Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music

1986 – Part 2.2: Judas Priest – Turbo

This is the 30 Year Anniversary cover.

I was probably too young or too dumb to understand why the writers of the music mags kept trashing the sound of this album as “lite Rock”.

To me, it was and still is a hard rock album and my fandom with Judas Priest started with this album, “Ram It Down” and “Painkiller”. Then I went back into the catalogue.

If anything, the addition of synths to their sound, was no different to ZZ Top’s and my fandom with them also started with “Eliminator”.

From a production point of view, Tom Allom is still in the producer chair.

Turbo Lover

The simplicity of Ian Hill on bass and Dave Holland on drums just playing a stock standard beat, sets a canvas for creativity. And that’s exactly what Glen Tipton, KK Downing and Rob Halford do. They decorate each section so it sounds unique, while Hill and Holland stay the same.

Tipton’s lead break is also worthy. It’s got enough moments to sing a long with it and he shreds enough to show his prowess, all without overplaying. Which is a very subjective term these days. My view on overplaying is different to others.

Then after the solo, the verse riff and vocal melody remind me of “The Sentinel”. But back then it didn’t.

Locked In

Covering “Johnny B Goode” rubbed off on the songwriting.

Make sure you check out the arpeggio solo towards the end of the whole lead break from Tipton.

Private Property

“Turbo Lover” part two. Or a track from ZZ Top’s “Eliminator”.

The bass and drums set the foundation and the others do the creativity with riffs, melodic fills, leads and vocal melodies.

Parental Guidance

Tipton always kept his finger on what was happening in the guitar scene. Check out some of his leads on the albums which came after incorporating “sweep picking”.

On this one, it’s very major key and EVH had a knack for making major chord progressions sound heavy in the way EVH palm mutes the arpeggios. Tipton does the same here.

Rock You All Around The World

The Intro riff is excellent.

Lyrically these kind of themes of “heavy metal music cranked louder and voices showing power” started to became cliched, but living through the era, i lived it.

Check out Tipton’s solo on this.

Out In The Cold

A hidden gem.

The synth Intro makes it sound ancient, like “Gates of Babylon” ancient.

Then the band crashes in and I swear I’m listening to “Dream Warriors” in the verses. But “Dream Warriors” came after. Regardless, I’m all in.

Check out that Aerosmith “Kings And Queens” feel just before the solo.

Wild Nights, Hot And Crazy Days

They tried to rewrite “Living After Midnight” musically.

But the star of the song is the AC/DC vocal melody from Halford.

Hot For Love

The first 30 seconds.

How good are the riffs?

And the Pre Chorus is more anthemic than the Chorus.

Check out Downing’s lead break and they then go into an excellent harmony section.


One of my favorite cuts. The whole melodic rock movement is here.

The Intro harmony leads remind me of “Rock You Like A Hurricane”.

The verse melodies from Halford are excellent.

Look out
I’m blastin’ through the lines
Alive and kickin’
Watch out
I’m young and lethal
I’m goin’ from here until eternity

It resonated with me. Growing up in a steel city, all that was expected of me and others, was to grow up and work in the steelworks.

And songs like these allowed us to dream.

Make sure you check out the lead breaks, especially the outro leads from KK Downing.

And based on the momentum the band built over the last six years, the album quickly went to Platinum in the U.S. and Halford showed all the singers who the Boss is when it comes to performing live.


14 thoughts on “1986 – Part 2.2: Judas Priest – Turbo

  1. I don’t get the hate for this album. I think it is a solid album and I don’t mind the introduction of the synths. Yes, it wasn’t as heavy but it was melodic and catchy and still rocked.

      • Henrik says:

        Hear hear!
        Back in the day it was just an awesome release by trusty JP. Admitted, catchy as hell but in a good way. It’s funny when in the ’80s nobody paid little if any attention on keys and synths but in 2000s every man and his dog is wise assing why they disliked it then but these days they can listen to it with a hint of irony. Phew, it’s brilliant record. Always has been.

  2. Thought it was ok in 86 love it more in 2021. That live show added on the deluxe is stellar. Locked In sounds amazing as do the other Turbo tunes played live. You can’t go wrong when you got a second drummer as well helping out. lol

  3. uncleb13 says:

    I remember getting this on cassette in 1986 on some kinda “new cassette technology” called “Chromium Dioxide”. This whole album has, to me, that icy, coked-out/up feel of the mid-80’s. Having grown tired of most of what I had been listening to in my mid-teens, I was getting into many of the metal bands of the time (MTV didn’t hurt). I had no real history with JP, but I thought this was a cool album and couldn’t understand all the hate, “real”, long-time metal fans were piling on “Turbo”.

    • Hey thanks for reading. I was the same. Thinking what is the problem with it. The album made me a fan.

      I remember seeing tapes labeled with Chromium Dioxide.

      But i also remember being told that to hear the difference I needed a certain audio cassette player.

    • Yep my Metallica, Venom and Slayer friends kept giving me shit for liking Turbo. They kept saying to me, “how can you call yourself a metal head.” It pissed me off.
      Bastards. Lol.

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