Judas Priest - Classic Albums: British Steel

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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 many of the dark lyrical themes which had been prominent on their previous releases. 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. 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. 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.

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 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 Killing Machine features a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Green Manalishi."


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