Since British Steel was released, «Breaking the Law» has been a popular staple at some of Judas Priest’s most famous performances. The performance version of the song has changed since 1980: at first, the band would play it the original way it was on British Steel. More recently, the band have sometimes (for example on the Angel of Retribution tour) played the opening riff with Halford picking for Downing, Downing picking for Tipton and Tipton picking for Hill, then quickly spreading apart to their respective usual positions on the stage for the verse. Over time, the band have raised the tempo of the song during live performances, and a solo was added by Downing (since his departure, Richie Faulkner, his replacement, composed a new solo, replacing KK’s). In live performances, Halford ends the song by screaming the words «Breaking the Law».
Example of a typical heavy metal Aeolian harmonic progression in I-VI-VII (Am-F-G): the main riff of Judas Priest’s «Breaking the Law». MIDI sample (help·info)
Since British Steel was released, «Breaking the Law»