Rating:
5.0
Judas Priest - British Steel
19 April 1980


01. Rapid Fire
02. Metal Gods
03. Breaking The Law
04. Grinder
05. United
06. You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise
07. Living After Midnight
08. The Rage
09. Steeler
10. Red, White & Blue [Recorded during the 1985 Turbo sessions] [2001 re-release bonus]
11. Grinder [Live at Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California in 5 May 1984] [2001 re-release bonus]


Obviously not the best start into the 80's is this Judas Priest album, although it contains some of the bands classics such as 'Metal Gods', 'Breaking The Law' and 'Living After Midnight', but even these songs have seen better times especially as on stage performances.

Nearly all songs on 'British Steel' fail to bring up the metal feeling that the 70's stuff did. The faster the songs the poorer they are, maybe Priest were still tired of their world tour when they recorded this album saying: hey let's make something slower.You can consider it better looking at it as a rock album (with slight american influences regarding the style, which is really irony of fate when you look at the title) than as a metal album. As a rock album it is fun listening, but not at all times, you should at least be in the mood!
Certainly the band has produced better albums, but if you want to collect all the Judas Priest albums you get at least some classics. The 70's sound has not changed yet, but it will in the following years. At this point let me just mention 'Screaming For Vengeance' from 1982 which is kind of a milestone in metal history. The two bonus tracks do not count for rating this album up, because one of them is a live version of the original material and the other is a very cheesy hymn really bad, no it's awful.

I don't know because back in 1980 I was just one year old, but if this album sold well, then only because it's so damn mainstream... or at least because of the band's success in the late seventies. There is no point liking it more than it deserves and it does not deserve too much.


Band profile: Judas Priest
Album: British Steel


 


written by Pierre Tombale | 16.11.2003



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Valentin B - 09.11.2006 at 15:00  
this probably is the most well-known album by them..but it has so many live classics: rapid fire,breaking the law,grinder,living after midnight...
and rapid fire kicks so much ass!! pounding the world...like a battering ram...
i'll rate this album 8 because aside from the songs mentioned above, there are almost no good songs here
Arian Totalis - 10.11.2006 at 01:58  
I disagree completely with the reviewer, I don't know what the hell kind of shrooms he ate, but Brittish Steel kicks Mucho Ass.
ThunderAxe1989 - 10.11.2006 at 02:43  
^^^ Yeah, it's so classic ...... really, I think Iron Markus is being a bit harsh, i think it deserves much more than a 5.
Baz Anderson - 10.11.2006 at 18:34  
its good to see a negative review once in a while. it isnt good to see it for Judas Priest though

i do agree with you - the 70's albums (apart from 'Rocka Rolla') are all better then this one i feel
this album was their commercial breakthrough, so the songs are a bit less metal and more commercial - that doesnt automatically make then bad though, but it is still a step down from previous albums

i wouldnt have given it five, i think thats maybe a bit too low. but i wouldnt have given it a super high rating either
ThunderAxe1989 - 11.11.2006 at 00:28  
Less Metal? WoW, that was not easy to take in!
Baz Anderson - 11.11.2006 at 18:34  
haha - well listen to tracks like 'Exciter' 'Victim Of Changes' and 'Dissident Aggressor'
there is nothing as heavy as them on 'British Steel'
Marcel Hubregtse - 11.11.2006 at 20:23  
I agree with the review, totally. except I wouldn't rate it 5 either, but I think I would give it a 6 at most. And, yes Markus, the only reason this album was so damn popular in the 80s is because it was just so fucking mainstream. Priest fans were complaining about the album as well at the time. Redeeming fact for this album are of course, Rapid Fire, Grinder, Steeler, and Breaking the Law, and btw, they should all still be shot for recording something as trite as United. My God, the average football has a better anthem than this hoorible piece of crap.

Oh and bTW, YES this is LESS metal than their 70s material. this is pop-metal almost on par with Def Leppard.
Opium Magnet - 12.11.2006 at 13:51  
For those who disagree, I'd like to see them compile and create an album better than this. Turbo was bad, this album wasn't.
I liked this album overall, although it wasn't perfect, imo, it kept me entertained for its total running time and made me want to replay it a few times. This album isn't their best, although it surely isn't worth a petty 5 or 6, which is a rating only given to those uber-kvlt black metal recodings that might have been good if the sound quality wasn't so bad.
Valentin B - 12.11.2006 at 14:07  
hey, it sold copies but at least it was good at some points
btw have you never wondered why a band is liked 80-90% by people of a certain gender?(ex. judas priest, iron maiden, slayer for guys and nightwish, within temptation and <insert goth band here> for girls)
Valar - 12.11.2006 at 14:20  
This is a great album i was totally trippin on the same when i made my Metalstorm account and thats y my Username is inspired by this great album....
A very sad review for this album has come JP classics like Breaking The Law, Metal Gods, Living After Midnight...
I would give it a 8....
Basso - 12.11.2006 at 14:53  
Written by Valentin B on 12.11.2006 at 14:07

hey, it sold copies but at least it was good at some points
btw have you never wondered why a band is liked 80-90% by people of a certain gender?(ex. judas priest, iron maiden, slayer for guys and nightwish, within temptation and <insert goth band here> for girls)

Within temtation and Nightwish aint goth.
Valentin B - 12.11.2006 at 18:35  
whatever but the gathering, tristania, theatre of tragedy...
sorry for the offtopic fest
Baz Anderson - 12.11.2006 at 19:19  
Opium Magnet: i prefer 'Turbo' to this album! haha - i love the 'Turbo' album!
Bear88 - 15.02.2007 at 05:45  
Yeah i think 5 is a good number to rate this album at. After listening to the likes of Sin after sin and Staind Class, i just can't put this album on for longer than nessesary. But i do still enjoy the the campness of United and Breaking the law.
And to think of it, i actually think The Rage is my favourite song on this piece of floppy meat.
Opium Magnet - 15.02.2007 at 09:32  
Written by Baz Anderson on 12.11.2006 at 19:19

Opium Magnet: i prefer 'Turbo' to this album! haha - i love the 'Turbo' album!

Turbo was almost like pop music in a way
Hyvaarin - 01.06.2007 at 13:45  
Sure it can't beat the 70s albums, but what can? And if you're suggesting that 'Rapid Fire' is a bad song...you've got another thing comin'.
ThunderAxe1989 - 28.07.2007 at 23:48  
oh yeah and ummm, I fail to hear these apparant American Influences
Samuel550 - 27.03.2008 at 14:45  
For once I totally agree with a low score for one of my favuorite bands. I have been climbing up the Priest catalog for a few years now and I have to say that British Steal has impressed me the least. And it's not the commercialism mind you, I don't mind a metal band going mainstream so long as they're music stays listenable.

Infact, the album before this-Killing Machine(or Hell Bent For Leather for all you US listeners)-was also quite commercial and way better. Songs like 'Rock Forever', 'Evening Star', 'Take on The World' and 'Burning Up' are decent, if not brilliant. 'Breaking The Law', 'United' and 'Living After' Midnight however are bland in comparison. And 'Red White and Blue' is absolutely atrociouse for a bonus track.
IronBlackZepp - 30.04.2008 at 05:58  
Ya this is not priests best, but I still love this album. This album did through me off because it was the second priest album I heard, the first was screaming for vengence. To me the two albums almost sounded like they were recorded by two different bands. But British Steel grew on me, now its just another great Priest album to me.
BloodTears - 02.05.2008 at 20:59  
I like this album. I think its fun, and it has what I always liked in Judas Priest, heavy songs that are a good listen.
Nicko's Nose - 18.06.2008 at 06:02  
Great review. This album is so fucking overrated... Can you believe that Priest went from awesome albums like Stained Class to this? I fail to understand why some people consider it to be Priest's best album.

The songs are so ridiculously simple... Most of the songs have only 4 riffs in total and those riffs are nothing special compared to most of Priest's riffs from the 70's. Breaking The Law is so overrated, I used to like it, but I got bored of it fast... Some people think that it has an awesome chorus, but what's so awesome about it exactly? Its one of the least melodic choruses ever! Just say 'breaking the law' 8 times and you have the chorus. Living After Midnight is pretty catchy, but its just a generic and cheesy rock song... Ok, I guess that it wasn't generic in the 80's, but still... The best song on the album is definitely The Rage. It has a great riff and the verses are pretty catchy. Rapid Fire, Metal Gods and Grinder aren't bad either, but damn, they're really nothing special, there's nothing incredibly original about them, they aren't anywhere near as good as most of Priest's songs from the 70's. You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise and Steeler are extremely forgettable. How can anyone prefer songs like Breaking The Law and Living After Midnight over songs like Exciter, Beyond The Realms Of Death, Victim Of Changes, Sinner, Starbreaker... ? Ok, I understand if you're a fan of mainstream music, but otherwise I don't.

This album was nothing more than an attempt at becoming more famous. Thank god that they redeemed themselves with Screaming For Vengeance. Even Turbo is better than this album.
dismaleuphony - 08.11.2008 at 04:39  
This album is definitely a lower point in the band's career; I think the review is accurate and justified! I only really care for "The Rage" and "Breaking The Law." And I still think the song "Grinder" is a song full of moronic lyrics that sang atop a repetitive riff that only is worse when it's added as a bonus track - so I had to sit through it again! Listening to this album on CD for the first time recently instead of on a cassette reminded me why I never bought the thing on CD in the first place. Thankfully I have yet to spend any money on this terrible listen and can use it towards buying albums where the band actually seems worth listening to for more than a few tracks...
Dangerboner - 08.11.2008 at 04:47  
There's a few good songs on this, but for me it's their second worst album with Halford... maybe second worst overall.
Metalbound7 - 15.11.2008 at 09:13  
Very overated album but it deserves much more than a 5 anyway. it have good songs. i would give it an 8/10 because its nothing special but i really enojoy every time that i listen ti this album
IronBlackZepp - 19.02.2009 at 21:23  
Turbo is not better then this album.
DayFly - 20.03.2009 at 20:23  
Written by Nicko's Nose on 18.06.2008 at 06:02

You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise and Steeler are extremely forgettable.


What's your gripe with You Don't Have To Be Old To Be Wise? In my opinion it's the catchiest, most anthemic thing the band ever released. Even people outside of metal like it and that's really an indication of timeless appeal.
Ellrohir - 17.07.2009 at 01:10  
Breaking The Law, Living After Midnight, United, Red, White & Blue...those songs are so great...

i finally stopped ignoring Judas Priest and this album is really great one imo
roger73 - 11.08.2009 at 10:47  
Marcel H., will you give the comment about bad footbal hymn to every your JP comment?

This album is great start of 80's and the best from Metal Gods. Earlier albums are good only in sound, but without good songs IMHO. And so it is with Screaming
GamlaSonn - 03.10.2009 at 01:03  
Meh I think it's a fun album and better than Hell Bent For Leather
SatyriconChick - 09.11.2009 at 01:42  
I'm confused as to the rating for this album. 5 out of 10?? No way! Okay, so it has Priest's cheesiest song on it (at least to me, "Grinder" is pretty cheesy), but it's still a classic, awesome album! I mean, how can you NOT love anthems like "Metal Gods" and "United?" I won't say British Steel is my favorite Priest album, but it's definitely not my least favorite, either.
JohnDoe - 09.11.2009 at 21:39  
The album is JP's most famous album along with Painkiller. The album is overappreciated, I agree. But still 5 is too low as a rating. Maybe a bit more like 7, or 7.5. The album is not bad, JP tried to make a wider audience and I think they succeeded.

Anyway, my favourite JP albums are those from the 70s. Compared to the 70s, British Steel is pretty weak.
Boxcar Willy - 27.11.2009 at 19:08  
Written by Arian Totalis on 10.11.2006 at 01:58

I disagree completely with the reviewer, I don't know what the hell kind of shrooms he ate, but Brittish Steel kicks Mucho Ass.

damn straight! this album awesome
Lord_Regnier - 28.11.2009 at 14:37  
"I don't know because back in 1980 I was just one year old, but if this album sold well, then only because it's so damn mainstream..."


There's another reason as to why some old metal albums sold well and have been rated highly, even if they pale in comparison when you put them besides more recent (90s onwards) metal albums.
Some albums in the early to mid 80s have been popular simply because we didn't have better back then. Metal wasn't evolved like today and lots of genres we have now barely existed at that time.
Many albums that are considered as classics would go totally unnoticed if they'd be released now.
An album like "British Steel" sounds extremely outdated today.
SatyriconChick - 04.12.2009 at 05:35  
^ I disagree that it sounds outdated today. As I said in my previous post, "Grinder" is a really cheesy song... But I think the majority of songs on this album, most notably "United," "Living After Midnight," "Breaking the Law" and "Metal Gods" sound still very fresh to this day and can get any true metalhead banging their heads.
Derwood - 04.12.2009 at 06:46  
Written by SatyriconChick on 04.12.2009 at 05:35

... But I think the majority of songs on this album, most notably "United" ... sound still very fresh to this day and can get any true metalhead banging their heads.


Wow, there are actually people who like "United"? Compared to that moldy old bit of slimy blue cheese, "Grinder" is downright kvlt.

Easily the most overrated album in the mighty Judas Priest catalog, but not their worst. Way better than Turbo, slightly better than Point of Entry or Rocka Rolla. It's pretty mediocre, especially by JP standards.
Marcel Hubregtse - 04.12.2009 at 17:52  
Written by Derwood on 04.12.2009 at 06:46

Written by SatyriconChick on 04.12.2009 at 05:35

... But I think the majority of songs on this album, most notably "United" ... sound still very fresh to this day and can get any true metalhead banging their heads.


Wow, there are actually people who like "United"? Compared to that moldy old bit of slimy blue cheese, "Grinder" is downright kvlt.





I was just rubbing my eyes in total disbelief when I read her statement on "United"
Even all football/soccer clubs would be ashamed if they had an anthem such as that.

And yes British Steel is their most overrated, but not their worst. It is still better than Ram It Down and Turbo and Nostradamus (actually all their stuff after Painkiller) And nope the songs except for one or two don't sound fresh anymore. Totally outdated most of the stuff on this album.
JÄY - 03.12.2010 at 07:05  
Yes, the rot began on the previous album, continued with this release and matured on point of entry...then they got their shit together!
RavenKing - 05.12.2010 at 03:14  
Written by Nicko's Nose on 18.06.2008 at 06:02

The songs are so ridiculously simple


It has always been my opinion about this album. If you compare it to their 70s stuff, it feels dumbed down quite a bit.
Angelic Storm - 05.12.2010 at 05:20  
Hmm, interesting discussion about this album! lol xD

5.0 is definitely far lower than what I would give it, although Ive always seen "British Steel" as Priest's most overrated album. Most of the songs are enjoyable, And "Rapid Fire", "Metal Gods", "Grinder" and "Breaking The Law" are some of my fave Priest songs. Rightly regarded as classics, if you ask me. But something like say "Living After Midnight" isnt a bad song at all, but it hardly compares to the sheer metal majesty of earlier classics like "Tyrant", "The Ripper", "Sinner", or "Exciter".

I also find most of the albums after "British Steel" to be better than it. "Defenders Of The Faith", "Screaming For Vengeance", "Painkiller"... are all albums I prefer over it, and most of the others run it very close or are equal with it. Id probably give it a 7.5/8 rating. Its a good a album, and I enjoy a lot of it, but its definitely not the apex of Priest, (at least not in my eyes,) that many seem to claim it to be.
John Shock - 05.03.2011 at 01:31  
Hey, is this album that bad as people are saying around? I want a opinion of someone,... if i'll buy it or not! Well, in one way, almost professional reviews, unless Metal Storm gave the album almost maximum score or even the maximum, but in the other hand i read here on Metal Storm about the same album and many of these guys think badly about this album! My neighbour says this album is a big peace of metal!
Ok, someone help me, i'm confused...in this case, the professionals are right or the fans and listeners are right? (or in the other hand my neighbour is right? )
John Shock - 05.03.2011 at 01:39  
Written by Guest on 12.11.2006 at 14:53

Written by Valentin B on 12.11.2006 at 14:07

hey, it sold copies but at least it was good at some points
btw have you never wondered why a band is liked 80-90% by people of a certain gender?(ex. judas priest, iron maiden, slayer for guys and nightwish, within temptation and <insert goth band here> for girls)

Within temtation and Nightwish aint goth.


Hey men, sorry to disagree with you in one thing, not every women likes gothic Metal like you said, it goes with everyone's minds (if you understand what i'm saying), Well, here in portugal i'd pray for one day meet a girl, that really enjoys "metal"I will say you something, i have classmates that almost puke to hear metal, but i can't do nothing about it 'cause in this country a few number of population enjoys metal, and that few number, only 1/4 (+/-) likes really metal(and i mean really metal (not plastic metal)!
Angelic Storm - 06.03.2011 at 13:25  
Written by John Shock on 05.03.2011 at 01:31

Hey, is this album that bad as people are saying around? I want a opinion of someone,... if i'll buy it or not! Well, in one way, almost professional reviews, unless Metal Storm gave the album almost maximum score or even the maximum, but in the other hand i read here on Metal Storm about the same album and many of these guys think badly about this album! My neighbour says this album is a big peace of metal!
Ok, someone help me, i'm confused...in this case, the professionals are right or the fans and listeners are right? (or in the other hand my neighbour is right? )


It isn't a bad album, far from it! I just think it's a little bit overrated in Priest's catalogue. There are some really great songs on it, and I'd certainly recommend it to any fan of old school heavy metal. Oh, and you should NEVER base your album purchases on the basis of album reviews, professional or otherwise. It's only ever one person's opinion. xD

And you're right, not every female metal fan likes bands like Nightwish and Within Temptation. I for one can't stand those types of bands.
John Shock - 07.03.2011 at 21:56  
Written by Angelic Storm on 06.03.2011 at 13:25

Written by John Shock on 05.03.2011 at 01:31

Hey, is this album that bad as people are saying around? I want a opinion of someone,... if i'll buy it or not! Well, in one way, almost professional reviews, unless Metal Storm gave the album almost maximum score or even the maximum, but in the other hand i read here on Metal Storm about the same album and many of these guys think badly about this album! My neighbour says this album is a big peace of metal!
Ok, someone help me, i'm confused...in this case, the professionals are right or the fans and listeners are right? (or in the other hand my neighbour is right? )


It isn't a bad album, far from it! I just think it's a little bit overrated in Priest's catalogue. There are some really great songs on it, and I'd certainly recommend it to any fan of old school heavy metal. Oh, and you should NEVER base your album purchases on the basis of album reviews, professional or otherwise. It's only ever one person's opinion. xD

And you're right, not every female metal fan likes bands like Nightwish and Within Temptation. I for one can't stand those types of bands.


Oh, then tell me what bands you like! I'm curious about it!
M C Vice - 15.03.2011 at 08:51  
Why do people keep baging Point Of Entry?
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.03.2011 at 10:54  
Written by M C Vice on 15.03.2011 at 08:51

Why do people keep baging Point Of Entry?


because it's average at best?
M C Vice - 18.03.2011 at 13:15  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.03.2011 at 10:54

Written by M C Vice on 15.03.2011 at 08:51

Why do people keep baging Point Of Entry?


because it's average at best?


But it's got Heading out to the Highway and Desert Plains
It's better than British Steele.
They're the same as Turbo and Ram It Down, they have a couple of great songs on them, but lack the consistency of Sad Wings Of Destiny and Painkiller.
godisdead - 28.05.2011 at 03:38  
Deserves much more than a five he is being way too harsh. I love this album and thsi is what got me into judas priest.
Mattybu - 17.07.2011 at 22:07  
Good review. There's really not much special about this album aside from one, maybe two songs, and even those, Judas Priest have done much better. I'd give it about a 6.
Pennywise213 - 02.11.2011 at 23:28  
Thans for having the balls to call a shity album shity, even you know you will be called crazy. British Steal is the most overrated lame metal album in history.
MrSubmarine - 23.11.2011 at 00:08  
5 is a bit of a harsh rating, but I do agree that this album was a huge step down from the quality of it's predecessors. My favourite 'commercial' Priest album has to be 'Killing Machine', as it's far less shamelessly pop-py, with the exception of 'Take on the World'. I would give this album a 7, or maybe 8 for it's historical significance. I may be in the minority, but I never really cared for the majority of their output from the 80s.

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