review



Reviewer:
4.6

492 users:
7.26
Band: Judas Priest
Album: Turbo
Release date: April 1986


01. Turbo Lover
02. Locked In
03. Private Property
04. Parental Guidance
05. Rock You All Around The World
06. Out In The Cold
07. Wild Nights, Hot And Crazy Days
08. Hot For Love
09. Reckless
10. All Fired Up [Recorded during the 1985 Turbo sessions] [2001 re-release bonus]
11. Locked In [Live at Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri, USA in May 23, 1986] [2001 re-release bonus]


The year is 1986. Judas Priest are at the top of the metal world, having recently released the highly acclaimed Screaming For Vengeance and Defenders Of The Faith, their record sales are through the roof, and their concerts are sold out. There are also a couple of stains, though; they are involved in a civil action that alleged that their recording of the song "Better By You, Better Than Me" contained a subliminal message, which led to the suicide attempts of two young men. In addition to this, Rob Halford is fighting substance abuse and is going through emotional turmoil. Musically, glam is starting to get very popular, especially in the USA. Under these circumstances, Judas Priest release Turbo.

The album is a cold shower for the people who were excitedly expecting something similar to the quality of their previous releases. Turbo is flirting intensely with glam, guitar synthesizers are introduced for the first time and the lyrical content is painfully stupid (not that the band is famous for their lyrics, but here they reached an all-time low). The band that used to be a heavy metal pioneer sounds like it is following the herd towards MTV airplay and uses catchy pop, uninspired songwriting. Weak and mid-tempo riffs, commercial production and hair-salon appearance are only some of the reasons why the fans were disappointed (and this term is an understatement). Choruses are repeated so many times that make you want to smash the cassette or record player (not many owned compact disc players back then). Take for example "Parental Guidance" and especially "Rock You All Around The World", in which Rob sings these six words repeatedly for 50 bloody seconds.

The problem with this release is not that it is commercial and sounds more hard rock/glam rather than heavy metal. There are very respectable and enjoyable releases of this genre during that era. Van Halen's 1984, Def Leppard's Pyromania and Hysteria, and of course W.A.S.P.'s W.A.S.P. and The Last Command are some examples. Turbo is nowhere near this standard. The songs "Turbo", "Out In The Cold", "Hot For Love" and "Reckless" are quite alright, even good, maybe, without being metal, but they still suffer from the dreadful production. Everything else is practically more or less unlistenable and this is why Turbo in general not only is an album that does not belong to the band's character, it's also a really poor musical effort for their calibre.

Mission was accomplished, since the album was Judas Priest's biggest sales success and reached the highest chart position they had until Angel Of Retribution, almost 20 years later. The band declared that they were very proud to release a remastered version on 3rd of February 2017 to celebrate the album's 30th anniversary. It really beats me how they forget that its lack of quality and class (even the cover is abysmal), as well as the mediocrity of 1988's Ram It Down, damaged the band's relationship with nearly every metal fan, and it took the sheer brilliance of Painkiller for this relationship to be restored. Stay away from this; the metal gods' catalogue is full of gems to choose from.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 8
Production: 3

Written by nikarg | 28.04.2017


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 98 users
28.04.2017 - 15:08
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Nice work.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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28.04.2017 - 16:47
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Ace Frawley on 28.04.2017 at 15:08

Nice work.

Thank you. It wasn't easy to write about my favourite band's worst album.
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on and on south of heaven

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28.04.2017 - 20:59
sbgmetal
Im just surprised all fired up wasn't part of the album
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05.05.2017 - 15:10
Nejde
I totally disagree.

Turbo was one of the first Judas albums I heard as a young boy and it is still one of my favourites in their catalogue. "Hot For Love" still has the best guitar solo the band has put out to date and "Reckless" definitely is on my Top 10 list of best Judas songs. Sure, "Private Property", "Parental Guidance" and "Rock You All Around The World" are the weakest songs on the album, but hey, not everything that shines is gold.
To say that this is their worst album is to totally ignore Jugulator and Demolition, two albums I almost won't call Judas albums because in no way do they sound like Judas Priest. Turbo might be more pop/glam but at least it still sounds like Judas Priest.
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05.05.2017 - 16:01
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Nejde on 05.05.2017 at 15:10

I totally disagree.

Turbo was one of the first Judas albums I heard as a young boy and it is still one of my favourites in their catalogue. "Hot For Love" still has the best guitar solo the band has put out to date and "Reckless" definitely is on my Top 10 list of best Judas songs. Sure, "Private Property", "Parental Guidance" and "Rock You All Around The World" are the weakest songs on the album, but hey, not everything that shines is gold.
To say that this is their worst album is to totally ignore Jugulator and Demolition, two albums I almost won't call Judas albums because in no way do they sound like Judas Priest. Turbo might be more pop/glam but at least it still sounds like Judas Priest.

As you say, I totally ignore the Owens albums, because for me Priest without Halford is not Priest. However, even though these two releases do not sound like JP, they are slightly better than Turbo in my mind (but pretty mediocre albums too). I can't say anything about your other points, because taste is subjective, but I'm glad you enjoy the album mate.
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on and on south of heaven

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05.05.2017 - 16:07
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by sbgmetal on 28.04.2017 at 20:59

Im just surprised all fired up wasn't part of the album

It was too metal for Turbo probably. I also can't really believe it was written during the 1985-86 Turbo sessions. It sounds like it belongs more to Screaming For Vengeance or Defenders Of The Faith. Good song though.
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on and on south of heaven

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05.05.2017 - 16:36
Nejde
Written by nikarg on 05.05.2017 at 16:01

Written by Nejde on 05.05.2017 at 15:10

I totally disagree.

Turbo was one of the first Judas albums I heard as a young boy and it is still one of my favourites in their catalogue. "Hot For Love" still has the best guitar solo the band has put out to date and "Reckless" definitely is on my Top 10 list of best Judas songs. Sure, "Private Property", "Parental Guidance" and "Rock You All Around The World" are the weakest songs on the album, but hey, not everything that shines is gold.
To say that this is their worst album is to totally ignore Jugulator and Demolition, two albums I almost won't call Judas albums because in no way do they sound like Judas Priest. Turbo might be more pop/glam but at least it still sounds like Judas Priest.


As you say, I totally ignore the Owens albums, because for me Priest without Halford is not Priest. However, even though these two releases do not sound like JP, they are slightly better than Turbo in my mind (but pretty mediocre albums too). I can't say anything about your other points, because taste is subjective, but I'm glad you enjoy the album mate.


In Sweden we got a saying: Taste is like a butt - divided. (Sounds really stupid in English haha) But you get the point. Music would be really boring if everybody liked the same thing.

On a final note: I totally agree that Painkiller is sheer brilliance. Cheers!
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05.05.2017 - 20:05
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Nejde on 05.05.2017 at 16:36

In Sweden we got a saying: Taste is like a butt - divided. (Sounds really stupid in English haha) But you get the point. Music would be really boring if everybody liked the same thing.

On a final note: I totally agree that Painkiller is sheer brilliance. Cheers!

Clever saying, I didn't know it
Oh yeah Painkiller is the tits Cheers!
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on and on south of heaven

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05.05.2017 - 23:07
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
This is the only Judas Priest album I like. Excellent review and thanks.
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rekt
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06.05.2017 - 01:49
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by tea[m]ster on 05.05.2017 at 23:07

This is the only Judas Priest album I like. Excellent review and thanks.

You're welcome. I'm flabbergasted by your comment about it being the only album you like from them!
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on and on south of heaven

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06.05.2017 - 02:34
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Imo you're generous with your 4.6 for this horrendous album. Only the title track is any good. The rest is utter tripe. And the lyrics... omfg. Priest were mostly always terrible in that department but here they outdid themselves. Back when this was released... well THE FUCKING OUTRAGE!!!!! and rightly so.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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06.05.2017 - 12:02
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.05.2017 at 02:34

Imo you're generous with your 4.6 for this horrendous album. Only the title track is any good. The rest is utter tripe. And the lyrics... omfg. Priest were mostly always terrible in that department but here they outdid themselves. Back when this was released... well THE FUCKING OUTRAGE!!!!! and rightly so.

The rating means I put it somewhere between "not good" and "bad". The album is plain bad in my opinion but I couldn't give a lower rating to my beloved priest. From your comments I take it that you agree with the content, right?
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on and on south of heaven

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08.05.2017 - 11:28
M C Vice
Ex-polydactyl
Written by Nejde on 05.05.2017 at 16:36

In Sweden we got a saying: Taste is like a butt - divided. (Sounds really stupid in English haha) But you get the point. Music would be really boring if everybody liked the same thing.

Similar to the saying 'opinions are like arseholes, everyone got one.'

I like Turbo, thought it is better than Ram It Down, Defenders Of The Faith, British Steel, Point Of Entry, Jugulator and Redeemer Of Souls. But I agree with you about Parental Guidance and Rock You all Around The World.
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Sharks 2016 Premiers. Please don't choke this year.
"I'll fight you on one condition. That you lower your nipples."
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09.05.2017 - 10:01
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Nejde on 05.05.2017 at 15:10

Turbo was one of the first Judas albums I heard as a young boy and it is still one of my favourites in their catalogue.

That's why you disagree. First impressions are the ones that tend to leave an indelible mark, and last the longest. I guarantee you that whichever other Judas Priest album you would've heard first, it would still be one of your favourites. That's how it works, especially when we listen to music as young kids. The power of nostalgia and sentiment can't be overstated.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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09.05.2017 - 17:07
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Daniell on 09.05.2017 at 10:01

That's why you disagree. First impressions are the ones that tend to leave an indelible mark, and last the longest. I guarantee you that whichever other Judas Priest album you would've heard first, it would still be one of your favourites. That's how it works, especially when we listen to music as young kids. The power of nostalgia and sentiment can't be overstated.

So true
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on and on south of heaven

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09.05.2017 - 19:28
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by nikarg on 09.05.2017 at 17:07

Written by Daniell on 09.05.2017 at 10:01

That's why you disagree. First impressions are the ones that tend to leave an indelible mark, and last the longest. I guarantee you that whichever other Judas Priest album you would've heard first, it would still be one of your favourites. That's how it works, especially when we listen to music as young kids. The power of nostalgia and sentiment can't be overstated.

So true

I don't suppose you'll believe me when I tell you that I haven't known this quote before you posted it.
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Now loving:
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Cradle of Filth - Heartbreak and Seance
Dark Tranquillity - Nothing To No One
Immolation - Swarm of Terror
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09.05.2017 - 20:35
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Daniell on 09.05.2017 at 19:28

I don't suppose you'll believe me when I tell you that I haven't known this quote before you posted it.

Haha, I believe you if you say so. I am actually not even sure it belongs to Rob. It could easily be one of these quotes you find on the internet and are randomly and arbitrarily attributed to famous people. But the actual content is totally true.
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on and on south of heaven

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14.09.2017 - 20:12
Bad English
Masterchief
Great review, nice way to not insult album but put all negative things about it in positive way
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I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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