Rob Halford

The new year will mark the 30th anniversary of one of the most influential heavy metal albums of all time, Judas Priest's brazen, majestic 'British Steel.' The band commemorated the coming event by playing the entire album on its 2009 North American headlining tour, which ran from June to August. Next spring, Priest will not only bring the show across the globe, they'll release a DVD and CD box set of performances from the U.S. tour.

"It was really exciting to play that music in its entirety from front to back," frontman Rob Halford tells Noisecreep. "Thirty years later it's still connecting, everybody's still getting off on the music. That's a very special record in the big picture of heavy metal music."

Back in 1980, when they started working on 'British Steel,' Judas Priest could tell that the songs they were writing were strong. They thought they were maybe even stronger than the short, punchy tracks on their two 1978 albums, 'Stained Class' and 'Killing Machine' (a.k.a. 'Hell Bent for Leather'). Even so, they never imagined the kind of impact the record would have.

"It's classed as one of the iconic moments by everybody looking in and listening to it," Halford says. "But in our own minds, I don't think any of us thought that we'd be here 30 years later getting ready for the big party next spring."

In addition to celebrating the continued reign of 'British Steel,' Halford will release a live recording of the last show he did with his band Halford in Anaheim, Calif. before he rejoined Judas Priest in 2003.

"The show was to support the 'Crucible' release, so it was a mixture of songs from 'Crucible,' 'Resurrection' and Priest tunes," he says." That's coming out early next year. There's always more metal to be done, you know. It's like a never-ending story. That's the great joy of music; there are endless perimeters, endless possibilities, so I'm really looking forward to what 2010 will bring."

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