Judas Priest – “Turbo” (1986)

In a shocking turn of events, Judas Priest changed their image and their sound in a (pathetic) attempt to improve sales.  Sure, they’ll tell ya that they were pushing the boundaries of heavy metal and experimenting with new sounds, but once you hear these lyrics you know it’s all bullshit.  If they were truly experimenting (synth guitars, processed drums, Halford’s skullet), then why write such adolescent, pandering, idiotic lyrics?  The answer: because Turbo is a f*cking SELLOUT you idiot!  This was Judas Priest trying to write lyrics like Twisted Sister (but far, far, FAR worse), and copying a drum sound from new wave, or that Sunglasses At Night song.  Call a spade a spade boys, admit you sold your soul and we can move on.

Are they using a drum machine on this album?  Anyone know?  Sounds like it.  Absolute crap.

But guess what?  Even though Turbo is a tragic abortion of an album as far as Judas Priest goes, if this were some obscure album by some obscure band (let’s call them Beaver Tits for argument sake) then I would probably listen with a big dumb smile on my face and be telling you that Beaver Tits was a guilty pleasure o’ mine.  I’d be telling you how I like rockin’ out to that infectious pre-chorus on Hot For Love, or dreaming of being Knight Rider while cruising in my ’85 Firebird to Turbo Lover.  But for Judas f*cking Priest to pull this shit?  That’s just messed up dude.  I can’t separate the music from how ridiculously cold and calculating Priest were with this album.  How reactionary they were to passing trends.  It’s sad to see a once great band suck the corporate teat like this.  And yet I listen and (I’m ashamed to say…) sometimes even ENJOY it.  Should I hate myself?  Because I do.  Just what the hell am I suppose to do with this album?  I’m not sure if I should defecate on it or crank it to eleven.  My score: C


5 thoughts on “Judas Priest – “Turbo” (1986)

  1. Turbo is to Priest as Theatre Of Pain is to the Crue… or The Ultimate Sin is to Ozzy.

    Legendary artists seduced by shallow pop success.
    But I’ll admit that I own all of those albums and listen to them … occasionally (certainly none of their best work! )

  2. I’m not sure if I should defecate on it or crank it to eleven. My score: C+

    Crank it to Eleven… at first thought what the fuck when this first came out. and then I got older, and realized, hey there are some good AOR hooks on this.

    “Turbo is to Priest as Theatre Of Pain is to the Crue… or The Ultimate Sin is to Ozzy” Tokyo 5 said this and I agree

    But With Jake E. Lee and The Ultimate Since. Jake was already a legend before he even Joined Ozzy. In Ratt, Rough Cutt and Dio. Plus he was more metal than the next guy…

    I forgave Motley for Theatre once Girls Girls Girls come out…because I bartended in a strip club for while back then…and dam that is the best song ever, if you enjoy the vibe of a gentlemans club.

  3. I’m with you on this, if this was some unknown band like Beaver Tits (like the name) I would have thought this album wasn’t half bad. Saying that, it’s a long way down from what Judas Priest has done. I saw them live on this tour and I can say that the album didn’t in anyway affect them live. They still kicked ass!

  4. I hate this album and I say as a Judas Priest fanboy. The synth guitars are vomitous. The lyrics to Private Property and Parental Guidance are cringe inducing at best and rage inducing at worst. There are exactly two tracks worth anything on it – Out In the Cold which is decent and the quite good Reckless. This is Priest’s worst album including the Ripper Owens years.

  5. Let’s get one thing out of the way. Judas Priest is a commercial metal band and have been that since they moved from piercing metal with complex lyrics on Stained Class to the party rock lyrics and catchy choruses of Killing Machine. As far as trend jumping goes, it would get even worse on the following two albums. Turbo at least has great solos and vocals, (mostly) good tunes and was massively popular when it came out. They did the right thing and had not convicted bankrobber Bill Curbishley interfered with the direction, they would have exited the 80s as they entered the decade – as a platinum selling and leading band. Instead we got Ram it Down and Painkiller. Turbo was their last truly great album, the end of an era. But not even I can defend the retarded lyrics of Parental Guidance, and even more so Rock You All Around the World, worst song on the album.

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