The past two weeks I have been on a major Judas Priest kick. As a teenager, Judas Priest was on my radar, but I wasn't as into them as their peers Iron Maiden and Motorhead. I don't have a really detailed answer as to why I wasn't as into them as other bands of their stature...I just wasn't. Hits like "Breaking The Law", "Living After Midnight", "You Got Another Thing Coming", "Painkiller" and so on and so forth were always fun to hear or see the videos for, but I never went out of my way to check out Judas Priest.
As time marches on and my love for metal grows and my musical palate continues to become more refined, I've gone back and discovered and rediscovered many older metal bands that I skipped over when I was first exploring the genre. Judas Priest is one of those bands I've rediscovered. I will admit to kicking myself a bit for letting them pass me by on the first go round, but thankfully they are still out there touring and putting on quality live shows (not unlike the aforementioned Iron Maiden and Motorhead) and the recorded music is still a fantastic snapshot of where they were back then.
There seems to be a general consensus on what Halford-era Priest albums are the best of the bunch (British Steel, Screaming For Vengeance and Painkiller among others) and which albums are stinkers (Turbo and Ram It Down). On a recent episode of VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show", Slayer's Kerry King and Dave Lombardo talked about how terrible they think Turbo is. Again, the awfulness of Turbo seems to be an across the board opinion among Priest fans, but this left me wondering....am I the only person who likes this album? Honestly, I really don't think it is that bad at all. Perhaps it is a product of me not being that into the band back in the 80's and therefore not feeling that this was a "sellout" record. Sure, maybe they were trying to fit in with the hookier synth sound that was happening at the time, but at least they did a good job with it. I'd rather listen to it than anything Bon Jovi was doing at the time.
Does it measure up to just about anything else they did up to and including Painkiller? Not at all, but it is hardly the pile of steaming dog crap most people make it out to be. I think "Turbo Lover" is one of the catchier Priest songs ever written.