Judas Priest is one of the most influential heavy metal bands in history. If you’re not familiar with them, here’s a quick bio, list of songs and albums from the band’s discography.
Judas Priest is a British heavy metal band formed in London in 1969. The band is often considered one of the most influential metal bands ever, and has sold over 50 million records worldwide. They have been cited as an influence by many artists, with their songs “Painkiller” and “Breaking the Law” being among the best-selling singles of all time.
Judas Priest was one of the most important heavy metal bands of the 1970s, helping to launch the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the latter half of the decade. The band, dressed in leather and chains, fused Black Sabbath’s gothic doom with Led Zeppelin’s riffs and speed, as well as adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack, setting the standard for much popular heavy metal from 1975 to 1985, as well as laying the groundwork for speed and death metal in the 1980s.
The band’s primary members were guitarist K.K. Downing and bassist Ian Hill, who formed the band in Birmingham, England, in 1970. The band’s debut gig was in 1971, with Alan Atkins and drummer John Ellis joining them. Despite the fact that Atkins’ former band was known as Judas Priest, the members thought that it was the ideal name for the new band. Throughout 1971, the band performed a number of gigs; throughout the year, Ellis was replaced by Alan Moore, who was replaced by Chris Campbell before the end of the year. In 1973, Atkins and Campbell quit the band after a year of touring the United Kingdom, and were replaced by singer Rob Halford and drummer John Hinch. In 1974, they went on tour again, including a stop in Germany and the Netherlands. By the conclusion of the trip, they’d signed a record deal with Gull, a small indie company based in the United Kingdom. Judas Priest acquired guitarist Glenn Tipton before recording their first album.
In September of 1974, Rocka Rolla was launched to little fanfare. Following a well-received performance at the Reading Festival the following year, Hinch left the band and was replaced by Alan Moore. Sad Wings of Destiny, the group’s second album, was released later that year and received favorable reviews. The band’s financial predicament was worsened by a lack of sales, which was alleviated by an international deal with CBS Records. The first album released under that deal was Sin After Sin (1977), which was made with Simon Phillips, who had taken over for Moore. With Les Binks on drums, the band embarked on their first American tour after the album got excellent reviews.
When they returned to England, Judas Priest produced Stained Class in 1978, which cemented their status as a global metal powerhouse. Stained Class characterized the embryonic New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, with 1979’s Hell Bent for Leather (Killing Machine in the UK). Priest’s leather-clad persona and aggressive, driving sound inspired a slew of bands to make their music tougher, quicker, and louder. Following the release of Hell Bent for Leather, the band recorded the live album Unleashed in the East (1979) in Japan, which went platinum in the United States. Les Binks quit the band in 1979, and former Trapeze drummer Dave Holland took his place. Their next album, 1980’s British Steel, debuted at number three in the UK, including the smash singles “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight,” and was their second American platinum record; the following year’s Point of Entry was almost as successful.
Judas Priest was a big concert draw across the globe during the start of the 1980s, as well as a best-selling recording artist. Screaming for Vengeance (1982), which included the smash song “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” was their most successful album, reaching number 17 in America and selling over a million copies. Defenders of the Faith almost equaled its predecessor’s success two years later, but metal preferences were starting to shift as Metallica and other speed/thrash metal bands gained prominence. Despite the fact that Judas Priest looked out of step with contemporary trends on 1986’s Turbo, the album sold over a million copies in America based solely on name recognition. Priest…Live!, released in 1987, was their first non-gold album since Stained Class. Ram It Down (1988) was a return to raw metal that sent the band back to the top of the charts. After this album, Dave Holland quit and was replaced by Scott Travis for 1990’s Painkiller. Painkiller, like Ram It Down, didn’t have much of an effect outside of the band’s core fan base, although they were still a successful live act.
Rob Halford formed his own thrash band, Fight, in the early 1990s after leaving Judas Priest. Following the release of Glenn Tipton’s solo album in 1996, the band reformed with a new young vocalist, Tim “Ripper” Owens (previously of a Priest tribute band and Winter’s Bane). They spent the following year recording Jugulator in the middle of a lot of self-promotion about Priest’s return to their origins. When it was released in late 1997, the album debuted at number 82 on the Billboard album rankings. Following a drop in interest, Halford split Fight and joined with Trent Reznor’s Nothing label with a new group, Two. Meanwhile, Judas Priest’s surviving members continued to tour with ’98 Live Meltdown,’ a live performance filmed on their first tour with Ripper on the mic. Around the same time, a film based on Ripper’s rags-to-riches account of how he came to head his all-time favorite band was in the works. Despite the fact that Priest had previously agreed to be involved with the project, they ultimately declined, and production continued without their approval (the movie, Rock Star, was eventually released in the summer of 2001, starring Mark Wahlberg in the lead role). Meanwhile, Rob Halford split Two after just one album, 1997’s Voyeurs, and returned to his metal origins with a quintet known simply as Halford. The band released their debut, Resurrection, in 2000, followed by a global tour that saw the new band open for Iron Maiden’s Brave New World U.S. tour, and a live set, Live Insurrection, a year later (which contained a hearty dose of Priest classics).
Priest’s entire back catalog for Columbia was published with improved sound and extra songs in 2001, while the Ripper-led Priest released a new album, Demolition. The band, including Halford, collaborated on the liner notes and music choices for their massive career-spanning box Metalogy in 2003, bringing Halford back into the fold. Owens left the band amicably in 2003, enabling the freshly reunited heavy metal superstars to arrange a worldwide live concert tour for 2004, as well as the release of their sixteenth studio album, Angel of Retribution, the following year. Nostradamus, a sprawling two-disc conceptual piece that charted the life and times of the famous French seer, was released by the band in 2008. Priest announced on December 7, 2010, that their next Epitaph global tour will be their last. They emphasized that they were not disbanding the next month, claiming that they were working on new material. Downing quit the band before the tour started because to conflicts with the other members and management; he was replaced by Richie Faulkner.
During the tour, Priest worked on their next album, which lasted until 2012. The album’s release was repeatedly postponed, but it was finally confirmed in July 2014 that it will be released. Priest hailed it as a conventional, crowd-pleasing return to their beginnings, and it went on to become the group’s first Top Ten album in the United States, peaking at number six on the Billboard 200 list. Following a long tour, Priest released Battle Cry, a live album/DVD/Blu-ray that included highlights from their August 1, 2015 performance at Germany’s Wacken Festival.
Judas Priest started tentatively demoing ideas for a new album in 2016, but didn’t get into the studio as a band until the following year. It wasn’t until January 2018 that they revealed to the press and on social media that Firepower, their 18th studio album, had been finished. They went back to their old, natural manner of recording, with the full band in the studio at the same time. They emphasized this by engaging Grammy-winning veteran Andy Sneap and producer Tom Allom, who worked on all of the band’s albums from 1979 through 1988. “Tom Allom has this classic metal vibe, and Andy is a little more of a’modern metal producer,” Halford noted in a press statement, adding, “I believe to create this balance between that classic old-school metal to what Andy’s universe is was simply a spectacular coalescence.”
With a teaser video for the track “Lightning Strikes” and rumors of an upcoming global tour, the band announced the March release of Firepower in January of 2018. Tipton, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a decade ago, said in February that his condition had advanced to the point that he had to stop touring. On the road, Sneap would take his place. Former guitarist K.K. Downing, who said he was surprised he wasn’t invited to replace Tipton on tour, stated in public that “Sneap’s contribution on Firepower was really considerably more than merely a producer” — i.e., he performed Tipton’s parts on the album. “Everything you hear from Glenn on Firepower is the magnificent Glenn Tipton,” Halford said in a statement to the press. Downing’s charge, he said, was “totally unnecessary” and “a thousand percent wrong.” The lyric video for Judas Priest’s second song, “Never the Heroes,” was released on March 2. On March 9, Firepower was released.
Frequently Asked Questions
Was Judas Priest a real person?
A: No, Judas Priest is a fictional band.
Why did KK Downing leave Judas Priest?
A: KK Downing left Judas Priest in 1983.
What is Judas Priest best song?
A: Im not a bot, but Judas Priest is best song in my opinion.
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