British Steel

Release date
1 Jul 1988
Running length
15 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Breaking the Law 2:33 450,280
2 Metal Gods 3:58 153,282
2 Rapid Fire 4:08 102,470
4 Grinder 3:57 98,497
5 United 3:35 108,095
6 Living After Midnight 3:30 281,275
6 You Don't Have to Be Old to Be Wise 5:03 55,213
8 The Rage 4:44 80,920
9 Steeler 4:29 69,625
10 Red, White & Blue 3:42 19,926
11 Grinder (Live) 4:49 16,562

About this album

British Steel is the sixth album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 14 April 1980. British Steel was recorded at Tittenhurst Park, 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.

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 Nassau 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.

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  • JMFG2112

    Happy 34th birthday British Steel!

    14 Apr 6:46pm Reply
  • KFC__o_o

    Another excellent album of Judas Priest.

    8 Mar 9:04pm Reply
  • KeIemvor

    I only said something stupid and cliché in reply to what you said before about me ("hates everything popular") What goes around comes around, you know. Popularity doesn't matter, else Iron Maiden wouldn't be my favourite metal band. But the most popular albums/songs are usually the most simple/dumped down and therefore often boring. Best example is this album, not bad but pretty damn mediocre. The 70s albums (okay, except Killing Machine, that was already like an 80s album) are much more ambitious and creative, just like most of rock music from that decade was. Anyway, SFV and DOTF are very good albums, much better than this.

    24 Nov 2013 Reply
  • ericshep

    hey gore fan you must have not been around when it came out. it was simply something different. you had to be there!

    2 Nov 2013 Reply
  • KeIemvor

    veyita, you're mad because you don't even have your own taste. You just like everything most popular the best. Just because something is popular/successful doesn't mean it's automatically great/the best. Try to get that in your head. The term "haters" is idiotic and only used by people who can't accept different opinions, mostly kids.

    9 Sep 2013 Reply
  • tyrant666

    Whats up with all the haters?!!!

    5 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Gorefan

    I will never understand, why so many people worship this album. It's very boring and after masterpieces from Sad Wings of Destiny to Stained Class & Hell Bent For Leather this one is really their low point. Even Point of Entry is better

    18 Aug 2013 Reply
  • FIL1994

    great album! I'll definitely be picking up more Judas Priest albums

    13 Jun 2013 Reply
  • ImpotentGod

    Almost unbearable to listen to the entire album from the first to the last song. "United" and "red,white and blue" - despite being a bonus track- might be among the worst songs ever recorded. The album has its moments ( "Rage" and "you don´t have to be old to be wise") but nevertheless, British Steel is possibly the most overrated album in the metal genre.

    12 Jun 2013 Reply
  • storm20200

    Yeah an incredibly overrated album, especially in comparison to Screaming for Vengeance.

    18 Apr 2013 Reply
  • tyrant666

    Still a awesome album!!!!

    4 Apr 2013 Reply
  • EpicGeeza36

    not bad has some great classic Priest tracks, but I'd take albums like 'Screaming For Vengeance' and 'Defenders Of Faith' over this any day

    4 Mar 2013 Reply
  • LawLieTicp


    4 Mar 2013 Reply
  • teienokudaira


    19 Feb 2013 Reply
  • rOnieAirhead

    It's an average Priest album, But it's still favorable.

    18 Dec 2012 Reply
  • KeIemvor

    The whole album is nothing more than average except for The Rage. Overrated as fuck.

    14 Dec 2012 Reply
  • RaiqueThrasher

    I don't think so. Actually, I think the whole album is a masterpiece, all the tracks are great, but only two can be compared to the best songs on Priest's discography: Rapid Fire and You Don't Have to be Old to Be Wise.

    30 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Mr-Tinkertrain-

    United = worst song on album.

    28 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Lowbacca

    great, great LP...

    29 Sep 2012 Reply
  • MathiasPr0

    too bit overrated but hell damn good, defenders of the faith is better for me, just have to play it several times to reveal majority of defenders.

    17 Sep 2012 Reply
  • All 189 shouts

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