ROCK ICON ROB HALFORD SAYS THE “THE ’80S, IN AMERICA, [WAS] ONE OF THE GREATEST DECADES FOR OUR KIND OF MUSIC”
As previously reported, Judas Priest will be re-releasing their 1986 record, Turbo, on three CDs (the original album and two bonus discs), as well as 1LP 150g vinyl, on February 3rd.
In an interview with The Rock Brigade, Priest frontman, and Metal God, Rob Halford discussed there record’s experimental sound at the time of its release stating, “Much like everything that we’ve done, we’ve kind of reflected on where we’ve been and what we are trying to aim for next. The big thing about this record is that for the first time in a long time, we were able to take our time.
There was a period in the early ’80s when Priest was literally banging out a record every year and a world tour every year. How did we do that, I don’t know. It was just that we were running on fire, we were having the times of our lives, we had deadlines to meet, we had an incredible thing going with the label.”
He adds, “So here’s the deal. Turbo, the middle of the 1980s, right? We had a little bit of time to kind of pull back and take our time to make this record. So we were in a different place. I mean, I was in a different place, because I had so much coke up my nose, I don’t know how I got through every day of the week, because I was raging at that point, personally.
What I’m trying to say is, America in 1986 and the mid-’80s was… wherever you went, there was incredible things happening in rock and metal. I always kind of reflect as the ’80s, particularly in America, as being one of the greatest decades for our kind of music. So we were wrapped up in all that, we were wrapped up in all that excitement and good times and party-party-party. And I think that we were just… we were making the record. The bulk of the record was made in America. Going down to Whisky, hanging out on the [Sunset] Strip, in Miami… Man, it was an absolute blast. And I think we were just… We were loving that moment, you know. The band was having a great time, and there was a lot of that in the music on ‘Turbo’.”
Listen to interview below.
To read more about the special re-release of Turbo and to view a track listing, please click here.
Yes, Dana, to each their own. Good to hear your thoughts.
While I didn’t claim that ALL 80s hard rock/metal was subpar (Van Halen’s Women & Children First, Fair Warning and G&R’s Appetite being prime examples), the majority of it I could have done without.
Also, your claim that the 70’s had some “inspiring material” from AC/DC is a bit short-sighted; the quality of their output during the Bon Scott era far outweighs ANYTHING that they ever did with Brian Johnson, including Back in Black (which is a great album, but nonetheless..). And while Priest’s Screaming For Vengeance is indeed good, it doesn’t hold a candle to Hell Bent For Leather (in large part due to the elevated songwriting and Les Binks’ incomparable drum stylings).
Finally, I’ll take Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger (or even the more melodic Superunknown) over most any album that the genre in the 80s produced. That album is classic, driving, soulful hard rock, as good as if not better than any. It’s essential listening.
Yes, I agee, that the Bon Scott era of AC/DC is far superior to the Johnson era, but I am sure that there are those that would not agree with that statement.
As far as numbers go, Back In Black, will go down as their most successful recording to date. As a matter of fact, that album still continues to sell to this day, and I can understand it, it is great record. One of the best selling rock albums of all time.
As for Priest, whom is my favorite band, Hell Bent For Leather and Sad Wings Of Destiny make my top four list, but, to me, Screaming For Vengeance was the band’s pinnacle. It is because the songs, on that record, have the unique ability to combine commerciality while still having a hard edged backbone. Bloodstone is a great example of that description.
Dave Holland versus Les Binks is of no consequence to me. I never really considered Priest a band that had outstanding drummers. An exceptional singer? Yes. Remarkable percussionists? No. If you want to discuss phenomenal drummers, we can start with Cozy Powell.
As far as Soundgarden, I own Superunknown. While it may be a much more melodic album for the band, and of course Chris Cornell has a powerful voice, I could not picture myself reaching for it, over an 80’s record. I would most likely pull out one of Richie Kotzen’s solo albums instead (which is far more recent than Soundgarden).
TURBO shouldn’t be left “Out In The Cold,” all things considered, it really is a good album, guitar synthesizers and all!
Every era generally thinks the era they are in is the “greatest.” However, the 80’s pumped out a lot of great bands / songs that stuck. Still waiting on the next Sweet Child O Mine or Youth Gone Wild song to be made in this era. Now bands bang out a tune done by studio musicians who overproduce an album. Most of the bands now have so many effects on each instrument, the sound / song loses it’s soul. These guys have been around many years for a reason, can’t recall many 90’s through 2000 bands that have stood the test of time. The 80’s metal bands didn’t fake it, they made it.
That is true, but the 80s was not only a great time for hard rock/heavy metal, there was an abundance of all types of music. While I know there may have been may have been quite genres that some people may be happy are gone, the 80’s had: rock (classic, mainstream, light, hard rock, metal), Pop, Electronic, Dance, New Wave, Punk, Reggae, Rap (when it had some melody), whatever Morrissey is considered (lol), Country, Blues, etc.
It seems that every year that goes by, there is far less variety, and whatever exists, it all sounds homogenized. Kids today have no idea what they were missing, I feel blessed to have been youngster in the 80’s.
Yes Dana I agree there was a lot of variety music wether you liked it or not even the movies back then were classic now all young kids want are 70s cops show remade into comedies there still some great music by 80s bands we love made today (Overkill for example ) but soon they will be gone Now we have deal with kids with no imagination and think that music can get for free even if they still care about music
The inference of Soundgarden over Priest or AC/DC….puhleeeze! Not even close, Priest and AC/DC hands down. For me, “Stained Class” is my favorite Priest album and to ‘diss “Black in Black,” blasphemous. The side discussion of drummers, Binks was WAAAY better than Holland, but with Travers, they are doing just fine. Cozy Powell, absolutely, criminally underrated. Nice to read how Halford shows appreciation to a decade of hard rock and heavy metal music that often gets unfair criticism. Some amazing musicians came out of the ’80’s that are still slayin’ it today.
Dana, just wanted to say I missed you! Great Priest and Halford comments. While I was not a Turbo fan, it did show that they were not afraid of taking some risks and changing the formula. Thank God for Painkiller a few years later…and thank God for Ritchie now and a new cd hopefully this year!
Cheers! Your Priest co-pilot
I missed you, as well, and so did some of our other posters. It is great to see you back and I hope all has been well while you have been away.