It’s hard to believe that 40 years have passed since both Iron Maiden’s eponymous and Judas Priest’s British Steel came out. And one the same day, April 14th. It does not feel like yesterday, but it certainly does not feel that long either. At any rate, both of these seminal heavy metal releases hit that milestone recently, and I wrote about each for different outlets.
I reminisced with Priest singer Rob Halford and bassist Ian Hill about British Steel for a Billboard feature and gathered their recollections four decades later. I actually interviewed Rob about the album 10 years for a piece for ShockHound, the now defunct music site for Hot Topic. Even after all this time, you can still learn something new about its creation. Some other topics that were not covered for the ShockHound story made it onto here.
I covered Iron Maiden for Discogs and collaborated with my longtime friend, fellow journo, and Maiden expert Gail Flug. Maiden are not doing press right now, but we had more than enough insight and knowledge to assemble a very solid timeline of the creation of the album. Discogs also added a lot of video clips and art which I am all in favor of.
Both of these albums came out in 1980, which was a pivotal year for metal with The New Wave of British Heavy Metal exploding, the revival of Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio taking off with Heaven and Hell, and Motorhead achieving an international breakthrough with Ace of Spades. It was quite a time to be a headbanger!