Raise those devil horns high – Legacy has just released a massive 3-CD set of Judas Priest’s three-decade old ‘Turbo’ album, dubbed ‘Turbo 30’ (natch).
The record, the band’s 10th, was definitely not without controversy; mainly because of the group’s use of synthesizers. For a metal band, being labeled by the Religious Right as devil worshippers was pure street cred, but being referred to as a synth-band, Jesus, that’s career suicide. But far from being a Depeche Mode clone, Judas Priest still was still armed with plenty of ear-shattering guitar solos and Rob Halford’s glorious banshee vocals all across this record, and over time ‘Turbo’ has managed to hold up really well (despite what that dude in the faded denim jacket and greasy mullet tells you). In the band’s defense, it was 1986, and if you didn’t live through that neon-soaked year, you have no right to question it.
With a more melodic sound and relatable lyrical themes, ‘Turbo’ is the band’s most obvious attempt at commercial success, and despite a few missteps, there are a slew of great songs here, like the album opener “Turbo Lover” and the infectious “Parental Guidance” (how is it possible that this song wasn’t as big as Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock”?).
This re-release also comes with a live recording of the band’s May 22, 1986, Kansas City show, spread out over two CDs. For any of the headbangers who turned their nose up at this one the first go ’round, it deserves another listen.