British Steel: 30th Anniversary Edition
By David Chiu
Judas Priest’s 1980 album British Steel celebrates a special milestone this year. Even 30 years on its music on still sounds rip-roaring and alive. Yet British Steel has enough accessibility and appeal for those who are not necessarily be fans of Priest or this kind of fast heavy metal, especially from tracks such as “Living After Midnight” and the anthemic “United” But for the most part, the album lays down brutish and punishing tunes from the punk-ish “Rapid Fire” to the brutal slab of “Grinder.” (Even Priest handles some funk on “Metal Gods”). Rob Halford’s sinister vocals and Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing’s guitars highlight the record. This reissue also adds a DVD from a 2009 live concert in which the band performs the entire British Steel album with additional songs, including their cover of Joan Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust” and “The Ripper.” (The deluxe edition also features a CD of those live tracks).