Written by on March 9, 2010 in CD / DVD Releases, News To Shout About! - Comments Off on JUDAS PRIEST’S BRITISH STEEL CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY

A Razorsharp Metal Classic Gets Its Due!
The album that introduced “Breaking The Law” and “Living After Midnight”
Judas Priest – Winners of the 2010 Grammy Award for “Best Metal Performance”
  BRITISH STEEL: LEGACY EDITION CD + DVD package:  •  CD features 2001 remaster of original 9-song album with two bonus tracks •  DVD features live 16-song set from the 2009 tour (the album sequence  plus seven more tunes) plus new “Making of British Steel” interview
Available at both physical and digital retail outlets starting May 11, 2010

In the summer and fall of 2009, while on tour throughout North America and Japan, Judas Priest celebrated the 30th anniversary of the album British Steel at each of their concert stops.  Each night featured a complete performance of their breakthrough album – source of “Breaking The Law,” “Living After Midnight,” “Metal Gods,” “Grinder,” and more.  Released in April 1980, British Steel became Priest’s first RIAA platinum Top 40 album in the U.S., their first Top 10 studio album in the UK.  

Judas Priest is comprised of lead vocalist Rob Halford, dueling lead guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill, and (since 1989) drummer Scott Travis. 
Now British Steel’s 30th anniversary moment officially arrives, commemorating one of the most influential albums in heavy metal, a record that fellow musicians and disciples credit for unleashing metal from its blues origins. BRITISH STEEL: LEGACY EDITION will be available through standard retail and digital outlets starting May 11, 2010, on Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.  
BRITISH STEEL: LEGACY EDITION features the 2001 remaster of the original 36-minute, nine-song album (plus two bonus tracks).  Also included is a DVD which combines a live 16-song concert filmed in August 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida (the album sequence plus seven more cuts), with a 30-minute “Making of British Steel” interview that includes all four original band members.     There is no overstating Judas Priest’s position at the very top of heavy metal’s Mount Olympus, and the critical importance of their deep album catalog on Columbia Records in the U.S., from 1977’s Sin After Sin to 1990’s Painkiller.  In 2004, Halford reunited with Judas Priest and the band returned to Sony Music Entertainment.  The appropriately leather-bound and metal-spiked five-disc retrospective boxed set Metalogy was followed in 2005 by Angel of Retribution (#13 on the Billboard 200 albums chart) and in 2008 by Nostradamus (#11).  
In 2009, A Touch of Evil: Live  recapped Judas Priest’s world tours of the previous four years.  One of its tracks, “Dissident Aggressor” earned Judas Priest their first Grammy Award this year, for Best Metal Performance. 
Indeed, Judas Priest is celebrated as progenitors of metal’s defining sound.  The upgraded version of Behind The Music – Judas Priest (Re-Mastered) continues in circulation on VH1, and the band’s influence spreads far beyond the 30 million albums, singles and videos they have sold worldwide in their career.  
British Steel
The long-term association (eight consecutive live and studio albums) between Judas Priest and producer Tom Allom includes this classic, their second LP together.  It was recorded in four weeks at Tittenhurst Park, previously owned by John Lennon, and the home of Ringo Starr at the time.  Radio airplay on AOR (album-oriented rock) stations for “Living After Midnight” and “Breaking the Law” (with its early promo video clip by Julien Temple) propelled the LP to #34 in Billboard and an 18-week stay on the chart. 
When the Judas Priest album catalog on Columbia was restored for the first time starting in 2001, the band members offered their own recollections (in lieu of a liner notes essay) on each individual CD.  They recalled the clanging sounds of “trays of cutlery” and “billiard cues” heard in “Metal Gods,” which became a concert favorite along with “The Rage.”  Of the bonus tracks, “Grinder” is a live version recorded in 1984; and “Red, White & Blue,” written as a sing-along for the Turbo album sessions in 1985, never quite made the cut.  “A little tongue in cheek,” the 2001 notes declared, “it is also very patriotic and may bring a tear to your eye!”
When British Steel was issued in 1980, a Columbia Records promotion involved a giveaway contest for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle (signed by the band members) that Rob had taken to riding onstage at shows each night.  Three decades later, the 2009 tour resurrected the contest with another ‘autographed’ Harley.  
The British Steel 2009 Live Tour
As planned, Judas Priest hit the stage running every night of their summer tour, crashing into “Rapid Fire,” the opening track of British Steel, and reclaiming the other eight songs on the record in grand style.  Of course, the concerts did not end there.  The band tore through another program-length of songs from the four corners of their history, starting with “The Ripper,” from their first Columbia LP, 1977’s Sin After Sin. 
“Prophecy” dated from their most recent studio album of 2008, Nostradamus; “Hell Patrol” was from the Columbia album of 1990, Painkiller; “Victim Of Changes” is one of the staples from their 1976 album Sad Wings of Destiny; “Freewheel Burning” was one of the stellar tracks (along with “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll”) that sent their 1984 album Defenders of the Faith to RIAA platinum; “Diamonds & Rust” is their jaw-dropping treatment of a Joan Baez song from Sin After Sin; and the show closed with “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” Judas Priest’s singular appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, from 1982’s Screaming for Vengeance. 
Tom Allom and Judas Priest were reunited again (having worked together not so long ago on the audio for the DVD ‘Rising In The East’) for the live recordings that comprised 2009’s A Touch of Evil.  Allom is responsible for the stereo and 5.1 SurroundSound mixes of the live recording from the Seminole Hard Rock Arena concert that appears in this Legacy Edition.  The DVD will include bonus content as well, “The Making Of British Steel,” a 30-minute interview featuring the four original band members. 

BRITISH STEEL: LEGACY EDITION by JUDAS PRIEST (Columbia/Legacy 88697 66744 2)
Disc One: CD – BRITISH STEEL (remastered in 2001) 1. Breaking the Law • 2. Rapid Fire • 3. Metal Gods • 4. Grinder • 5. United • 6. Living After Midnight • 7. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise • 8. The Rage • 9. Steeler • Bonus tracks: 10. Red, White & Blue (studio track) • 11. Grinder (live version).

 Disc Two: DVD – THE BRITISH STEEL 2009 TOUR (Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida, August 17, 2009)  1. Breaking the Law • 2. Rapid Fire • 3. Metal Gods • 4. Grinder • 5. United • 6. Living After Midnight • 7. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise • 8. The Rage • 9. Steeler • 10. The Ripper • 11. Prophecy • 12. Hell Patrol • 13. Victim Of Changes • 14. Freewheel Burning • 15. Diamonds And Rust • 16. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.