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British Steel is the sixth album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 14 April 1980. British Steel was recorded at Tittenhurst Parkmarker, home of former Beatle Ringo Starr, after a false start at Startling Studios, a recording studio located on Tittenhurst's grounds. Sampling did not yet exist at the time of recording, so the band recorded the sounds of smashing milk bottles to be included in "Breaking the Law", as well as various sounds in "Metal Gods" produced by "trays of cutlery" and "billiard cues". 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, while the track "Metal Gods" earned the band members their moniker.

The album was remastered in 2001, with two bonus tracks added. Bonus track "Red, White, and Blue" was written sometime during the earlier years of Priest's career. It was recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassaumarker in July of 1985. We felt that the end tag of Rule Britannia was very fitting for a British band especially on an album entitled British Steel". 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 the 30th anniversary tour in the US playing the entire album live for the first time.

Anthrax guitar player Scott Ian said in an interview in the documentary Heavy Metal: Louder than Life that British Steel was probably the album that really defined heavy metal, because it, according to him, did away with the "last shards of blues" that had otherwise been characteristic of the genre. He said, "Even the title... how does it get more metal than that?"

Track listing

The UK vinyl and the remastered CD

All songs written by Rob Halford, K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton
  1. "Rapid Fire" – 4:08
  2. "Metal Gods" – 4:00
  3. "Breaking the Law" – 2:35
  4. "Grinder" – 3:58
  5. "United" – 3:35
  6. "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise" – 5:04
  7. "Living After Midnight" – 3:31
  8. "The Rage" – 4:44
  9. "Steeler" – 4:30

Original US vinyl and original US CD issues

  1. "Breaking the Law" – 2:35
  2. "Rapid Fire" – 4:08
  3. "Metal Gods" – 4:00
  4. "Grinder" – 3:58
  5. "United" – 3:35
  6. "Living After Midnight" – 3:31
  7. "You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise" – 5:04
  8. "The Rage" – 4:44
  9. "Steeler" – 4:30

2001 Bonus Tracks

  1. "Red, White & Blue" (Recorded during the 1985 Turbo sessions) – 3:42
  2. "Grinder" (Live at Long Beach Arena, Long Beach CA, May 5, 1984) – 4:49



Chart (1980) Peak

UK Albums Chart 4
US Billboard Pop Albums 34


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