Judas Priest – ‘Turbo’ (1986) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

After the ‘Defenders of Faith’ Tour, the band took it easy for a little while. They didn’t jump right back in to the studio. There was no tour planned in 1985, but did do one live show that year. Of course that was to play at Live Aid on July 13th, 1985. They played in Philadelphia at around 11am in the morning. Rob said that was a good time to play because it meant he could spend the rest of the day just drinking. Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing, Ian Hill and Dave Holland rocked the world that day and then went back to record an album.

By this time they had already started recording their follow-up album. They started recording in June 1985 down in Nassau, Bahamas at the Compass Pointe Studio. It was a beautiful place to record, but it was also a bad time for Rob Halford whose drinking and drugs were getting out of hand. Rob also got hepatitis during the recording of the album and was sick from that for a little while. Then around Christmas 1985, Rob finally checked in to rehab to get clean and he actually succeeded. He made it look easy which of course we know it never really is. Now with Rob clean, they finally finished the album around February 1986 which they finished up at the Record Plant in Los Angeles.

The original concept of the album was to be a double album called ‘Twin Turbos’. The record company did not agree with that concept and ended up taking the more commercial songs and putting together a single album simply called, ‘Turbo’. The band also changed up their sound to match a little more of what the glam rock scene was doing at the time. The band got a little lighter sound, no where near as heavy, and they introduced guitar synthesizers in to the mix. So for some fans, this was sacrilege. The band was abandoning who they were as a heavy metal band to fit mainstream. Right or Wrong, the band still had success with the album as after its release on April 14, 1986, the album quickly went Gold and eventually went Platinum about a year later. The album reached #17 on the US Charts and only #33 on the UK Charts.

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Judas Priest – ‘Defenders of The Faith’ (1984) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

In May of 1983, Judas Priest played one of their biggest shows at the US Festival in California. They played on what was called Metal Night with bands like Motley Crue, Scorpions, Quiet Riot, Van Halen and Ozzy. It was a very memorable event. Then three short months later, the band was back at in the studio in Ibiza, Spain where they had recorded their prior album ‘Screaming For Vengeance’.

They recorded the album from September to November 1983 with Tom Allom again at the helm. Well, they weren’t recording the whole time because when they arrived all the studio equipment was gone. Apparently the owner of the studio had some money issues. They had to get all new equipment shipped in and had to get it in to the studio. Rob tells in his book, ‘Confess’, they had to put a bunch of logs together and put the giant console on it to help roll it in to the studio. That had to be a sight to see. They definitely worked hard to get that album made…when they weren’t partying in town.

The album was done and the sound was very much like ‘Screaming for Vengeance’. The band felt that had tapped in to something special with that album so they basically repeated it on ‘Defenders of Faith’. Now they didn’t repeat really, but they wanted a similar vibe and sonic feeling. Which they achieved. And they achieved it with the band in tack from the last album with Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing, Ian Hill and Dave Holland. The album was released on January 4, 1984 and went all the way to #18 on the Billboard charts and went Platinum in the US with over 1 million in sales.

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Judas Priest – ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ (1982) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

For me, ‘Point of Entry’ was a little disappointing. The hard, heavy sound of the band was replaced with a more melodic album that was trying to repeat the success of ‘British Steel’, but failed. ‘Screaming for Vengeance” was the band’s answer back that they could still deliver heavy metal music and let me tell you they did just that. This time around, the band went off to Spain to record the album in Ibizia at Ibizia Sound Studios. If you are wondering why not record in England, well, due to tax issues in England, bands would find it better to not live in England all year long so this let them be out of the country for a spell (and probably why Halford had moved to Arizona years earlier). Okay, that was not really necessary information so let’s try and give you something better.

This album is a first for Priest. No, not the their first album silly. This is the first Priest album to feature a drummer who had played on more than two albums. That is right, Dave Holland was the first Judas Priest drummer to make it on three albums!! Wow!! Give yourself a hand boys, because for you, that is impressive. Dave would actually go on to play on four more albums plus a Live album. Congrats Mr. Holland. The drummer curse was now over. The band is still intact with Dave, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill.

During this album, Tom Allom was a task master. The label was putting pressure on the band to deliver and album that the American fans would appreciate. A hard hitting, true heavy metal album. The label felt the band was about to break in America and they wanted the bands to deliver the goods that would do that. And well, we will see if they do…here’s a hint…they do!!

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Delivering the Lists: Judas Priest – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten…Remastered — mikeladano.com

If you missed the show last night, you can watch us as we Deliver The Goods on the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten Judas Priest albums. Some of the picks were Diamonds and some Rust, but all were Priest. Oh yeah, if you like graphs…you will not be disappointed as Geoff, the Graphing God…not to be confused with the Metal God, brought us all the graphing fun we could handle. Go check it out.

Three brilliant lists tonight, and a new level of graphic majesty from Geoff Stephen!  Am I ever glad we decided to “remaster” our Judas Priest top albums list from last year!  With the addition of John Snow and Geoff on graphs, we took it to the next level. Geoff also took his graphs to record […]

Delivering the Lists: Judas Priest – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten…Remastered — mikeladano.com

The Priest is Back! Nigel Tufnel Top Ten…Remastered — mikeladano.com

Come join the fun tonight on The LeBrain Train as we walk through the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten Judas Priest albums. Tonight at 7pm…details below. It will be a fun evening had by all!!

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Friends Friday – Episode 68 – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten Judas Priest…Remastered “Judas Priest,” you ask?  “Didn’t you do Judas Priest last year already?” Yes we did, hence the “Remastered” Nigel Tufnel Top Ten.  The old show was on Facebook Live with just Harrison the […]

The Priest is Back! Nigel Tufnel Top Ten…Remastered — mikeladano.com

Judas Priest – ‘Point of Entry’ (1981) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

After the tour supporting the band’s last album, ‘British Steel’, the band went right back in the studio to do the follow-up, ‘Point of Entry’, which would be the band’s eighth studio album. The last album did so well, the band didn’t want to change things up so we basically got the same album as before, except maybe not quite as heavy or as good. The hauled all their equipment to Ibiza Studios in Spain to record this one and not a bad place to be I can imagine, but did it bring any fresh inspiration? I think not. I think a big problem was the band had a real substance abuse problem, especially Rob as he

The band, believe it or not, stayed in tack with the same drummer as last time, David Holland. That alone is a massive achievement for the band. The remaining cast of characters were still Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill. The main core of the band. They recorded the album from October-November of 1980 and released the album on February 26, 1981. I won’t say the reception was lukewarm, as the album did go gold and produce a few singles. It only went to #39 in the US and #14 in the UK which isn’t a whole lot worse then the prior album, but the prior one did go platinum.

I think a big problem was the band had a real substance abuse problem, especially Rob as he tried to cope with his every growing loneliness being a gay metal rocker. But I think another problem was this resort like atmosphere of the Spanish island, gave the band way too many distractions. They would some time working and some time riding motorcross and partying. Hard to get proper work done when you are focusing on other things. I think these distractions led to a slightly disjointed album.

The album though does kick off with a great, classic Priest tune “Heading Out to the Highway”. It opened with a great dual guitar riff from Downing & Tipton and then great rhythm section from Hill & Holland and then Halford bad ass guy vocals sounding all tough and mean. It is a great driving song as its speedy tempo makes you want to crank it up and push the foot on the pedal a little harder. I remember seeing the song and MTV and cranking the TV as loud as it would go which wasn’t that loud as it was such a crappy TV.

“Don’t Go” comes up next and thumps along and slow yet heavy beat and is quite seductive and sexy. The song then explodes at the chorus which is very catchy. The guitar solo is the highlight as it really screams to be heard. It is almost the climax of this seductive dance.

“Hot Rockin'” brings it back to a more uptempo metal pace. It is a straight up rocker and one of my favorites on the album. It is full of energy and Halford attacks it with gusto and another guitar solo that is just as brutal as Rob’s vocals. By the time the song ends you are exhausted yet dying for more.

Next we get “Turning Circles” that opens with a non-sounding Priest guitar riff. It isn’t as gritty and powerful. The song feels like it is going in circles and unable to find any place to go. The music is repetitive sounding and leaves you wanting more. Rob sounds great vocally, but I found it dull overall.

But don’t fret, as the next song, “Desert Plains”, gets right back on track. It opens with a loud, heavy drum peat from Holland and if full of duel guitar work from Tipton and Downing and thumping bass line from Hill. Halford comes on and gives a serious tone which almost feels a little ominous in presentation. It is another song that feels like you are driving fast down the road weaving in and out of cars and that there is a dangerous element you can’t escape from and is following you about to catch you. Overall, this is a killer track and might be my favorite track on the album. A great way to close out the first half of the album.

The second half of the album kicks off with “Solar Angels” and a some great dual guitar work. Plus you get a Tipton solo and then a dual solo at the end. I think the highlight of the song is the musicianship as it seems to be more music and less vocals. There are some wild space sounding effects thrown in to go with the song title and add some flair. It is a decent track and might be the better song on the back half. The album starts to lose me from here.

“You Say Yes” is a song with a pretty awful chorus. The rest isn’t much better, but this song screams filler even if there is some cool bass by Ian Hill, though not cool enough to save the song. It is quite dreary and I am ready to move on to the next track.

Next up is “All The Way” and I’m not sure this is a metal song. It seems so contrived and the band seems to be reaching for a radio hit or commercial friendly sound. It seems like they are trying to write a party song as it is too chipper and is that supposed to be a handclap sound…oh goodness, spare me.

“Troubleshooter” is a little better as it is a little darker and has a great groove to it. The guitar work is sensational with Tipton starting the solo and Downing finishing it up. I do love when they share the solo, that is always worth a listen. I think it helps save the song…a little.

The final track, “On the Run”, actually has a strong opening and Halford’s vocals are soaring. He sounds smooth and the high notes are sensational and what I love from him. Give me this Priest any day of the week. Another hard, driving beat and some great drumming by Holland as well. They saved Side 2 from being a dismal failure with this track. This is more like what I want to hear from the band.

The Bonus Tracks on this one consist of “Thunder Road” which was recorded during the “Ram It Down” sessions from 1988 which makes no sense for it to be the bonus track on an album from 1981. It is a solid, heavy ass rocking song though. Production wise, it doesn’t sound clean and fully finished, but song wise, it is great and better than a lot of songs on this album. I like Hill’s bass as it is the Thunder on this Road (see what I did there!!).

The next bonus song is “Desert Plains” which was recorded live at Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri; 23 May 1986. The song feels like it is sped up a little from the studio track. There is a lot of double bass from Holland how was still with the band in 1986 believe it or not. The studio version is still better, but this shows how the band can tweak a song live and turn it in to something a little different. Now it is faster and heavier and still pretty good.

Track Listing:

  1. Heading Out to the Highway – Keeper
  2. Don’t Go – Keeper
  3. Hot Rockin’ – Keeper
  4. Turning Circles – Delete
  5. Desert Plains – Keeper
  6. Solar Angels – Keeper
  7. You Say Yes – Delete
  8. All The Way – Delete
  9. Troubleshooter – Keeper (1/2 Point)
  10. On The Run – Keeper

Bonus Tracks:

  1. Thunder Road
  2. Desert Plains (Live)

The Track Score is 6.5 out of 10 or 65%.  This is the first album so far I have actually been a little disappointed in.  Don’t get me wrong, it has its moments, but overall it was the first album I didn’t see growth of some kind. It was ‘British Steel’ light or 2.0…but not as good.  They tried to copy the success of ‘British Steel’ to no avail.  They had too many distractions and the band was in a bad place with this one and you can tell from the sound of these songs.  Overall, I will only give it a 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars as I still liked more than half the tracks, the rest was just weak.

UP NEXT: ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ (1982)

THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION SERIES:

  1. Rocka Rolla (1974)
  2. Sad Wings of Destiny (1976)
  3. Sin After Sin (1977)
  4. Stained Class (1978)
  5. Killing Machine / Hell Bent For Leather (1978)
  6. Unleashed in the East (1979)
  7. British Steel (1980)
  8. Point of Entry (1981)
  9. Screaming for Vengeance (1982)
  10. Defenders of the Faith (1984)
  11. Turbo (1986)
  12. Priest…Live! (1987)
  13. Ram it Down (1988)
  14. Painkiller (1990)
  15. Angel of Retribution (2005)
  16. Nostradamus (2008)
  17. A Touch of Evil: Live (2009)

May 2021 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

Welcome to the another month of purchases here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music. This month was going to start out very promising as I was going to a record show the first weekend of the month. I had high hopes. I put together a list of records I was going to hunt specifically for as I was going to get a grail item. Well, that didn’t happen. Nope…it was kind of a let down. Almost a bust. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t find some stuff, just nothing I was hoping to find.

What did I find? Well, as you know, I am a Billy Idol fan and I found a 12″ Picture Disc as well as two 7″ Singles. There were more, but condition was not great on the rest so I left them there. Here are the Idol Items I found…

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Judas Priest – ‘British Steel’ (1980) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

Judas Priest had massive success with the live album ‘Unleashed in the East’ and now it was time to hit the studio again. However, this time they would lose their drummer yet again. Les Binks was not paid for his work on ‘Unleashed in the East’ and was slightly pissed and so he left the band forcing Priest to find their 7th drummer all thanks to manager Mike Dolan not paying Binks.

The band found a new drummer by the name of Dave Holland formerly of the band Trapeze. Dave would stay with the band all the way up to 1989 which will be the longest running drummer at that point in time. The band started recording in December 1979 at Startling Studios in London, but they weren’t feeling it. They ended up at Ringo Starr’s house where they finished the album by February 1980. The band was in awe recording at Ringo’s house because prior to Ringo owning the house, it was John Lennon’s house and they couldn’t believe they were in the same house as two former Beatles where a lot of history had been made.

The album saw its release on April 14, 1980 and they would see the album go to #34 in the US and #4 in the UK and the album would reach platinum status selling well over 1 Million copies. The album would go on to have 3 Singles and we would see the band keep to a more accessible sound they started doing with ‘Killing Machine’. Judas Priest was hitting it big and a Metal was becoming more mainstream thanks to albums like this. This was sort of the start of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBH).

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Judas Priest – ‘Unleashed in the East’ (1979) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

While on tour in support of their album ‘Killing Machine’/’Hell Bent For Leather’, Judas Priest decided to record a couple shows for use on a live album. The shows that were recorded were the February 10 & 15, 1979 shows at Kosei Nenkin Hall and Nakono Sun Plaza in Tokyo, Japan. After 5 studio albums, it was time for the world to see what Priest was like live for those that had not seen them in concert. The 70’s were big for Live albums, as seen by UFO, Peter Frampton and Kiss, so why not Judas Priest.

There is a lot of debate on whether the album is actually live. The short answer is yes, it is….sort of. The long answer is much more complicated. The music is definitely live with maybe a few touch-ups in the studio. The vocals, however, are not truly live. Yes, a live person sang them live in to a studio microphone, but these are not the vocals from that show because according to Rob Halford, his vocals on the tape get messed up and they had to be redone. They did record him singing as he would in a live concert setting except he was in a studio. Which explains probably how some of those notes were hit so perfectly. There is a common name people call this album and it is usually, Unleashed in the Studio. Regardless of any of the above, it doesn’t seem to have bothered the buying public because the album quickly went Platinum and is one of the best live albums of all time thanks to the work of producer Tom Allom. You know Tom, he was a recording engineer and producer of the likes of Black Sabbath and he produced Def Leppard’s debut album ‘On Through the Night’.

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‘Confess: The Autobiography’ by Rob Halford

If you follow my site at all, you know I am in the middle of a Judas Priest Review Series where I am reviewing all the albums from the Judas Priest Collection Box Set (and a few more it missed). I thought as I am immersing myself in their catalog, why not find out some information about the band by reading Rob Halford’s book, ‘Confess’. They sum up nicely below who Rob Halford is but it is really a bland description. I think they left out is that Rob is the ‘Metal God’, Rob is a man who waves the Rainbow Flag proudly, Rob is sober for over 30 years, Rob is human, which means Rob is fallible.

The story of Rob Halford, told by Rob Halford, covers a lot of time. It starts off him as a child growing up in the Black Country of the U.K. His stint where he wanted to be an actor, and then his discovery that he could sing. And man can he sing. It spends most of the time talking about his time with Priest, but it really is about Rob, the person. His struggles in life, but not just with being gay. He struggles with that, but it was more about his struggles with hiding it as being the lead singer of a Heavy Metal band and what would be the fall out if it came out. Honestly though, he didn’t really try to hide it because a lot of the early Priest songs actually talk about it, but no one was perceptive enough at the time to figure it out. The story really is about his struggles with finding love and with trying to have sex while on the road while the band had easy pickings of the female groupies, Rob had to go to seedy truck stops and bathrooms to find love. It didn’t always go well as we find out when Rob has his own George Michael moment. Rob was very lonely, for a very long time and that caused a lot of drinking and a lot of drugs and then rehab. He had many bad relationships with guys that were really straight, it was a tough road. Rob, however, found his way sober and finally found love and it all had a happy ending, thank goodness.

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