Judas Priest
Turbo


1.0
awful

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
July 27th, 2009 | 194 replies | 19,164 views


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You've got low points, real low points, and then you've got Turbo.

5 of 9 thought this review was well written

After 1984’s Defenders of the Faith and Priest’s continued popularity, the band initially recorded a double album called Twin Turbos. That album, however, was never released. Instead, the more commercial half of the material was taken and made into Priest’s 1986 album, Turbo. At the time, glam metal dominated the music scene, and this heavily influenced the sound of the album. Wanting to go along with the current trend, Turbo was the first album by Priest to make use of guitar synthesizers. Its sound was also more commercial than ever, a reason why the album will strongly remind of arena rock/metal. Although the tour was successful and Priest gained new fans, their 9th studio album was condemned by many, fans and critics alike, as a huge sell-out.

Turbo’s Judas Priest was:
- Robert John Arthur Halford ~ Vocals
- Kenneth Downing Jr. ~ Lead Guitar
- Glenn Raymond Tipton ~ Lead Guitar
- Ian Frank Hill ~ Bass Guitar
- David Holland ~ Drums

Guest musicians:
- Jeff Martin (Racer X) ~ Backing Vocals on Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days

A sell-out, must be unluckily concluded, is what Turbo was indeed. There is so much particularly wrong with the album I don’t know where to start. The synths are way overdone, which has the effect of ruining the guitar sound, instead of adding extra flavour. What Iron Maiden pulled off excellently in the same year with Somewhere in Time, Judas Priest messed up utterly. The production isn’t any good either. The overall sound is way too polished, sounding very poppy, and Halford’s vocals are too distant. Turbo’s worst flaw, however, is the over-commercialism. The band went so far in this that they have trouble sounding like themselves. Think Point of Entry, but then far worse. All songs are built up by the very simple verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, having an average solo in between. This structure could work, of course, as it has done for Priest before, but many of the lyrics and choruses (e.g. Locked In, Rock You All Around the World) are so awful and generic it is almost unbearable to listen to them. By just taking a look at the song titles, you know this is a Priest album that you are impossible to take seriously (Hot for Love, anyone?), never mind enjoy.

As for the songs themselves, they mostly sound the same. Opener Turbo Lover is one of the song that comes close to enjoyable, having well-done synth work, but then again has also average lyrics and is repetitive. Out in the Cold stands out most, aspiring to be an epic, but not quite able to do so. A relaxed listen, apart from an again commercial approach. Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days sounds very much like an AC/DC rip-off, especially in the way the chorus is presented (including the trademark backing vocals), and Halford sounds half like Brian Johnson at times. Locked In has the potentially most interesting instrumental work, but that is unfortunately ruined by the overdone synths. And if you had high hopes for a nice closer, forget it. Reckless is the song we’ve heard 8 times before on the album, and does no effort on closing off things on a high note.

Redeeming factors are not easy to find, but there are a few. Firstly, the intros are actually quite nicely done, but then again, are more a false hope for a great song than anything else. Secondly, the material found on Turbo will do great live. The versions found of Priest…Live! of these songs sound better than their studio counterparts. As for the album itself though, this is not really an advantage.

Judas Priest’s dive into glam metal and arena rock just turns out to be the worst misstep of their career. Making the most generic, boring, and commercial album in their now 40 years of existence, Turbo is just about as bad as it gets. Except for the most fanatic of fan boys and collectionists, nobody will really like to acquire this. An awful album truly, that should be avoided at all costs.

+ The intros are quite well carried out, but that’s really about it

- Synths are way overdone
- Bad production
- Overly commercial
- Very poor lyrics and choruses
- All songs sound the same

Recommended tracks (for the sake of tradition):

Out in the Cold
Turbo Lover



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user ratings (466)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
Pedro B. (2)
Did anybody order keyboards with their traditional metal?...

Mart0001 (2.5)
Only recommended for real Judas Priest-fans. Most songs on here aren't really convincing and at time...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
July 27th 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This didn't deserve that previous 2.5 review. I'm going steadily at a review a day now. I'll see if I can keep it up for a while.

Xenorazr
July 27th 2009



332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I thought the album was lousy on my first listen, but it's somehow managed to grow on me since then. I don't think it deserves as low as a 1, then again my rating is rather generous so HA!

FadeToBlack
July 27th 2009



10913 Comments


Good review, pos'd

It's strange that when priest used synths they created one of the worst albums of their career, but when maiden did it with Seventh Son they made one of their best

Nagrarok
July 27th 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

with Seventh Son

*Somewhere in Time

FadeToBlack
July 27th 2009



10913 Comments


Seventh Son was more synth heavy though. Somwhere in Time didn't use them too much

ReturnToRock
July 27th 2009



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

oh boy. i KNEW it was going to be Turbo!!!

truth is, i actually like this album! Locked In FTW.

jugulator is much worse IMO.

Nagrarok
July 27th 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Listen to the title track and think again.

@FadeToBlack

Gyromania
July 27th 2009



15198 Comments


More awful album art.

Nagrarok
July 27th 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This art style worked for SFV, but not for DOTF, and certainly not for this.

FadeToBlack
July 27th 2009



10913 Comments


Yeah that's one out of eight tracks though, most of the tracks on SSOASS use them

I haven't listened to this, but I will check out some songs on youtube to see how bad it really is

ConorMichaelJoseph
July 27th 2009



1870 Comments


Not the first Judas Priest I'd reach for when i want to listen to some, but its alright. Great review though.

FadeToBlack
July 27th 2009



10913 Comments


Just listened to some bits from this. Very cheesy, kind of catchy, but really repetitive. It's not like soulja boy/nickelback bad though

cvlts
July 27th 2009



8954 Comments


hahahahaha

pos

Xenorazr
July 27th 2009



332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Oddly enough '86 was when Master of Puppets, Reign In Blood and Peace Sells came out.

cvlts
July 27th 2009



8954 Comments


hahahahaha x2

FadeToBlack
July 27th 2009



10913 Comments


and To Mega Therion, Somehwere In Time, Pleasure To Kill and Darkness Descends. APART from all those 1986 wasn't very good

Meatplow
July 27th 2009



5524 Comments


corny, cliche rock albums ftw

review some Accept, nagrarok :]

shindip
July 27th 2009



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this seriously cannot be THAT bad...

Nagrarok
July 27th 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@FadeToBlack: It's not the only track that uses them, just the track that uses them most.

@Meatplow: Maybe, but I obviously have quite some Priest albums ahead of me. I'm a long way already though.

@shindip: Oh yes, it is THAT bad. Read my review ;)

Douchebag
July 27th 2009



3624 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"this seriously cannot be THAT bad..."

nah, It's kinda sad to see this album get so much hate. I'm not going to say it's great but it's got enough decent songs to at least get a 3 and Jugulator is FAR worse, just turn your brain off for 40 or so minutes.

Turbo Lover, Locked In, Private Property, Partental Guidance, Out In The Cold and the bonus song All fired up are good to great songs imo.



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