Judas Priest (UK) - (1986) Turbo - 5/10
#1

Artist: Judas Priest (UK)
Release: Turbo (1986)
Rating: 5/10

Judas Priest is a band that's been going at it strong since the early 1970s — and many trends have come and gone by the time 1986 arrived. After delivering two successful albums between 1982 and 1984, how would the band try to live up to their legacy on the next release? Unfortunately, Turbo is a significant step down from the classic Judas Priest sound, but there are still a few OK songs that at least seem more evened out than Defenders of the Faith's B-side.

We start off with "Turbo Lover", which is a song that seldom escapes a typical Judas Priest set. It's catchy, but not as crushing or demanding of much vocal or riffing talent. You might've also noticed that the band started throwing in more synthesizers in the mix, so a lot of the lead sections are intertwined with them. Either way, if you can appreciate the feel-good vibe of most rock music, then this album shouldn't be a problem for you. Next up is "Locked In", which has a riff that I always think sounds a bit like "Sinner", but this one is a lot more simplified than the song that I'm comparing it to. The guitar solo part is also decent, but nothing to write home about. Rob Halford sounds even more toned down than how he was between 1979 and 1981.

"Private Property" is the first filler, what with its forgettable riffs and even more forgettable chorus. The problem persists with "Parental Guidance", a song about telling the PMRC to fuck off. "Rock You All Around the World" is a bit faster and more attention-grabbing, with a catchy chorus that just rocks out. Of course, the band couldn't do away with at least having one ballad, and that song in question is "Out in the Cold". It's honestly pretty good, despite the cheesy synthesizers during the intro. Regardless, the chorus works out pretty well for the sentimental vibe that it tries to display. "Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days" showcases Halford's higher-pitched vocals finally coming into play, although I tend to just skip ahead to the last two songs on the album.

"Hot for Love" has a pop rock vibe that's not unlike the music styles of many MTV contemporaries around this time. There's something about the overall riffs that I find a bit strange. In closing, "Reckless" is perhaps the best song that Turbo has to offer, but it doesn't say much, when at least half of the album pretty much reeks of commerciality. Anyway, I like the vocal harmonies that persist throughout the song, but especially when the chorus comes around. In terms of style, this song is also perhaps the closest that you're going to get to the last two Judas Priest albums. As such, it's the highlight for me.

Overall, this is an average album that's simply not great for Judas Priest, but fitting enough for anyone into Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, or Scorpions. A fun fact about this album is that when it first came out, a devoted Judas Priest fan admitted to crying — while listening to Turbo! Fortunately, those idiots from the Heavy Metal Parking Lot documentary backed this thing up.
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#2
I think I only heard this once in my life, I was disgusted the day it came out.
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#3
I'd be curious to hear what would have come of their proposed idea to do the double album Twin Turbo or whatever it's called. They have a lot of songs from that session (some later appearing on Ram it Down) that are killer. Leaving Heart of A Lion unreleased/unfinished was a mistake.
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#4
As a standalone record; its OK.
As a Priest album, it should have been better.

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#5
Yeah, I've read some online comments that still regarded this album and Point of Entry as being more noteworthy Judas Priest albums than anything released since the 2000s, including even Firepower, so there are still many fans willing to back these up.

It's not a bad album to put on every now and then, but I have heard better examples of AOR and other commercial rock. Judas Priest was trying to stay true to trends, but that obviously backfired.
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#6
Say if Death-Metal gained traction and got bigger than AOR; would Priest make a good album under that genre?

Would be interesting to see them try it.

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#7
They kinda tried emulating that sound in the 1990s. With Painkiller, Judas Priest was following speed/thrash metal, and they'd already set out to get heavier since Ram It Down.

Jugulator and especially Demolition were supposed to capture the elements of the more atonal styles of metal, but the latter leaned further towards nu metal territory. It didn't help that the albums were way too lengthy for their own good.

Rob Halford could probably get away with a bit of growling. He proved it on those Fight albums, if I recall correctly.
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#8
Did you get to review Firepower? Or did I miss it?

As a Priest Expert (in a way) what do you think of it?

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#9
Oh, I haven't reviewed it. I don't have a physical copy of the album, but from just listening to the songs, it's more or less the same of what I'd been hearing from them since the 2000s. It's just OK — nothing too remotely exciting. Compared to Turbo, it's still a bit better in terms of songwriting.
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