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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

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Dammit hamoythwind i will hunt you to the ends of the pandora universe
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sorry dee jay
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did i just lose all my songs I saved for a year and Xmas stations
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thanks avril
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you dint post this you will be injured ( you won't die) in two days. Now you started reading this won't stop. Post this on at least five other stations/son g s in the next 143 minutes. When you're done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary this actually works!
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Wild Nights, Hot& Crazy Days,,, another great by The Godfather of Metal! ! Windy I will when I get sum spare time thank u.. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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thrash or die has a new amv of fatal fury on youtube. april check my favorites please.
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Saints In Hell, , a classic Priest. .F**kin-A wat a sweeeeet tune 2 start out this Manic Mon.. with The GODFATHER OF METAL! !. U got it Windy..lol. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Happy Memorial Day
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my dad got me mad max 4 today on dvd
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bruce dickinson overcame cancer. I hope i overcome diabetes.
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call me windy. april
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Heading Out To The Highway, , F**kin-A sweeeeet. This ones 4 u KK, by non other than the Godfather of Metal! !that's ok hauhmaruofth e w i n d no prob. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Happy Memorial Day 2 all Metal Fans
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sorry april
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I dont like the rage though. it sounds like a fat guy trying to jump dance.
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Breaking The Wat,, Breaking The Wat,, Breaking the law, , great f**kin album. British Steele has not one bad song on it. But anything The GODFATHER OF METAL does is f**kin awesome. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Happy Memorial Day wknd..
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23 did you kill anyone after that show ?
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Freewheel Burning, , F**kin-A. .no better way 2 start the day with The GODFATHER OF METAL himself. .ROCK ON EVERYONE and Happy Memorial Day Wknd..
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A woman making you things you don't wanna do, hells yeah - lol ⚡️❤️⚡️
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Screaming for vengeance is such a killer tune. Nobody can touch his vocals!!!
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Saw them last night at the horseshoe casino in Cincinnati and they kicked a** rob sounded incredible
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Delivering The Goods,,, my God kk and Glen out do themselves on this one. ROCK ON EVERYONE with non other than the Godfather of Metal on this fine Monday. ..
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The Green Manalishi, F**kin-A, ,, I don't care wat kind of mood I'm in when I hear anything from the Godfather of Metal my world is ok. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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I need Sin After Sin on my station
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This is the pain killer!
This cd rocks ! Heavy metal.
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nicko252008
Sad wings on destiny has to be one of the best metal album ever f*cking made!!! HEEEELLLLL YEEEEEEESSSS S PRIEEEEEEST! !
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Night Crawler, ,, now this is metal....No better way 2 start out the morning, with a cigarette, coffee and the Godfather of Metal! !Rock On Everyone
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A nice change from the slow Joan Baez version, but what cool lyrics she came up
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battleaxe and tokyo blade from the nwobhm
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Anyone here like Samurai from the nwobhm ?
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alabastervil l i s 0
another thing comin, one of if not the best all time greatest heavy metal song ever created. could listen to it for hours. if i had to be stranded on an island and could only hear one song this would be the one
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F**kin-A my favorite Priest of all times the Hellion, Electric Eye. . ROCK ON EVERYONE.
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Tyrant (live). Excellent. .....ROCK ON EVERYONE
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This ones 4 u KK my friend, , a true Priest Classic. .ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Screaming For Vengeance, f**kin killer tune. Luv this album one of my favorites. Theres no one like Rob, that's y he will alwayz b the Godfather of Metal. I should say Metal God. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Sinner,,,, great f**kin tune. No matter how bad I feel when anything plays from the Godfather of Metal it takes all the sadness away. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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smillard4772
I seen them in 1986 in Pittsburgh kick a** concert
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robert68211
Badass
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have fun
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Can't wait to see them the 17th they kick a**
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my dad might get us gig bags for our guitars and a sony rx 100 camera
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I'll get a life. I've got to get a job as a rockstar.
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tlandry043
Wow. If you morons get this worked up over an overrated band then maybe you should take a timeout from pandora and get a life.
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jp is true metal but they had one of the best singers ever. They still have great guitars. too bad their singer is almost boy george.
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boy george is gayer than rob.
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Love wild nighs! !! Lol
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Wild Nights , Hot Crazy Days, ,, Classic Priest. This ones 4 u Brett my friend. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Exciter(live ) ..wat a way 2 start this Fri morning. Fall 2 ur knees and repent if u please. ... Halford is def a jump start in the morning. ..ROCK ON EVERYONE
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The Sentinel F**kin-A ... saw the Godfather of Metal do thus song on stage more than once wat a f**kin awesome concert. The dynamic duo kk and Glenn nothing like it. In my opinion there the best duo ever. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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F**kin-A it is Brett...
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Victim of change so kick a**!
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