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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 the decade. Decked out in leather and chains, the band fused the gothic doom of Black Sabbath with the riffs and speed of Led Zeppelin, as well as 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 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 by Alan 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; 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 and were replaced by vocalist Rob Halford and drummer John Hinch. 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 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 the Reading 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 an international contract with CBS Records. Sin After Sin (1977) was the first album released under that contract; it was recorded with Simon Phillips, who replaced Moore. The record received positive 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 an international force in metal. Along with 1979's Hell Bent for Leather (Killing Machine in the U.K.), Stained Class defined the nascent New Wave of British Heavy Metal 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 became their first platinum album in America. Les Binks left the band in 1979; he was replaced by former Trapeze drummer Dave Holland. Their next album, 1980's British Steel, entered the British charts at number three, launched the hit singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight," 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 at number 17 in America and selling over a million copies. Two years later, Defenders of the Faith nearly matched its predecessor's performance, yet metal tastes were beginning to change, as Metallica and other speed/thrash metal groups started to grow in popularity. That shift was evident on 1986's Turbo, where Judas Priest seemed out of touch with current trends; nevertheless, the record sold over a million copies in America on the basis of name recognition 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 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 the group 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). They spent the next year recording Jugulator amongst much self-perpetuated hype concerning Priest's return to their roots. The album debuted at number 82 on the Billboard album charts upon its release in late 1997. Halford had by 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 during their inaugural tour with Ripper on the mike. Around the same time, a movie was readying production to be based on Ripper's rags-to-riches story of how he got to front his all-time favorite band. Although Priest was originally supposed 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 disbanded Two after just a single album, 1997's Voyeurs, and returned back to his metal roots with a quintet simply named Halford. The group issued their 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 remastered sound and bonus tracks. In 2003 the band -- including Halford -- collaborated on the liner notes and song selections for their mammoth career-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 of Retribution, to be released the following year. In 2008 the band released Nostradamus, a sprawling, two-disc conceptual piece that charted the life and times of the famous French seer. On December 7, 2010, Priest broke the news that their upcoming Epitaph world tour would be their 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 was replaced 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 eventually announced 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 and revealed details of another new world tour. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Kk glen rob Dave ian... real people man. Thanks for the hard work.
Maleficent and Twilight zone the movie are on here
gafunkel & oates are on here
Great f****in tune!!!
Nyaaaaah, the best vocalist is Chuck Billy.
Chicane must be fighting sexual idenity. Much too obsessed with the homosexual tendencies of r. Halford. Admit you're gay and let the rest of us enjoy the greatest metal vocalist of all time
I love Hillbilly chics
Sounds like April wants to shove his boner up deadjailrnr' s butt
Wow . What a big fat crybaby. I'd love to slap around some inbred hillbillies
Chicane u r a true f**kin c**k sucker..fact . . . U get off on here by posting the most ridiculous f**kin s**t I've ever seen. I'd like 2 c ur a** come 2 md and walk in the bar I work at cause ppl there would shut ur f**kin mouth quick...F**k i n Fact. deadjailmr knows more about music then u ever will and he's my f**kin friend . So just keep ur lil f**kin pathetic comments a coming u f**kin b**ch...Godf a t h e r of Metal tour is at a count down now... Halford u r the f**kin Metal God.... ROCK ON EVERY
rob halford likes only boys. I still like kk downing and glen tipton as guitarists.
NO HE ISNT.
rob halford is gay. women love him.
Sounds like deadjailrnr promotes beastailitly along with Rob breaking out the dildo.
love Hellion/Elec t r i c eye
genocide
kk downing >>> rob halford
Judas priest rules.
S**t blood!!best live band hands down..
victim of changes live in Tokyo
the donnas play living after midnight better
Listen before I finished off my comment Pandora cut me off ,what I meant to say was this you a**holes didn't have a problem with mr.halford's vocalization s in the past now ypu fucken p**sy azz posers got a problem witn it Now,why because he's a peterluffer f**k I dont fucken care if he f**ks barn animals if that what it takes to sing tbat beautiful well rob keep just doing that I don't got a problem and neither should these so-called metal lovin Priest Fan all I can say is if ain't with priest t
Dave Mustaine for president in 2020.
I like jp, just not as much. Still okay. Mediocre.
jlowey2000
Love Judas Priest
I don't fucken care f**ks barn animals,you people didn't know him
Robbie your a function ICON
I quit listening after Holland was replaced by Travis.
U know ppl Rob is f**kin gay but f**k all u all that post these comments. Cause my man Rob is f**kin bad a**.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GODFATHER OF METAL! !
rogue > nightcrawler
my favorite is breaking the law
heh heh nostradaumus the song sucks
night c*ms down
thanks ham king. Mikage Kikyo is I.
Awesome
nicko252008
BREAKING THE LAW~
I got a new icon. I'm Kikyo from Wolverine.
Hahaha. Fat boy Halford . A hog on a hog!!! And that wasn't a mic that he was sticking in the exhaust you douche.
Agreed 100% cf1nsx that's a fact man. Couldn't of said it better myself. ROCK ON EVERYONE
ha ha, stupid
Remember wearing out 2 cassettes of Screaming-& #of da Beast - both truly world metal gods - & if you hate on Halford because of being gay-You are talking about the metal god that would ride a Fatboy on stage,w/a mic in the exhaust - Maiden,Pries t , S a b s rule-no metal like that today---what a shame
priest fukin rules u fukin homophobes. Y'all sound like 5 year olds
carriecombs6 0
PRIEST THE METAL GODS FOREVER!!
I think I'm done with priest. Rob is gay. I still like the guitars. Iron Maiden is better.
Rob Halford is the fairy godmother of metal.
What a bunch of whiners on here. Judas Priest rules!
Yea pus boy. I think if anybody needs a dildo shoved is u. Ur a pathetic piece of s**t.. Don't know anything about music. U get off on having the attention of ppl telling u to go f**k urself.
Chicane stop bein a b**ch and shut up
Sounds like April wants to insert his dildo into Halford instead.
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