Revisiting “British Steel”

The cover for the 30th anniversary of British Steel.

This week Judas Priest unleashed the two-disc and three-disc reissues of their landmark British Steel album to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the heavy metal masterpiece that not only redefined the genre but was part of a British musical movement (including Accept, Saxon and Motorhead) that gave birth to the speed and thrash metal scene of the Eighties. Sony Music and classic rock station Q104.3 held a special screening of the concert DVD at the P.C. Richard and Son Theater in Tribeca in New York City on Monday, April 10th for a select audience. It was followed by a live interview of frontman Rob Halford by Q104.3 DJ Jonathan Clarke (interview archived here).

The audience in attendance clearly loved the Priest; they cheered and applauded after the songs as if they were actually at the show. And they were enthralled when Halford emerged to do his interview. The 30-minute Q&A covered the genesis of British Steel, the evolution of the band, a possible Nostradamus tour and the impending 30th anniversary of their massive 1982 hit album Screaming For Vengeance. (When the famed singer mentioned this to the head of Sony on the way to the event, he reportedly replied, “Ka-ching!”) It was fun to watch Halford animatedly discuss the different topics and also acknowledge the fans who had supported the band for so long. He seems very comfortable in his position as heavy metal statesman; he has over 40 years of musical dues for credentials.

I interviewed Halford this past weekend for ShockHound, and the interview will hopefully go live in the next week or two. We discussed everything from past lyrical inspiration to British politics to his feelings about Priest’s Grammy win. It will be a great read.

Q104.3 D Jonathan Clarke welcomes everyone to the screening.
(Photo ©2010 by Bryan Reesman.)

A standing ovation for Rob Halford.
(Photo ©2010 by Bryan Reesman.)

Clarke and Halford go head-to-head.
(Photo ©2010 by Bryan Reesman.)

Not quite live, but way better than Memorex.
(Photo ©2010 by Bryan Reesman.)

Between this event and the Accept show at the Gramercy two nights before,
I felt like my life had been transported back to the mid-1980s.
(Photo ©2010 by Bryan Reesman.)

One Response

  1. Aaron

    Sounds like a cool night! However, my initial excitement about the idea of a possible proper reissue of this landmark album was sadly dashed as I looked up the title on Amazon to find that it is merely the same reissue as the 90s version with non-period bonus tracks and the addition of a live album recorded last year. Smacks of cynical marketing. If they had wanted to market a live album, they shoulda just done that. Oh, and the revamped album art is tacky, too. *sigh*


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