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Judas Priest

Judas Priest was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '70s, spearheading the New Wave of British HeavyMetal late in the decade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffsand speed of Led Zeppelin, as well as adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack; in doing so, they set the pace for muchpopular heavy metal from 1975 until 1985, as well as laying the groundwork for the speed and death metal of the '80s.

Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1970, the group's core members were guitarist K.K. Downing and bassist I ...read more

Judas Priest was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '70s, spearheading the New Wave of British HeavyMetal late in the decade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffsand speed of Led Zeppelin, as well as adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack; in doing so, they set the pace for muchpopular heavy metal from 1975 until 1985, as well as laying the groundwork for the speed and death metal of the '80s.

Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1970, the group's core members were guitarist K.K. Downing and bassist Ian Hill. Joined byAlan Atkins and drummer John Ellis, the band played their first concert in 1971. Atkins' previous band was called Judas Priest,yet the members decided it was the best name for the new group. The band played numerous shows throughout 1971; duringthe year, Ellis was replaced by Alan Moore; by the end of the year, Chris Campbell replaced Moore. After a solid year oftouring the U.K., Atkins and Campbell left the band in 1973 and were replaced by vocalist Rob Halford and drummer JohnHinch. They continued touring, including a visit to Germany and the Netherlands in 1974. By the time the tour was completed,they had secured a record contract with Gull, an independent U.K. label. Before recording their debut album, Judas Priestadded guitarist Glenn Tipton.

Rocka Rolla was released in September of 1974 to almost no attention. The following year, they gave a well-receivedperformance at the Reading Festival and Hinch departed the band; he was replaced by Alan Moore. Later that year, thegroup released Sad Wings of Destiny, which earned some positive reviews. However, the lack of sales was putting the band ina dire financial situation, which was remedied by an international contract with CBS Records. Sin After Sin (1977) was thefirst album released under that contract; it was recorded with Simon Phillips, who replaced Moore. The record receivedpositive reviews and the band departed for their first American tour, with Les Binks on drums.

When they returned to England, Judas Priest recorded 1978's Stained Class, the record that established them as aninternational force in metal. Along with 1979's Hell Bent for Leather (Killing Machine in the U.K.), Stained Class defined thenascent New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. A significant number of bands adopted Priest's leather-clad image andhard, driving sound, making their music harder, faster, and louder. After releasing Hell Bent for Leather, the band recorded thelive album Unleashed in the East (1979) in Japan; it became their first platinum album in America. Les Binks left the band in1979; he was replaced by former Trapeze drummer Dave Holland. Their next album, 1980's British Steel, entered the Britishcharts at number three, launched the hit singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight," and was their secondAmerican platinum record; Point of Entry, released the following year, was nearly as successful.

At the beginning of the '80s, Judas Priest was a top concert attraction around the world, in addition to being a best-sellingrecording artist. Featuring the hit single "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," Screaming for Vengeance (1982) marked theheight of their popularity, peaking at number 17 in America and selling over a million copies. Two years later, Defenders of theFaith nearly matched its predecessor's performance, yet metal tastes were beginning to change, as Metallica and otherspeed/thrash metal groups started to grow in popularity. That shift was evident on 1986's Turbo, where Judas Priest seemedout of touch with current trends; nevertheless, the record sold over a million copies in America on the basis of namerecognition alone. However, 1987's Priest...Live! was their first album since Stained Class not to go gold. Ram It Down (1988)was a return to raw metal and returned the group to gold status. Dave Holland left after this record and was replaced byScott Travis for 1990's Painkiller. Like Ram It Down, Painkiller didn't make an impact outside the band's diehard fans, yet thegroup was still a popular concert act.

In the early '90s, Rob Halford began his own thrash band, Fight, and soon left Judas Priest. In 1996, following a solo album byGlenn Tipton, the band rebounded with a new young singer, Tim "Ripper" Owens, (formerly a member of a Priest tribute bandand of Winter's Bane). They spent the next year recording Jugulator amongst much self-perpetuated hype concerning Priest'sreturn to their roots. The album debuted at number 82 on the Billboard album charts upon its release in late 1997. Halford hadby then disbanded Fight following a decrease in interest and signed with Trent Reznor's Nothing label with a new project,Two. In the meantime, the remaining members of Judas Priest forged on with '98 Live Meltdown, a live set recorded duringtheir inaugural tour with Ripper on the mic. Around the same time, a movie was readying production to be based on Ripper'srags-to-riches story of how he got to front his all-time favorite band. Although Priest was originally supposed to be involvedwith the film, they ultimately pulled out, but production went on anyway without the band's blessing (the movie, Rock Star,was eventually released in the summer of 2001, starring Mark Wahlberg in the lead role). Rob Halford in the meantimedisbanded Two after just a single album, 1997's Voyeurs, and returned back to his metal roots with a quintet titledsimply...Halford. The group issued their debut in 2000, Resurrection, following it with a worldwide tour that saw the newgroup open up Iron Maiden's Brave New World U.S. tour, and issue a live set one year later (which included a healthy helpingof Priest classics) -- Live Insurrection.

In 2001 the Ripper-led Priest issued a new album, Demolition, and Priest's entire back catalog for Columbia was reissued withremastered sound and bonus tracks. In 2003 the band--including Halford--collaborated on the liner notes and song selectionsfor their mammoth career. encompassing box Metalogy, a collaboration that brought Halford back into the fold. Owens splitfrom the group amicably in 2003, allowing the newly reunited heavy metal legends to plan their global live concert tour in2004, with their sixteenth studio album, Angel of Retribution, to be released the following year. In 2008 the band releasedNostradamus, a sprawling, two disc conceptual piece that charted the life and times of the famous French seer. On December7, 2010, the band broke the news that their current tour, The Epitaph World Tour, would be their last. « hide

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LPs
Redeemer of Souls
2014

3.2
165 Votes
Nostradamus
2008

2.8
537 Votes
Angel of Retribution
2005

3.5
543 Votes
Demolition
2001

2.1
321 Votes
Jugulator
1997

2.5
378 Votes
Painkiller
1990

4.5
1,510 Votes
Ram It Down
1988

3.2
428 Votes
Turbo
1986

2.7
485 Votes
Defenders of the Faith
1984

4.1
672 Votes
Screaming for Vengeance
1982

4.2
1,114 Votes
Point of Entry
1981

3
385 Votes
British Steel
1980

3.9
1,030 Votes
Killing Machine
1978

3.8
568 Votes
Stained Class
1978

4.3
761 Votes
Sin After Sin
1977

3.9
528 Votes
Sad Wings of Destiny
1976

4.5
959 Votes
Rocka Rolla
1974

3.1
396 Votes
Live Albums
Epitaph
05/28/2013

4.1
14 Votes
A Touch of Evil
2009

3.7
48 Votes
Live in Concert 25th June 1980
2007

4.3
17 Votes
Live Vengeance '82
2006

4
1 Votes
Rising in the East
2005

4.3
28 Votes
Electric Eye
2003

3.9
16 Votes
Live in London
2003

2.7
40 Votes
'98 Live Meltdown
1998

3
36 Votes
Priest...Live!
1987

3.7
93 Votes
Unleashed in the East
1979

4.4
196 Votes
Compilations
The Complete Albums Collection
01/24/2012

4.3
6 Votes
The Chosen Few
2011

4
15 Votes
The Single Cuts (Standard Edition)
2011

3.8
7 Votes
The Single Cuts (Box Set)
2011

5
3 Votes
Setlist
2010

3.3
5 Votes
The Essential Judas Priest
2006

4.4
37 Votes
Metalogy
2004

4.3
25 Votes
Priest, Live & Rare
1998

3.4
15 Votes
Living After Midnight
1998

3.6
61 Votes
Metal Works '73-'93
1993

4.3
38 Votes
Hero, Hero
1981

3.7
19 Votes
The Best Of
1978

2.2
17 Votes

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