JUDAS PRIEST GIVE US FUEL FOR LIFE WITH ‘TURBO 30’
Review 3rd February 2017 (Sony Music)
Judas Priest’s tenth studio album, ‘Turbo’, has received a thirty-year anniversary boost with a 3-CD box set, featuring the original nine track album re-mastered and an unreleased live concert recording from the ‘Fuel For Life’ tour in Kansas City. There’s also dynamic new cover art, featuring the original classic imagery on a black background, a black vinyl release as an alternative to the CDs, a woven patch and a t-shirt, all of which would be heaven to the cast of ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’.
Judas Priest: ‘Turbo 30’
Words: Jonathan Churchill
So how does Turbo sound thirty years later? Well, it’s held up surprisingly well. Sounding more like a bizarre ZZ Top/Duran Duran hybrid than the Metal Gods of ‘Unleashed In The East’ or ‘British Steel’, it’s a sun-drenched, Margarita flavoured cocktail of mood-lifting sing-along anthems and teen rebellion.
At first listen, a seemingly shallow party record, but in fact, unlike many of the big-selling Sunset Strip’s hairspray-drenched offerings from that era, Turbo has hidden depths. Like a reverse mullet, this is party at the front, business at the back. It’s a Metal fist hidden inside a satin glove.
From the sinister, classy overtones of ‘Out In The Cold’ to the twin guitar attack of ‘Hot For Love’ and the powerful vocals of ‘Locked In’, this album has not only stood the test of time, but thirty years later, sounds just great. The nine short tracks fizz with creative intensity, huge choruses, weird synth guitars and the trademark twin solos of Glenn and KK, both on world-class form here.
‘Reckless’, apparently considered for the ‘Top Gun’ movie, is an effortless melodic rock epic with a phenomenal air guitar-worthy solo. ‘Turbo Lover’, ‘Rock You All Around The World’, ‘Wild Nights…’ and Private Property’ are just dumb fun, pure and simple. The only track that really sounds out of place in 2017 is ‘Parental Guidance’, with its embarrassing teen-friendly lyrics, but it would have made more sense back in 1986 with Tipper Gore on the warpath.
‘Turbo 30’ is a world away from the dark fantasy of ‘Painkiller’ or ‘Stained Class’, but it demonstrates that Metal can come in all shapes and sizes – although I think we’re all agreed that one ‘pop’ album from Judas Priest was more than enough. Thank goodness the band re-ignited their legend with ‘Painkiller’ ensuring this, their tenth studio album remains a curious but hugely entertaining mainstay of their back catalogue.
Disc One: Turbo Remastered
Rock You All Around The World
Out In The Cold
Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days
Hot For Love
Disc Two: Live At The Kemper Arena, Kansas City
Out In the Cold
Heading Out To The Highway
Breaking The Law
Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
Rock You All Around The World
Disc Three: Live At The Kemper Arena, Kansas City
Victim Of Changes
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Living After Midnight
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Hell Bent For Leather