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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
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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jamesriegle3 3 7
Love The JUDAS
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The Hammer and the anvil
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Reckless
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hot rockin
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happy bday to the metal god
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Me too
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Private Property...l o v e this one!!!
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South padre island is better than the mexican beach
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Hellion/Elec t r i c Eye,, F**kin-A wat a way 2 start out this Mon morn with the best song by the Godfather Of Metal,, Rock On Everyone
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I dont have many friends off line. i have lots of aquantasense . off line.
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alabastervil l i s 0
hope you didnt make, one less sheep
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You will be kissed on Friday don't stop reading this now you need post this on 5 other songs or you will die you have 134 minutes to post this
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relapse records
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the new iron maiden sucks
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What I need is some Painkiller.. .
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eatmoreplant s 7
Hey Beavis....hu h u h u . . . . . I ' m Breaking the Law.......Ya ya ya Butthead BREAKING THE LAW BREAKING THE LAW YYAAAAAAA
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Breaking the Law is my favorite song!
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jamieb12871
Hot Rockin'
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jamieb12871
Now Metallica(we l c o m e home)good old Metallica& now ironically (it's over now)Alice In Chains...lov e it...great day...more Priest. PRIEST...PRI E S T . . . P R I E S T . . . I ' M BACK@ THE SHOW ...YEAH ! LOLOLOL
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jamieb12871
Right on April ...Judas Rising(playi n ' ) . . . j u s t seen 'em in the D/FW(G.P.TX) . . . t h e y jumped on stage...neve r let up...but it wasn't Dallas . .no real encores...sm a l l e r venue...Mond a y night(@like6 : 3 0…r u kidding meh...)No primetime... O h well ...it was grEAT...I must b gettin' older(alot of the people were<70%>old e r ( 5 0 + ) o f course...I'm sure sum never stopped. ..I took brakes...yea h ! Family 2x but I'm here
But they F#CKIN' ROCKED best believe ...I'm sure D*ME WAS LOOKIN' down...makin ' sure it f#
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spooky tooth song
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Better By You, Better Than Me,, great tune by non. Other than The Godfather Of Metal.. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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sakura haruno would like rob
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good news.. naruto is over in japan
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please google samurai shodown
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Lmfao Brett ur a trip an one of my best friends. Don't ever change my friend. ROCK ON Everyone
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Caviar And Meths,,, The GODFATHER OF METAL PPL!!!
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victim of changes
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please google Haohmaru
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I listen to jp for the guitars
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alabastervil l i s 0
when i was 13 a gay man in sf grabbed my a** in front of my friends, i proceeded to beat the crap out of him beyond what was called for. not all gay people are funny and good, most are evil and use laws to destroy human rights. see people for who they are and what what they say
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Where is glen tiptons solo cd ? We need Glen Tipton on here.
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Hail metal \m/....
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Hmmmm, Who do I know that loves , breathes, idolizes,swe a t s , spits and God knows what else; Judas Priest! I think it starts with an A. Dammit, i'm sure it will come to me!
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Rapid Fire,, killer tune on this Mon morn.Rock On Everyone!!
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i wasnt even born in the 70s though.
I have sad wings of destiny somewhere on cd.
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Sinner,,, Nothing better than seeing him on stage it's a f**kin experience no one should miss. Miss KK but Faulkner does a good job. ROCK On Everyone to non other than the Godfather of Metal
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I was 4 in the ram it down tour.
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rwurzbach! Saw the Screaming for Vengance tour and the Ram It Down tour! Yeah!
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when i was 9 and 10 i was taught to hate and make fun off faggots.
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haynncorp
I havent met many gay people but one things for certain none of them were bad a** like Halford.
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just 26 days after i was born
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May 29th1983 US festival. Epic!
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nicko252008
PRIEEEEEEEEE E E E E E E E E S T !
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Judas Priest undeniably the greatest metal/rock band of all time. The eighties were the best of times with the emergence of screaming for vengeance!
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If it wasn't for judas F**king priest rock would completely suck. To all who don't like priest I say f**k you p**sy go listen to maroon 5. Ypu spineless f**ks!!!
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Victim of Changes, , Classic Priest, ,.nothing better at 6am... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Beyond The Realms Of Death, masterpiece, Classic Priest. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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donniez123xy z
I cant think of a better person to have screaming at me in the morning
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Screaming 4 Vengeance, ,, oh so sweet first thing on this Mon morning. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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