I will admit that prior to this review, that I hadn’t listened to Turbo in easily 10 years, and even then I had only spun it once or twice. But a decade is a long time and my tastes change very frequently, so I was quite excited and a little cautious to revisit it, in a new shiny anniversary edition.
I think it’s fair to say Judas Priest are one of the all-time greats of the genre, but Turbo is probably one of their least loved albums, especially of the Rob Halford era, I can see why to a degree, as it takes its cue more from the hair metal sound of the late 80s and even has a little disco influence in there, which people might have found jarring when compared with other releases. I am happy to say though that on re-evaluation it stands up fairly well, even after all these years. You can see stylistically where the band were going with it and in turn try to crack the American market which had been overrun by bands like Motley Crue. Poison etc had become the big thing at the time. It’s a similar thing to what Ozzy did on the Original Sin Album which was also met with a tepid response.
The wonderful thing about hindsight and going back to things after a long break is rediscovering some lost gems along the way and hearing things in a new light. The albums title track is a particular highlight and was a nice surprise in the setlist on recent tours. Private Property, Rock you all around the World and Out in the Cold are all also really good tunes that have been lost in the shuffle amongst the years. Yes, the album is slick, polished and has choruses the size of the moon, but there are also some incredible riffs, that manage to cut through the cheese and still hit in the right spots.
The remastering job here is also top notch and makes every track pop from the speakers and sound fresh and in some cases like this album was recorded yesterday rather than 30 years ago. Included in this package is also a 2 disc live show from the Turbo era, which is also another hidden treasure showing just how well some of those songs fit together with the band’s more classic material and shows just how on fire the band was at that time.
For a long time, Turbo may have been the whipping boy in Judas Priests’ back catalogue, but it is well worth returning to and giving it another shot because this is an album that has aged surprisingly well and has some tunes that are well worth revisiting and will more than likely find yourself getting some of them stuck in your head as well, and I think we can all agree that it is a damn sight better than the mess that was Nostradamus (I bet he didn’t see that coming)