Classic Albums - Judas Priest: British Steel
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Had Judas Priest released just this one album, it would still go down in history. Judas Priest was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the 70's.
BRITISH STEEL made them a world-famous band.
The welding of BRITISH STEEL is told in this exclusive program in the band's own words, and by their once long-term producer Tom Allom. Featuring archive footage, interviews and rare live performances, plus all of BRITISH STEEL'S finest songs, including "Living After Midnight", "Breaking the Law", "Metal Gods", "The Rage", "United" and "Grinder", this is a compelling, witty and exhilarating look at the making of one of heavy metal's most artful creations, a true Classic Album.
Watch, listen and kneel to the Metal Gods!
- Amazon Sales Rank: #42088 in DVD
- Brand: RED Distribution
- Released on: 2001-11-06
- Rating: NR (Not Rated)
- Number of discs: 1
- Formats: Color, Dolby, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC
- Original language: English
- Dimensions: .25 pounds
- Running time: 110 minutes
This installment of the Classic Albums series, in which rock stars talk about the creation of their albums, focuses on the making of British Steel, the 1980 album by Judas Priest, a working-class British, heavy-metal band led by screechy lead singer Rob Halford. As Halford (who has since left the band) and his mates explain what went into the lyrics and recording of the songs that made up the record, the talking heads are intercut with performance footage of a band that helped launch the metal and speed-metal surge of the 1980s and early 1990s. The interviews are not particularly insightful if you're not a fan and are probably redundant if you are; it's fascinating, however, to watch the way the band's studded-leather image evolved over the years. --Marshall Fine
Bonus features include old videos from the album (made in the years before MTV) and stories about the controversy over the album's cover (which featured a hand clutching a double-edged razor blade). No mention is made, however, of the fact that the band ultimately booted Halford and replaced him with the singer from a Judas Priest tribute band, a story recreated in the 2001 Mark Wahlberg film, Rock Star. --Marshall Fine
The inside story of the world-shattering metal classic.
Yet another entry in the enjoyable Classic Albums series, the episode documenting the making of Judas Priest's classic 1980 album was one of the few that didn't get screened on NZ TV (ditto the Iron Maiden, Deep Purple & Tincannica ones).
If you purchase this expecting all nine album cuts played in their entirety; then your're going to be disappointed. What you get here is a brief history of the the band which won't be cover any new ground for people who've seen the "Metal Works" video. The DVD features interviews with Messrs Halford, Tipton, Downing and Hill; along with then-producer Tom Allom & Scott Travis taking over from the drummer from that period Dave Holland (who as we all know, has been in the news recently for all the wrong- and quite sickening- reasons).
The DVD features the amusing concept video for BREAKING THE LAW in which the band rob a bank with Glenn & K.K using their guitars as weapons, while Rob Halford does a warped variation on "The Twist" on the bank counter before bending some iron bars to steal some gold albums for BRITISH STEEL. Also included are the videos for LIVING AFTER MIDNIGHT & UNITED; as well as anecdotes and breakdowns of each song (the only cut that isn't really covered in much detail is YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE OLD TO BE WISE- my least favourite track on the album).
We get to see Glenn & KK demonstrating their guitar duelling in the studio, Ian talking about his bass intro for THE RAGE- one of very few he got to play (apart from LOVE BITES from 1984s "Defenders Of The Faith", BLOOD STAINED & BURN IN HELL both from 1997's "Jugulator". I could be wrong there. I probably am. Heck, I'm Vidiot, not Einstein) & Priest fans get to hear the infamous story about how "LIVING AFTER MIDNIGHT" was conceived for the millionth time.
I do have a one minor quibble: the DVD running time is posted as 110 minutes on the DVD slick, but the actual running time for the doco itself is a mere 50 minutes. Also unlike the Meat Loaf BAT OUT OF HELL & Fleetwood Mac RUMORS "Classic Album" DVDs there's no stories of sex & drugs excess- the closest we get to that is a tipsy Tipton laying down some of his solos in the studio after the band had come back from a few beers at the pub. (Been there, done that).
Extras include a discography and extended interviews, which run about half an hour, so we're still owed 20 minutes of material. Other than that, this is an entertaining look at the making of one of the most important hard rock/metal albums of the 80s. If you're a fan you'll want it in your collection.
Not quite what I expected
This DVD, although entertaining, was not quite what I expected. What I thought I was going to find, was a documentrary of the band in the srudio recording the classic Heavy Metal album British Steel, with rare outtakes and interviews from that time-period. What I got was 50+ year old Mettalers re-living the past. The interviews revealed little that is not on the Metal Works video that most Hardcore fans who would consider buying this DVD probably already have.
The entertaining aspects are of course the live version of Grinder recorded in Rio 1991, the outtakes with Glenn/KK/Ian (From 2001) playing the songs along with the album. The producers did a good job of mixing the guys playing with the original cuts from the album. The other cool part is the interview with Rob. I really dig listening to this guy talk and Rob comes across very literate and knowledgable about art in general.
Other than that though there is out-takes from the Memphis video that most Priest fans have scene before, videos that everyone has seen before, and a lot of the same pictures that were used in the aforementioned Metal Works video. Pick it up for your collection, particullarly if you find one used, but there is no rush or great insight to be had.
Pure Substance for Musicians
If only VH1 would get a clue and produce substantive documentaries like this that are actually about making music instead of celebrity-oriented fluff.
This is a retrospective documentary about the making of the British Steel album. Glenn, KK, Rob and Ian are all interviewed about the making of this metal classic. There are interesting stories from producer Tom Allom about how some of the effects were generated, demonstrations of how Glenn and KK work together to get their trademark sound, examples of some songwriting devices, explanations by Rob of the ideas behind the lyrics, and some input from Ian Hill whose perspective is often overlooked even though he has been there from day one. Dave Holland, the drummer at that time, was not included. There is an interview with Scott Travis, the current drummer, in the extras.
This DVD is great for musicians and serious fans who are interested in what goes on during a recording session and the creative process. You may be disappointed if you are looking for celebrity rock star soap opera. But there is always VH1 for that.