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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 Heavy Metal late in thedecade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffs and speed of Led Zeppelin, as wellas adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack; in doing so, they set the pace for much popular heavy metal from 1975 until 1985, as well aslaying 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 Heavy Metal late in thedecade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffs and speed of Led Zeppelin, as wellas adding a vicious two-lead guitar attack; in doing so, they set the pace for much popular heavy metal from 1975 until 1985, as well aslaying 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 by Alan Atkinsand drummer John Ellis, the band played their first concert in 1971. Atkins' previous band was called Judas Priest, yet the members decided itwas the best name for the new group. The band played numerous shows throughout 1971; during the year, Ellis was replaced by Alan Moore;by the end of the year, Chris Campbell replaced Moore. After a solid year of touring the U.K., Atkins and Campbell left the band in 1973 andwere replaced by vocalist Rob Halford and drummer John Hinch. They continued touring, including a visit to Germany and the Netherlands in1974. By the time the tour was completed, they had secured a record contract with Gull, an independent U.K. label. Before recording theirdebut album, Judas Priest added guitarist Glenn Tipton.

Rocka Rolla was released in September of 1974 to almost no attention. The following year, they gave a well-received performance at theReading Festival and Hinch departed the band; he was replaced by Alan Moore. Later that year, the group released Sad Wings of Destiny,which earned some positive reviews. However, the lack of sales was putting the band in a dire financial situation, which was remedied by aninternational contract with CBS Records. Sin After Sin (1977) was the first album released under that contract; it was recorded with SimonPhillips, who replaced Moore. The record received positive reviews and the band departed for their first American tour, with Les Binks ondrums.

When they returned to England, Judas Priest recorded 1978's Stained Class, the record that established them as an international force inmetal. Along with 1979's Hell Bent for Leather (Killing Machine in the U.K.), Stained Class defined the nascent New Wave of British HeavyMetal movement. A significant number of bands adopted Priest's leather-clad image and hard, driving sound, making their music harder,faster, and louder. After releasing Hell Bent for Leather, the band recorded the live album Unleashed in the East (1979) in Japan; it becametheir first platinum album in America. Les Binks left the band in 1979; he was replaced by former Trapeze drummer Dave Holland. Their nextalbum, 1980's British Steel, entered the British charts at number three, launched the hit singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living AfterMidnight," and was their second American 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-selling recording artist.Featuring the hit single "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," Screaming for Vengeance (1982) marked the height of their popularity, peaking atnumber 17 in America and selling over a million copies. Two years later, Defenders of the Faith nearly matched its predecessor'sperformance, yet metal tastes were beginning to change, as Metallica and other speed/thrash metal groups started to grow in popularity. Thatshift was evident on 1986's Turbo, where Judas Priest seemed out of touch with current trends; nevertheless, the record sold over a millioncopies in America on the basis of name recognition alone. However, 1987's Priest...Live! was their first album since Stained Class not to gogold. Ram It Down (1988) was a return to raw metal and returned the group to gold status. Dave Holland left after this record and wasreplaced by Scott Travis for 1990's Painkiller. Like Ram It Down, Painkiller didn't make an impact outside the band's die-hard 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 by Glenn Tipton,the band rebounded with a new young singer, Tim "Ripper" Owens (formerly a member of a Priest tribute band and of Winter's Bane). Theyspent the next year recording Jugulator amongst much self-perpetuated hype concerning Priest's return to their roots. The album debuted atnumber 82 on the Billboard album charts upon its release in late 1997. Halford had by then disbanded Fight following a decrease in interestand signed with Trent Reznor's Nothing label with a new project, Two. In the meantime, the remaining members of Judas Priest forged onwith '98 Live Meltdown, a live set recorded during their inaugural tour with Ripper on the mike. Around the same time, a movie was readyingproduction to be based on Ripper's rags. to-riches story of how he got to front his all-time favorite band. Although Priest was originallysupposed to be involved with 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 meantime disbandedTwo after just a single album, 1997's Voyeurs, and returned back to his metal roots with a quintet simply named Halford. The group issuedtheir debut in 2000, Resurrection, following it with a worldwide tour that saw the new group open up Iron Maiden's Brave New World U.S.tour, and issue a live set one year later (which included a healthy helping of 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 with remasteredsound and bonus tracks. In 2003 the band -- including Halford -- collaborated on the liner notes and song selections for their mammothcareer-encompassing box Metalogy, a collaboration that brought Halford back into the fold. Owens split from the group amicably in 2003,allowing the newly reunited heavy metal legends to plan their global live concert tour in 2004, with their sixteenth studio album, Angel ofRetribution, to be released the following year. In 2008 the band released Nostradamus, a sprawling, two-disc conceptual piece that chartedthe life and times of the famous French seer. On December 7, 2010, Priest broke the news that their upcoming Epitaph world tour would betheir last. The following month, however, they clarified that they were not disbanding, announcing that they were working on new material.Before the tour began, founding member Downing left the band over differences with the other members and their management; he wasreplaced by Richie Faulkner.

Priest worked on their new album during the tour, which ran until 2012. The album's release was delayed several times, but it was eventuallyannounced that it would see the light of day in July 2014. Entitled Redeemer of Souls, it was described by the band as a traditional, crowd-pleasing return to their roots. Coinciding with the announcement of the album's release, they backtracked on their earlier pronouncement andrevealed details of another new world tour. « hide

Similar Bands: Iron Maiden, Accept, Halford, Saxon, Mercyful Fate

LPs
Redeemer of Souls
2014

3.2
373 Votes
Nostradamus
2008

2.7
664 Votes
Angel of Retribution
2005

3.4
687 Votes
Demolition
2001

2.1
443 Votes
Jugulator
1997

2.5
516 Votes
Painkiller
1990

4.5
1,953 Votes
Ram It Down
1988

3.1
577 Votes
Turbo
1986

2.7
668 Votes
Defenders of the Faith
1984

4.1
910 Votes
Screaming for Vengeance
1982

4.2
1,443 Votes
Point of Entry
1981

3
529 Votes
British Steel
1980

3.9
1,337 Votes
Hell Bent for Leather
1978

3.8
750 Votes
Stained Class
1978

4.3
998 Votes
Sin After Sin
1977

3.9
743 Votes
Sad Wings of Destiny
1976

4.4
1,317 Votes
Rocka Rolla
1974

3.1
563 Votes
EPs
5 Souls
2014

2.3
8 Votes
Live Albums
Battle Cry
2016

4
12 Votes
Epitaph
05/28/2013

4
21 Votes
A Touch of Evil: Live
2009

3.7
56 Votes
Live in Concert 25th June 1980
2007

4.3
20 Votes
Live Vengeance '82
2006

4.7
9 Votes
Rising in the East
2005

4.3
36 Votes
Electric Eye
2003

4
19 Votes
Live in London
2003

2.8
45 Votes
'98 Live Meltdown
1998

3
45 Votes
Priest...Live!
1987

3.7
123 Votes
Unleashed in the East
1979

4.4
253 Votes
Compilations
Turbo 30th Anniversary Edition
2017

4
1 Votes
Defenders of the Faith 30th Anniversary Edition
2015

4
2 Votes
Screaming for Vengeance 30th Anniversary Edition
09/01/2012

4.3
3 Votes
The Complete Albums Collection
01/24/2012

4
7 Votes
The Chosen Few
2011

3.9
14 Votes
The Single Cuts (Standard Edition)
2011

3.5
7 Votes
The Single Cuts (Box Set)
2011

5
2 Votes
Setlist
2010

3.3
5 Votes
British Steel 30th Anniversary Edition
2010

4.5
1 Votes
The Essential Judas Priest
2006

4.3
39 Votes
Metalogy
2004

4.3
27 Votes
Priest, Live & Rare
1998

3.5
16 Votes
Living After Midnight
1998

3.7
65 Votes
Metal Works '73-'93
1993

4.4
46 Votes
Hero, Hero
1981

3.5
24 Votes
The Best of Judas Priest
1978

2.2
21 Votes

Contributors: KManoc1, trackbytrackreviews, rockandmetaljunkie, AleksiS, Thor, hawkeroc, RavenRock, KILL, jybt, Mags172, Nagrarok, demon of surveillance, Mikesn, rattlehead42147, FR33L0RD, pate, morrissey, Alex101, Riva, manuscriptreplica, adr, tempest--, romulanrancor, facetheslayer666, Blakethemusicman123, Deviant., RunOfTheMill, Jom, KILL, Havey, rockandmetaljunkie, AleksiS, gallus90, MaidenFan24, IvanStarr, Nagrarok, Ire, BlackSabbath, TheHamburgerman, Mikesn,

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