Review Summary: Only recommended for real Judas Priest-fans. Most songs on here aren't really convincing and at times it feels like you're listening to Bon Jovi.
1986 was definitely one of the greatest years for the metal genre, and especially for the thrash metal. Slayer
released “Reign In Blood”, Megadeth
released “Peace Sells” and Metallica
released “Master Of Puppets”. But it was also a very good year for the doom metal genre. Saint Vitus
released a good consistent album with “Born Too Late”, and Candlemass
made the album that defined doom metal: “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”. 1986 was also the year in which hair metal was (arguably) at it’s peak. A lot of (heavy) metal bands started to use synthesizers in their music, like Iron Maiden
did with “Somewhere In Time”, and that turned out pretty well. In that same year Judas Priest also made an album in which synthesizers were used: “Turbo”. Did that turn out well too?
Well, when you pop this in your CD player and play it, it starts with Turbo Lover
. You hear some mystic synthesizer sounds and then the drums kick in. The song takes off slowly and Rob Halford starts singing. You won’t hear me/But you’ll feel me
. It sounds promising. As the music progresses, it builds up and Rob Halford sings louder and louder and louder... Then the chorus starts. I’m your turbo lover/Tell me there’s no other/I’m your turbo lover/Better run for cover
. Sounds cheesy, huh? Yet it’s damn catchy and it works great as an opener. The guitar solo in it is also very good. The song is not as energetic as something like Freewheel Burning
, but it works. What some people may not know is that the song is not only about turbo and fast driving, but also about sex (that’s right!). Turbo Lover was featured in the racing game Gran Turismo 3, and it’s indeed a great driving song.
But to be quite honest with you, that’s the best song on this album. None of the others are really convincing or stand out. On top of that, most songs on here don’t really sound like Judas Priest at all. Take Wild Nights, Hot And Crazy Days
for example, which could’ve been from any hair metal band at that time, with it’s chorus that never seems to end (For those wild nights/Hot and crazy days/Wild nights/Hot and crazy days
). Sometimes I have the idea that I’m listening to Bon Jovi
when I play this album!
Speaking of choruses, the songwriting is also pretty bad, most songs on here sound too cheesy. It works in songs like Turbo Lover
and Locked In
, but almost every song has such a cheesy chorus. That can really get on your nerves. Some examples:
You've got the key/The key to my heart/Go ahead and use it/Drag me in, slam the door/Then I'll be yours, for evermore/You've got me locked in/Locked inside your love/You've got me locked in/Locked inside your love
. (Locked In
You say I waste my life away/But I live it to the full/And how you know anyway/You're just mister dull/Why don't you get into the things we do today/You could lose twenty years right away/So we say/We don't need no/No, no, no/Parental guidance here
Don't you touch/Don't get near/Don't take me for a fool/Make no mistake/No give and take/I'm too good for you/So keep your hands off/Private property/Hands off/Oh Oh/Keep your hands off/Private property/Hands off me/Hands off/Oh Oh
For a band like Bon Jovi
, this could be tolerable, as all the band members of those two bands were in their mid-20s, had just begun making music and releasing albums. But the band members of Judas Priest were in their mid/late-30s and had released ten albums at the time they made this album!! And it was made by the same band which wrote classics like Victim Of Changes
and Electric Eye
! Some songs on here sound like they were written by a bunch of teenagers or a beginning metal band (like Parental Guidance
Rob Halford has an okay performance on here, he hits some pretty high notes (like in Locked In
). The guitar solos are also nicely done, though they’re not really spectacular like on their previous albums. The drumming is rather tedious and boring, it sounds kinda robotic, like it comes from a drum computer. Also, the use of synthesizers doesn’t really work on this album. Synthesizers don’t really fit in heavy metal music at all in my opinion. It works in songs like Turbo Lover
and Out In The Cold
, but it’s in every song on the album. On the album “Somewhere In Time” by Iron Maiden, the synthesizers really fit with the music. Even though it was a bit softer than their previous efforts, it didn’t sound commercial at all. But Judas Priest made their music sound too commercial. Luckily they decreased their use of synthesizers after this album.
The original idea was to release a double album: “Twin Turbos”. One half of the album consisted of commercial rock, while the other half was heavier and less synth-driven. Instead the material was split (because double albums in general don’t really sell well), and the commercial songs appeared on this album. Some of the songs that were heavier appeared on the album “Ram It Down”, which was released two years later.
Maybe it was better to pick the best songs from the double album, and put it on one CD. Too bad they didn’t, because now this album is pretty average (although Turbo was pretty successful, it went platinum a year after it’s release).
By all means, I don’t think Turbo is bad (I’ve heard worse than this). It has a few neat songs on it, but as an album it gets rather tedious and most songs aren’t convincing. It also sounds more like a pop/rock/glam record than a heavy metal one, so at times you don’t feel like you’re listening to Judas Priest.
This album is only recommended for real Judas Priest-fans.