1987; this was a turning point for me. No looking back or turning my back on, just a turning point. My older brother had lent me his cassette of Def Leppard’s Hysteria during the winter to give a listen. I was hooked on the riffs and choruses, and the synth sounds added to hard rock. I was currently listening to Madonna, Luba, Steve Winwood and the like (and still do to this day, as I said I was not turning my back). Here I was, exposed to a harder style of music albeit the poppier side of hard rock yes. Then, during the summer I went on vacation to Lake Placid, NY with my parents. Older brother stayed home and I once again brought my pop music cassettes for the ride. I did have a goal, to find me some hard rock cassettes in the U.S.A. Funny enough we bumped into Huey Lewis and his band in upstate NY, happenstance as it was I was still on my mission although appreciating that fate intervened.
I recall going into some department store and buying three things. A massive dill pickle on a stick from a jar (I love dill!) and insert as many jokes and jabs as you wish here but it is the truth. I also purchased two cassettes. Heavy Metal Rules compilation with the likes of Poison, Dio, W.A.S.P., Anthrax, etc (of which most would become and stay favorites) and Turbo by Judas Priest. The rest of the vacation in quaint upstate NY was anything but quiet through my headphones. I was amazed at the sound. I knew nothing of this band and simply bought based on their name and the artwork.
When I went back to school the next fall, I was right into hard rock and metal and I recall some doofus picking on me for being a Turbo lover. He was a hardcore Priest geek and hated that release. Amazing, I had been picked on and beaten up with regularity for listening to Madonna and while I didn’t change my listening style to appease anyone you would think somehow you must win favor somehow. As they say nowadays, haters will always have a hate on no matter what (loosely translated from haters gonna hate).
Here we are in 2017. I regularly listen to almost all albums from Judas Priest yet Turbo is still my favorite regardless of what others say, they are my ears after all. Having seen the band as well and wowed by their show it was later in their career and not many tunes from the release are played live anymore. On Record Store Day 2017 I was holding Metallica: And Justice For All, Megadeth: Rust in Peace & Peace Sells, and KISS: Live in Las Vegas records when I flipped over and saw Turbo 30th Anniversary. I knew it was out there and on my want list but I was so excited I placed the other 3 back into the bin. It was one of those days where only one full-length record should be bought and listened to.
Saying I am impressed with the remastering would be an understatement. I can hardly hear any changes made which makes a massive fan of the original recording very happy. I do appreciate the new artwork as well which is a modern update, not a complete change whatsoever. I love the dueling guitars, always have. The synth portions have always fit in perfectly for my ears, and the vocals are the best among all Priest albums, again to my ears. How often can you say you will sit and listen to a record and be able to sing/screech along word for word to all tracks? That is staying power! It was so good to hear on vinyl I played it through a second time and just listened, forgoing my screech along. The only time I had heard any of these on the magical spinning sound that vinyl is was their live release in 1987 that contained many of Turbo’s songs. Tunes such as “Private Property” and “Parental Guidance” have been rallying cries my entire life and still resonate with me into my 40’s, probably because I have not really matured yet. “Rock You All Around The World” and “Wild Nights, Hot and Crazy Days” are some of the best melodic hard rockers to grace my ears.
Truth be told, I did buy another record on Record Store Day. It is a 45 of a song from way back in 1968 that I love. The Bee Gees and their amazing song “I Started a Joke” with the flipside being the version Faith No More covered in 1995-ish.
For me, I will always “shift to overdrive” and be that “Turbo lover”.
- Blair De Abreu