JUDAS PRIEST Bassist Ian Hill - "British Steel Was The Definitive Heavy Metal Album" Page 3
by Martin Popoff

But with respect to the record's brevity... "I think we were comfortable with it. I can't remember at the time, but maybe we were a little bit concerned. Generally, albums in those days were 40 minutes. Any longer than that, I mean, you're talking about the days of vinyl records here. The more stuff you put on, the more grooves there are on the record, the shallower the groove, and the shallower the groove, the less quality to it. The deeper the groove, obviously the stylus was sitting lower in the groove and it could pick up more information there. So 40, or 45 at a real push, and you're starting to lose quality."

Up to a previously proffered point, much of British Steel's signpost status has to do with the entire metal package around it, with metal gods finally deciding on the proper way for metal gods to attire themselves.

"Just fell into it, really, "laughs Ian. "We were wearing all kinds of things, velvet, satin, denims, a whole eclectic look at one point. I think one day Rob walked in wearing a leather coat, a biker jacket, and we thought, gee, that looks pretty good, and we all got one. I think it was as simple as that. I think we just fell into it. It fitted perfectly with the music we were playing."

But no boardroom meetings around the idea?

"Not really; we all had our input. The closest I think we ever came to that was Turbo. And that was Ray Brown. Ray had been doing our clothes anyway for some time, and he said, 'I know exactly what you need,' and we let him to it, and he came up with a thing for each of us. And it worked for Turbo. Turbo was a very different album really. It was a very experimental album, and we went with that, and it didn't take us long to fall back into individually-inspired, shall we say, stage clothes."