Turbo is the 10th studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, recorded in June – November, 1985, at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas and mixed in January and February, 1986, at Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, California. Turbo was first released by Columbia on April 15, 1986. A remastered CD was released in 2002, adding two bonus tracks. The album marked the band's first use of guitar synthesizers.
Following the success of their previous album, Defenders of the Faith, Judas Priest initially recorded a double album called "Twin Turbos", which was never released. Instead, the material was split, with the more commercial songs appearing on Turbo. While it sold well initially, going Gold (RIAA) on June 10, 1986 and Platinum on July 24, 1987 and reaching No. 33 in the UK and No. 17 on Billboard 200, the reaction from fans was negative. Sales tapered off and the live album from the subsequent tour tanked.
Left-over songs from the Turbo session are "Heart of a Lion", "Red White and Blue", "All Fired Up", "Fight for Your Love", "Under the Gun" and "Prisoner of Your Eyes".
Rob Halford referred to Turbo as the "love/hate Judas Priest album". In 2008 he told Kerrang!:
"The only agenda we've ever had in Priest was to really give every album its own life and I think we've achieved that on everything from Rocka Rolla up to the new one, Nostradamus. That said, if ever there was a controversial record in terms of what people might have expected from us, it's Turbo. It was the fact that we moved into a different athmosphere, but that's where we were at at that particular time. Some of the technologial advances like the pedal-boards that Glenn and KK used were giving us options for different sounds and experimentation. Personally I think there are still some great tracks on that album ... It's one of the recordings that divide opinion."
The cover was once again done by Doug Johnson, who did the Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith covers. The cover shows a woman's hand holding a joy stick.
"Reckless" was asked to be on the Top Gun soundtrack, but Judas Priest declined, both because they thought the film would flop and because it would have meant leaving the song off Turbo. However, their next album, Ram It Down, contained a cover of "Johnny B. Goode" that was featured in the soundtrack for the movie of the same title. "Reckless" and "Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days" were also Judas Priest's first songs to be played lower than E tuning.
"Parental Guidance" was written and recorded in response to Tipper Gore's attack on the band. Her organization, the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), placed "Eat Me Alive" (from Defenders of the Faith) at No. 3 on their list of offensive songs (a.k.a. the "Filthy Fifteen"), as it allegedly was about performing oral sex at gunpoint.
"Turbo Lover" was featured as one of the songs in the U.S. release of the 2001 PlayStation 2 game Gran Turismo 3.
The album was ranked No. 39 on Metal-Rules.com list over the 50 greatest glam metal albums.
The line at the end of "Parental Guidance", One life I'm gonna live it up!, is a nod to the earlier Judas Priest song "You've Got Another Thing Comin'".