By 1980, Judas Priest had been flying the heavy metal flag for almost a decade, but had not achieved any real mainstream success. This was the album which changed that forever. The track 'Metal Gods' could not have rung more true; that's precisely what JP became with this release.
It was the peak of the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal). Saxon, Diamond Head, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis and co. were making valuable and creative contributions to the genre. Judas Priest, however, eclipsed them all with 'British Steel'. Priest were in a league of their own.
Unashamedly metal, the album boasted three huge hit singles in 'Breaking the Law', 'Living After Midnight' and 'United'. The other tracks are heavier without sacrificing any of Priest's trademark twin-guitar melodies.
Importantly, this was the piece of work which finally made a serious impact on America. After too long in stateside obscurity, Judas Priest were finally able to headline stadium shows in the US, where - deservedly - they became a household name.
This album, along with Black Sabbath's debut, Rainbow's 'Rising', Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction's 'Tattooed Beat Messiah' and Type O Negative's 'Bloody Kisses', defines heavy metal.
Buy it! Buy it! Buy it!