Judas Priest pre-dates a lot of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands, but after years of earning their stripes and 5 albums in the 1970s they got their breakout in America with British Steel in 1980. The band had found their image in 1979 and began wearing leather onstage, which eventually became a trademark of the metal genre. Singer Rob Halford has now said that he was attracted to leather because of his homosexuality, although he would remain a closeted gay man for many more years.
British Steel was recorded at Ringo Starr’s home in a studio on his property. The songs on the album were a bit more digestible for a mainstream audience after they were writing songs about serial killers and suicides in the years prior.
British Steel was Priest’s first platinum album. The album holds a handful of fan favorites and two of their most famous songs Living After Midnight and Breaking the Law.
Today’s deep cut is Metal Gods. Now considered a fan favorite and a concert staple, but it was never released as a single. The song’s title also became a bit of a nickname for the band.
The 1980s were fairly kind to Judas Priest with a few missteps along the way (1986’s Turbo) and their albums continued to sell strongly until the early 90s when Rob Halford left. Halford came back to stay in 2003.