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Breaking the Law - Judas Priest

Breaking the Law

British Steel
heavy metal metal hard rock NWOBHM rock


This song, with its extremely simple main riff and chorus, was released as a single from the British Steel album, and was one of Judas Priest's big breakthrough songs. It is now considered one of the most famous Hard Rock/Heavy Metal songs ever. The lyrics tell of someone who gets tired of everything that comes with an ordinary life - that life has become boring. This leads the person to take a chance and start breaking the law. The song featured some sound effects, including the sound of breaking glass and a police siren. The band were recording British Steel at Tittenhurst Park, which was the home of the Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr. Sampling did not exist at the time, so for the breaking glass, the band used the milk bottles the milkman brought them in the morning, and the police siren was actually guitarist K.K. Downing using the whammy on his Stratocaster. The song has been played live almost constantly ever since its release, and has slowly evolved over the years, for example with an added guitar solo by K.K. Downing (the original had no solo). It still gets the crowd going everywhere they go, but Priest have expressed a desire to try touring without some of their obvious classics, including this song. The video has become a cult classic, starring the band as bank robbers. Singer Rob Halford is riding in a Cadillac towards the bank, singing the first verse. Then he meets up with the rest of the band at the bank, and they break into the bank and use their instruments to bring the people inside down to their knees. Then they proceed with breaking into the safe and stealing a gold record for British Steel (slightly ironically, as the album later went on to sell gold. The security guard is sitting in his room sleeping in front of the security TV, but is awoken by the loud music. But instead of doing something, he just looks in awe at the TV. As the band are leaving in the Cadillac with the gold record, with the chorus playing over and over at the end of the song, the security guard picks up an air guitar and starts rocking out to the tune. The song has left its mark in many places in popular culture. It was ranked #40 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal songs list. Beavis and Butthead used to sing the song when they did something knowingly illegal. It's been used in some TV commercials, and in movies like Scarface: The World Is Yours. It's also appeared in The Simpsons. Many artists have covered this song, including Hammerfall, Pansy Division, Doro Pesch, Therapy?, Mavericks, and Hayseed Dixie. One especially notable version is the cover that Sturm und Drang made while performing live in Finland in 2007, when K.K. Downing appeared as a guest and performed the song with them.


Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band have sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production, repeated changes of drummer, and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel Show more ...

Breaking the Law - Judas Priest

[Verse 1]
There I was completely wasting
Out of work and down
All inside, it's so frustrating
As I drift from town to town
Feel as though nobody cares
If I live or die
So I might as well begin
To put some action in my life!

[Chorus]
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law

[Verse 2]
So much for the golden future
I can't even start
I've had every promise broken
There's anger in my heart
You don't know what it's like
You don't have a clue
If you did you'd find yourselves
Doing the same thing too!

[Chorus]
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law

[Bridge guitar solo 1]
You don't know what it's like!
(Sirens blare)

[Bridge guitar solo 2]

[Chorus x2]
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law



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