JUDAS PRIEST Bassist Ian Hill - "British Steel Was The Definitive Heavy Metal Album"
by Martin Popoff

The 30 year anniversary of JUDAS PRIEST's British Steel is upon us, and Sony has reissued the album in expanded "legacy" form, adding a 30 minute making-of interview, two bonus tracks plus a massive live DVD from the last tour, which featured the album played in full, in sequence. Back in 1980, it was good to see Priest finally break big, and that record, not to mention the whole attendant NWOBHM, touched (or torched) off a golden ten years for metal.

"I guess up to that point, it was the definitive heavy metal album," ventures bassist Ian Hill, a bold statement, but when you think about it, pretty defensible given the lyrics about metal and the solidifying of a whole metal package, including the leather of studs look and all told, an overt declaration of the love of metal. "It also crossed over into other areas. There was, as you know, a couple of very good radio-friendly tracks on there, in 'Living After Midnight' and 'Breaking The Law'. So the radio stations started to pick up on those songs, and it started to gain us fans from areas we wouldn't necessarily pick them up from. Maybe people who'd never go see us live, or bothered to be into the things we were into at the time (laughs). So it probably started heavy metal on its way to its popularity, if you know what I mean."

As alluded to, it was obvious to all the punters that the band had simplified things, something widely attributed, although in part, to the bringing on of Tom Allom as producer.

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