British Steel
British Steel
Album info
Release14 April 1980
11 May 2010 (30th Anniversary Edition)
RecordedJanuary–February 1980 at Startling Studios, Ascot, England; United Kingdom
GenreHeavy metal
ProducerTom Allom

British Steel is the sixth album by the British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 14 April 1980.


British Steel saw the band reprise the commercial sound they had established on Killing Machine. This time, they abandoned some of the dark lyrical themes which had been prominent on their previous releases, but some of it still remains. British Steel was recorded at Tittenhurst Park, home of former Beatle Ringo Starr, a recording studio located on Tittenhurst's grounds, after a false start at Startling Studios in December 1979. Digital sampling was not yet widely available at the time of recording, so the band used analog recording of smashing milk bottles to be included in "Breaking the Law", as well as various sounds in "Metal Gods" produced by billiard cues and trays of cutlery.[1] It was released in the UK at a discount price of £3.99, with the advertisements in the music press bearing the legend "British Steal". Songs "Breaking the Law", "United", and "Living After Midnight" were released as singles.[1]

British Steel is the first Judas Priest album to feature drummer Dave Holland. It is also their first album on which all the songs were written by only current members of the band: Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings of Destiny featured songwriting from the band's original lead vocalist Al Atkins, Sin After Sin includes a cover of Joan Baez's "Diamonds & Rust," Stained Class has a cover of Spooky Tooth's "Better By You, Better Than Me," and the U.S. version of Killing Machine (titled Hell Bent for Leather) features a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Green Manalishi."

The album was remastered in 2001 with two bonus tracks added. Bonus studio track "Red, White, and Blue" was written in the sessions for the "Twin Turbos" album (which would become Turbo) and recorded at Compass Point Studios in |Nassau in July 1985.[1] The second bonus track, a live performance of "Grinder", was recorded on 5 May 1984, in Los Angeles during the Defenders of the Faith tour.

In 2009, Judas Priest kicked off their 30th anniversary tour in the US by playing British Steel live in its entirety for the first time. The only other Judas Priest albums of which all the songs have been performed live are Defenders of the Faith and Rocka Rolla, but neither of them were played in the original LP running order or during the same tour (though the original US LP having a different running order than the UK version).

The 30th anniversary release of the album came with a DVD and CD of a live show recorded on 17 August 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida as part of the British Steel 30th Anniversary tour.[2] The live versions of all the British Steel tracks from this release were also made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band video game series beginning 11 May 2010.[3]

Track listingEdit

All songs written and composed by Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford and K.K. Downing.

Side one
# Track title Length
1. "Rapid Fire" (Track 2 on original US releases) 4:08
2. "Metal Gods" (Track 3 on original US releases) 4:00
3. "Breaking the Law" (Track 1 on original US releases) 2:35
4. "Grinder" 3:58
5. "United" 3:35
Side two
# Track title Length
6. "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise" (Track 7 on original US releases) 5:04
7. "Living After Midnight" (Track 6 on original US releases) 3:31
8. "The Rage" 4:44
9. "Steeler" 4:30
2001 bonus tracks
# Track title Length
10. "Red, White & Blue" (Recorded during the 1985 Turbo sessions) 3:42
11. "Grinder" (Live at Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California; 5 May 1984) 4:49

30th Anniversary Edition - Bonus Live CD/DVDEdit

All songs written and composed by Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford and K.K. Downing except where noted.

# Track title Length
1. "Rapid Fire" 4:18
2. "Metal Gods" 4:34
3. "Breaking the Law" 2:43
4. "Grinder" 4:06
5. "United" 3:45
6. "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise" 5:24
7. "Living After Midnight" 4:53
8. "The Rage" 5:04
9. "Steeler" 5:23
10. "The Ripper" (Tipton) 3:09
11. "Prophecy" (DVD & iTunes version only) 6:12
12. "Hell Patrol" 3:57
13. "Victim of Changes" (Al Atkins, Downing, Halford, Tipton) 9:29
14. "Freewheel Burning" 5:49
15. "Diamonds & Rust" (Joan Baez) 4:07
16. "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" 8:58


Judas Priest
Additional musician
  • Scott Travis – drums (2009 concert)
  • Produced by Tom Allom
  • Engineered by Lou Austin
  • Cut by Ray Staff
  • Cover design by Rosław Szaybo
  • Photography by R. Elsdale and R. Ellis


Chart (1980) Peak
UK Albums Chart 4
US Billboard Pop Albums 34

Singles - BPI (UK)

Year Chart Name Position
1980 BPI Top 40 Breaking The Law 12
1980 BPI Top 40 Living After Midnight 12
1980 BPI Top 40 United 26


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 British Steel (remastered edition) (Script error), Sony Music Entertainment, 1980 
  2. Judas Priest Store. (17 August 2009). Retrieved on 2011-07-27.
  3. DLC Week of 5/11 - Judas Priest's British Steel (Live)! // Rock Band®. Retrieved on 2011-07-27.

External linksEdit

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