Judas Priest

Judas Priest are an English metal band from Birmingham. Between 1974 and 1990, they released twelve studio albums and scored rock radio hits with “Breaking the Law,” “Living After Midnight,” “Heading Out to the Highway,” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” They spearheaded metal’s evolution from its blues-rock roots to the tightened Eighties approach embodied by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

Guitarist K.K. Downing formed the band with bassist Ian Hill. By 1974, their core lineup coalesced with singer Rob Halford and guitarist–songwriter Glenn Tipton. They signed with Gull for the 1974–76 albums Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings of Destiny, which fused heavy rock with post-psychedelic epicism. In 1977, they signed with CBS and cut Sin After Sin, a template for the upcoming NWOBHM.

Drummer Les Binks joined for the 1978 albums Stained Class and Killing Machine, both comprised of octane rockers. Their covers of Spooky Tooth (“Better By You, Better Than Me”) and Fleetwood Mac (“The Green Manalishi”) made market headway. Judas Priest consolidated their powers with Unleashed In the East, a Tokyo live document with the high-energy concert staples “Exciter,” “Sinner,” “The Ripper,” and “Genocide.”

Judas Priest completed their classic lineup with drummer Dave Holland, who joined for their 1980 commercial breakthrough British Steel, a galloping set with the hits “Breaking the Law,” “Living After Midnight,” and “United.” They toyed with riff-based melodic rock on their 1981 release Point of Entry, noted for the radio–video classics “Hot Rockin'” and “Heading Out to the Highway.”

In 1982, Judas Priest reaffirmed their metal stance on Screaming for Vengeance and its runaway hits “Electric Eye” (a concert staple) and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” (a radio anthem). They followed this formula on Defenders of the Faith, which spawned the 1984 rock hit “Freewheel Burning.”

After the high-tech experiments of their 1986 album Turbo and its back-to-roots 1988 follow-up Ram It Down, Judas Priest scored a comeback with 1990’s Painkiller, which infused their classic sound with thrash metal.

Judas Priest slowed after Halford’s 1992 exit. They hired American singer Tim “Ripper” Owens for the 1997 disc Jugulator and its 2001 followup Demolition. Halford returned in 2003 for the Reunited Tour that led to their 2005 disc Angel of Retribution. In 2008, they released the ambitious two-disc Nostradamus, a concept album based on the 16th-century seer.

Downing quit just before their 2011 Epitaph Tour, intended as a farewell. However, Judas Priest stuck together with new guitarist Richie Faulkner. The latter-day lineup released the 2014–18 discs Redeemer of Souls and Firepower. After a six-year break, they returned with 2024’s Invincible Shield.

Members: Ian Hill (bass), K.K. Downing [Kenneth Keith Downing] (guitar, 1970-2011), John Ellis (drums, 1970-71), Al Atkins (vocals, 1970-73), Skip [Alan Moore] (drums, 1971-73, 1975-77), Congo [Chris Campbell] (drums, 1972-73), John Hinch (drums, 1973-75), Rob Halford (vocals, 1973-91, 2003-present), Glenn Tipton (guitar, piano, vocals, 1974-present), Simon Phillips (drums, 1977), Les Binks [James Leslie Binks] (drums, 1977-79), Dave Holland (drums, 1979-89), Scott Travis (drums, 1989-present)

This page is currently in development and will undergo heavy editing and have added contents in the coming months (May 2024).


Background

Judas Priest evolved out of Freight, a Birmingham hard-rock combo that featured guitarist Kenneth Keith Downing and bassist Ian “Skull” Hill.

Downing (b. October 27, 1951) taught himself guitar after witnessing the Jimi Hendrix Experience. At seventeen, he formed Stagecoach, a Cream-inspired powertrio that included his second cousin, Brian Badhams, a future Elkie Brooks Band bassist. Downing then formed Freight with Hill (b. January 20, 1952), a fellow West Bromwich native.

In 1970, they welcomed singer Al Atkins, recently of Midlands rockers Judas Priest, whose prospective label, Immediate Records, entered liquidation. (Immediate — founded by ex-Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham — gained infamy for its roster of unpaid talent, including Amen Corner, Chris Farlowe, The Nice, and Small Faces). Freight renamed itself after Atkins’ prior band, which took its name from the 1967 Bob Dylan song “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest.”

Judas Priest toured the West Midlands bar circuit with a setlist comprised of Quatermass covers and Atkins–Downing originals. Three drummers passed through the lineup during this period. In early 1973, Atkins quit the band over financial and domestic concerns. Hill’s girlfriend, Sue, suggested her brother, Rob Halford.

Halford (b. August 25, 1951) hailed from Walsall and grew up in Beechdale, a housing estate also inhabited by future Slade singer Noddy Holder (five years Halford’s senior). When the Priest offer came, Halford managed a men’s clothing store and fronted local hard-rockers Hiroshima, which also featured ex-Bakerloo drummer John Hinch. In May 1973, the two debuted live with Judas Priest at the Wellington Townhouse.

The lineup of Halford, Downing, Hill, and Hinch signed with Iommi Management Agency, headed by Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. Priest shared multiple summer ’73 bills with Budgie and Thin Lizzy.>

In the spring of 1974, Judas Priest played their first shows in Continental Europe. Upon their return, they signed with Gull Records, a just-launched label whose initial roster also included jazz-rockers Isotope, electronic post-psychsters Seventh Wave (a Second Hand follow-through), and veteran brass-rockers If.

Gull urged Priest to add a second guitarist. They drafted Glenn Tipton (b. October 25, 1947), a Blackheath native who played in multiple prior West Midlands bands, including the Starfighters with drummer Barry Scrannage (a future Ozzy Osbourne sideman). Tipton’s current act, The Flying Hat Band, opened European dates for Deep Purple and cut a long-vaulted album for Vertigo.

In June 1974, Judas Priest started work on their first album.


Rocka Rolla

Judas Priest released their debut album, Rocka Rolla, on September 6, 1974, on Gull.

Rocka Rolla features nine compositions by guitarist K. K. Downing, including the wordless passages “Deep Freeze” and “Caviar and Meths,” one of two numbers (along with “Winter”) co-written by bassist Ian Hill and original vocalist Al Atkins, who also left behind lyrics for “Never Satisfied.”

Rob Halford lyricized all remaining songs, including two (“Run of the Mill” and the title-track) with writing input by guitarist–keyboardist Glenn Tipton.

Side A covers boogie (“One for the Road”), Zeppelin-esque rock (“Cheater”), and the spacey, uptempo title track. They tackle post-psychedelic epicism on “Winter,”  a smouldering rocker that forms a suite with the searing, free-form “Deep Freeze” and the Leslied ballad “Winter Retreat.”

A1. “One for the Road” (4:34)
A2. “Rocka Rolla” (3:05)
A3. “Winter” (3:02)
A4. “Deep Freeze” (1:58)
A5. “Winter Retreat” (1:30)
A6. “Cheater” (2:59)

Side B includes a bluesy hard rocker (“Never Satisfied”) and two elongated jams: the laidback “Run of the Mill” and the sinister “Dying to Meet You,” a dark, muted number that segues into the driving “Hero, Hero.”

B1. “Never Satisfied” (4:50)
B2. “Run of the Mill” (8:34)
B3. “Dying to Meet You/Hero, Hero” (6:23)
B4. “Caviar and Meths” (2:02)

Judas Priest recorded Rocka Rolla in June–July 1974 at three London studios (Island, Trident, and Olympic) with Rodger Bain, who produced the first three Black Sabbath albums and worked concurrently with Budgie and Barclay James Harvest. He oversaw Priest in cooperation with engineer Vic Smith, a Sixties freakbeat soundman (Skip Bifferty, The Attack) whose recent credits included titles by Vinegar Joe, Snafu, and Gravy Train.

Gull graphic artist John Pasche designed the Rocka Rolla cover image: a wet bottle cap that spoofs the Coca-Cola logo. Pasche worked beforehand with the Rolling Stones on their 1973 Goats Head Soup cover and first conceived the bottle cap image for a possible Stones release.

On its initial release, Rocka Rolla appeared in the UK, Western Europe, and Oceania. The album spawned one advance single: “Rocka Rolla” (b/w “Never Satisfied”). Subsequent pressings appeared in 1977–78 in Japan and North America.

In 1979, Visa–RCA reissued the album in the US with a new cover that depicts a sword-wielding, rocket-gliding cyborg–gladiator. This cover appears on numerous CD reissues.

Rocka Rolla received scant initial notice due to limited promotion by the cash-strapped Gull. Judas Priest toured England hand-to-mouth and gained their first nationwide exposure with an April 1975 appearance on the BBC music program The Old Grey Whistle Test, which aired their in-studio renditions of “Rocka Rolla” and two new numbers: “Dreamer Deceiver” and “Deceiver.”

Priest axed John Hinch and hired drummer Alan Moore, a recent member of Brummie folksters Sundance, who released the 1973 Decca album Rain, Steam Speed.

In August 1975, Judas Priest played the Fifteenth National Jazz, Blues and Rock Festival, an annual event at Little John’s Farm on Richfield Avenue in central Reading.> The three-day event featured sets by Babe Ruth, Caravan, Climax Blues Band, Heavy Metal Kids, Kursaal Flyers, Lou Reed, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Richard & Linda Thompson, Robin Trower, Snafu, Soft Machine, String Driven Thing, Supertramp, Wishbone Ash, Yes, and Zzebra. Priest (along with Wally) played bottom-billed sets on Day 1 (Friday the 22nd), which also featured Dr. Feelgood, Joan Armatrading, Kokomo, UFO, and headliners Hawkwind.


Sad Wings of Destiny

Judas Priest released their second album, Sad Wings of Destiny, on March 23, 1976, on Gull. It codified their epic metal style and marked Glenn Tipton’s emergence as their key composer.

Sad Wings of Destiny contains three Tipton solo compositions: “The Ripper,” “Epitaph,” and “Prelude.” He co-wrote “Tyrant” with Rob Halford, the lyricist on all remaining numbers. K. K. Downing co-composed the album’s balance. They pieced together “Victim of Changes” from two earlier numbers: “Whiskey Woman” (from Al Atkins’ tenure) and “Red Light Lady.”

Musically, Sad Wings links the jam-based tendencies of their debut with the tighter approach of subsequent albums. “Victim of Changes” is a swelling epic (with a languid midsection) that patents Halford’s operatic wail. “Dreamer Deceiver” evolves from a lyrical ballad (with Spanish guitar) to a smouldering rocker that segues with “Deceiver,” a turgid riff-fest. “Tyrant” and “The Ripper” are viscous, aggressive rockers with soaring leads.

A1. “Victim of Changes” (7:47)
A2. “The Ripper” (2:50)
A3. “Dreamer Deceiver” (5:51)
A4. “Deceiver” (2:40)

Side B features two piano-based numbers: “Prelude” (an instrumental with gothic organ) and “Epitaph” (a tender vocal etude). “Genocide” and “Island of Domination” are both driving vehicles for Halford’s vocal prowess.

B1. “Prelude” (2:02)
B2. “Tyrant” (4:28)
B3. “Genocide” (5:51)
B4. “Epitaph” (3:08)
B5. “Island of Domination” (4:32)

Sessions took place in November–December 1975 at Rockfield, an countryside facility in Monmouth, Wales, used for recent albums by Ace, Headstone, Horslips, and Van der Graaf Generator. Judas Priest co-produced Sad Wings with Jeffrey Calvert and Gereint “Max West” Hughes, the team behind the Typically Tropical, an ad hoc studio group responsible for the recent novelty hit “Barbados.”

Calvert co-engineered the album with with Rockfield staffer Dave Charles, a session drummer for assorted acts (Help Yourself, Iceberg, The Neutrons). Additional sessions occurred at Morgan Studios in in Willesden, North London, with Wally engineer Chris Tsangarides.

Sad Wings of Destiny features cover art by English multi-medium artist Patrick Woodroffe, whose painting depicts a sullen angel Gabriel, who sports a devil’s three-pronged cross (Priest’s symbol) in the fiery pits of hell. Woodroffe’s recent visuals included covers to albums by Budgie (Bandolier) and Greenslade (Time and Tide). The back cover features light-illuminated live pics of each member with Halford (center) silhouetted in flares.

Gull lifted “The Ripper” as Judas Priest’s second UK single (b/w “Island of Domination”). In Japan, Gull lifted “Deceiver” (b/w “Dreamer Deceiver”). Priest plugged Sad Wings of Destiny with steady spring ’76 gigs on the English–Scottish club circuit.

On June 25, they appeared in Saarijärvi, Finland, for the Midsummer Special, a multi-act event with sets by Caravan, Kalevala, Wigwam, and the Climax Blues Band. Stateside, Sad Wings courted early champions in Van Halen, a then-unsigned LA hard rock band that added “Victim of Changes” to their setlist.

Sad Wings remained Priest’s only title with Alan Moore, who left during sessions for their next album.


Sin After Sin

Judas Priest released their third album, Sin After Sin, on April 8, 1977, on CBS. The title comes from the interlude of the Sad Wings track “Genocide.”

Sin After Sin features four Halford–Tipton originals: “Sinner,” “Last Rose of Summer,” “Raw Deal,” and “Here Come the Tears.” K. K. Downing co-composed “Starbreaker,” “Dissident Aggressor,” and the epic “Let Us Prey | Call for the Priest.” Side A includes their first cover, “Diamonds & Rust,” a Joan Baez song that marked their UK chart debut.

Musically, Sin After Sin fortifies the octane metal innovations of its predecessor. Both side-openers (“Sinner,” “Let Us Prey”) are epic rockers with crossfire leads and soaring vocals across galloping rhythmic tracks. In contract, “Last Rose of Summer” is an elongated ballad that Halfold self-harmonizes in emotive and modal tones.

The album ends with a climactic pair: “Here Come the Tears,” a lurching slow-burner that segues into “Dissident Aggressor,” a wailing Halford showcase steamrolled with 16th-note basslines and double-kick drums. Other tracks range from turgid power rock (“Starbreaker”) to smouldering boogie (“Raw Deal”).

A1. “Sinner” (6:45) Rob invokes English occultist Aleister Crowley with a call to “sacrifice to vice.”
A2. “Diamonds & Rust” (3:28) originated as the opening track on the April 1975 A&M release Diamonds & Rust, the sixteenth studio album by American folk singer Joan Baez.
A3. “Starbreaker” (4:49) Rob sings of a celebrity kingmaker who “glides in from the sky… but once in a lifetime” and takes “the chosen few” to paradise and adds “Let’s hope maybe this time he picks me and you.”
A4. “Last Rose of Summer” (5:37)

B1. “Let Us Prey | Call for the Priest” (6:12) Embolden by a well-received show (“I peaked last night”), Rob rallies Priest’s fanbase against the “wrist merchants” (critics) and their “deaf ears [and] columnized fears.”
B2. “Raw Deal” (6:00) Rob details a leather-bar experience marked by intoxication (“I’d had too much, floating around”) and debauchery (“barely holding on to this flying body symphony”).
B3. “Here Come the Tears” (4:36)
B4. “Dissident Aggressor” (3:07) Rob invokes the plight of an East Berliner who faces “the impregnable wall” yet musters the will to escape at the risk of his life (“Exploding, reloading, this quest never ending, until I give out my last breath”).

Sessions took place in January 1977 at Ramport Studios, a Southwest London facility owned by The Who and used by Man, Supertramp, and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. CBS overruled Priest’s desire to self-produce and summoned erstwhile Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, a recent soundman for Nazareth and Rory Gallagher. The two parties overcame their initial friction and recorded the album in six days with session drummer Simon Phillips, an alumnus of Chopyn and Phil Manzanera‘s 801.

Sin After Sin was engineered by Mark Dodson, a recent Roger Daltrey soundman who also worked on 1977 titles by Steve Gibbons and the Intergalactic Touring Band, an all-star sci-fi concept involving Arthur Brown, Meat Loaf, Synergy, and members of Argent, Flame, Strawbs, and Renaissance. The mix-down occurred at Wessex Sound Studios, a storied Highbury facility used for Queen‘s recent breakthroughs (Sheer Heart Attack, A Night at the Opera) and concurrent titles by Racing Cars and UFO.

Sin After Sin sports cover art by veteran CBS illustrator Rosław Szaybo (David Essex, Jet, Mott the Hoople, Sailor), whose imagery depicts the Egyptianate mausoleum, a 1910 dedication to Colonel Alexander Gordon at London’s Putney Vale Cemetery. He renders the monument at dark tide with silhouetted figures and a skull lantern. The back cover shows the mausoleum adrift on a green sea under a torrential sky with the skull at the foreground.

CBS lifted “Diamonds & Rust” as Judas Priest’s third single (b/w “Dissident Aggressor”). Domestic copies sported plain sleeves while international issues (Netherlands, Spain) featured group pics in their early likeness. In Japan, the single appeared on Epic with the sides reversed.

Sin After Sin reached No. 23 on the UK Album Chart and No. 49 in Sweden.

Judas Priest offered membership to Simon Phillips, who declined due to studio commitments with Mr. BigGordon Giltrap, Peter Doyle, and former Isotope guitarist Gary Boyle. Priest hit the road with drummer Les Binks, a former Eric Burdon sideman and Fancy member who played on Glover’s 1974 concept album The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast. Binks codified Phillip’s studio innovation (the double-kick-drum gallop) in Priest’s live setting.

On June 17, 1977, Judas Priest made their US live debut in Texas at the Amarillo Civic Center, supporting REO Speedwagon. Five weeks later, Priest (along with Derringer) opened for Led Zeppelin at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum on back-to-back dates (July 23–24) as part of the third annual Day On the Green concert series. Zeppelin’s appearance (presented with an overhead cutout Zeppelin balloon) was plagued by a back-stage incident involving their manager, Peter Grant, who allegedly beat a roadie for scolding his son. After their show on Sunday, July 24, Robert Plant received news that his five-year-old son Karac had died from a stomach virus. This would be Zeppelin’s last-ever US concert appearance.


Stained Class

Judas Priest released their fourth album, Stained Class, on February 10, 1978, on CBS. This was their first of two studio albums with drummer Les Binks.

Stained Class established their signature logo and riff-fueled octane gallop, a key feature of metal music over the coming decade. “Exciter” opens on a blazing trail of double-kick drums and brisk 16-note basslines. 

Glenn Tipton lone-wrote “White Heat, Red Hot” and “Heroes End,” both driving rockers with precision riffs and fiery sustains. Side A includes their cover of the Spooky Tooth classic “Better by You, Better Than Me.” 

Halford lyricized the hyper-modulated title-track and five additional numbers, including the Binks co-write “Beyond the Realms of Death,” a slow, lurching epic that breaks to a shredding climax. K.K. Downing co-composed “Saints in Hell,” a driving mid-tempo number with soaring vocal gymnastics.

A1. “Exciter” (5:34)
A2. “White Heat, Red Hot” (4:20)
A3. “Better by You, Better Than Me” (3:24) originated as the penultimate track on Spooky Two, the 1969 second album by English psychedelic hard-rockers Spooky Tooth; composed by their American-born keyboardist and co-vocalist Gary Wright.
A4. “Stained Class” (5:19)
A5. “Invader” (4:12)
B1. “Saints in Hell” (5:30)
B2. “Savage” (3:27)
B3. “Beyond the Realms of Death” (6:53)
B4. “Heroes End” (5:01)

Sessions occurred in October–November 1977 at Chipping Norton Studios, Oxfordshire, where Judas Priest co-produced Stained Class with Dennis MacKay, a soundman on recent titles by Alphonso Johnson, Brand X (Moroccan Roll), and Pat Travers (Putting It Straight). They used Moroccan Roll engineer Neil Ross, who worked concurrently with Charlie on their 1977–78 albums No Second Chance and Lines.

After sessions wrapped on the album’s originals, CBS suggested “Better by You, Better Than Me” as a cover to diversify the tracklist. Judas Priest recorded the song at Utopia Studios, London, with James Guthrie, a budding soundman whose few prior credits included albums by Heatwave (Too Hot to Handle) and John Miles (Stanger In the City). Priest also cut a long-unissued cover of “Race with the Devil,” a 1968 UK hit by Gun, a psychedelic powertrio with guitarist–songwriter Adrian Gurvitz.

“Better by You” was co-engineered by Ken Thomas and Paul Northfield, who teamed beforehand on Gentle Giant‘s 1976 release Interview. Thomas also worked on 1977–78 albums by Rush (A Farewell to Kings) and Wire (Pink Flag, Chairs Missing). Concurrently, Northfield engineered National Health (self-titled) and Soft Machine (In Paris).

Sin After Sin visualist Rosław Szaybo designed the Stained Class cover, which shows a chrome skull with a melted eye socket and lighted rods through its dome. This marked the debut of Szaybo’s slanted, under-bolted Judas Priest logo, a feature of most subsequent albums. Szaybo also earned visual credits on 1977–78 albums by Cafe Jacques (Round the Back), The Clash (self-titled), The Only Ones, and The Vibrators.

The Stained Glass innersleeve has red|black group pics (concert and casual) by Ronald Kass, a onetime manager of The Beatles‘ Apple Corp and a recent producer of low-budget sex-dramedies (The Stud, The Bitch) starring his then-wife, Joan Collins.

CBS issued “Better by You, Better than Me” as an advance single (b/w “Invader”). Abroad, CBS Sony lifted “Exciter” as Priest’s third single in the Japanese market (b/w “Better by You, Better than Me”), where Stained Class reached No. 49 on the Oricon chart.

Stained Class continued their breakthrough in the UK (No. 27) and made inroads in the US, where it reached No. 173 on the Billboard 200.


Killing Machine

Judas Priest released their fifth album, Killing Machine, on October 9, 1978, on CBS. It follows the Stained Class template of octane rockers and lurching numbers.

Killing Machine opens with “Delivering the Goods” followed by “Rock Forever,” both galloping rockers co-composed by Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing with lyrics by Rob Halford. The same team group-wrote the closing pair: “Before the Dawn” (a 12-string ballad with pastoral synth and lyrical leads) and “Evil Fantasies” (a sludgy down-tempo number).

Tipton lone-wrote three tracks: “Hell Bent for Leather” and “Running Wild” (both blazing uptempo tracks) and the title-track — a slick, smouldering boogie ala “Burnin’ Up,” a Downing co-write. Halford lyricized two additional Side A cuts: “Take On the World” (a martial anthem) and “Evening Star,” a Leslied ballad with a tight singalong power chorus.

In the US, CBS affiliate Columbia released the album as Hell Bent for Leather with a Side B addition: “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown),” a revved-up take on the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac classic.

A1. “Delivering the Goods” (4:16)
A2. “Rock Forever” (3:19)
A3. “Evening Star” (4:06)
A4. “Hell Bent for Leather” (2:41)
A5. “Take On the World” (3:00)

B1. “Burnin’ Up” (4:07)
B2. “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)” (3:23) originated as a May 1970 single by Fleetwood Mac; written by their guitarist and co-founder Peter Green, who left the band soon after the song’s release.
B3. “Killing Machine” (3:01)
B4. “Running Wild” (2:58)
B5. “Before the Dawn” (3:23)
B6. “Evil Fantasies” (4:15)

Sessions occurred in August 1978 at three London studios: Utopia, CBS, and Basing St. (aka Island Studios). Judas Priest co-produced Killing Machine with James Guthrie, whose results on “Better By You” impressed the band. Guthrie engineered the album in sequence with the 1978 GTO release Bullets Through the Barrier, the third album by adult-oriented rockers The Movies. He engineered Priest with four assistants, including Island|CBS soundman Kevin Dallimore (Give ‘Em Enough Rope) and Damian Korner, the son of British blues legend Alexis Korner.

Szaybo designed the Killing Machine cover, which shows a zoomed-in mannequin in a studded leather headpiece with red-splattered shades. Photographer Bob Elsdale took the back-cover live pics, which show Halford (bearded) and Binks adopting the leathered-up image.

CBS lifted two initial Killing Machine singles: “Before the Dawn” (b/w “Rock Forever”) followed in January 1979 by “Take On the World” (b/w the Sin After Sin track “Starbreaker”).

Judas Priest mimed “Take On the World” under geometric ceiling fixtures on the 1|25|79 broadcast of the BBC music program Top of the Pops, which thrice aired the song amid winter singles by ABBA (“Chiquitita”), Bee Gees (“Tragedy”), Blondie (“Heart of Glass”), Dr. Feelgood (“Milk and Alcohol”), Elvis Costello & the Attractions (“Oliver’s Army”), and Ian Dury & the Blockheads (“Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”). “Take On the World” reached No. 14 on the UK Singles Chart.

In April, they lifted “Evening Star” as a third UK single (b/w the Stained Class track “Beyond the Realms of Death”). “Hell Bent for Leather” became their fourth Japanese single (b/w “Evil Fantasies”). Priest mimed “Evening Star” in full leather under blue-lit jagged glass fixtures on the May 17 TotP, which also featured M (“Pop Muzik”), The Police (“Roxanne”), The Tubes (“Prime Time”), XTC (“Life Begins at the Hop”), and Canadian rockers Max Webster (“Paradise Skies”).

Killing Machine reached No. 32 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 62 in Japan. In February 1979, the album appeared as Hell Bent for Leather in the US, where it reached No. 128 on the Billboard 200, accompanied by their debut US single, “The Green Manalishi.”


Unleashed in the East

On September 17, 1979, Judas Priest released the live album Unleashed in the East. It features nine songs from their February 10 and 15 Tokyo show at Kosei Nenkin Hall and Nakano Sun Plaza.

The original LP release features one song from Stained Class (“Exciter”) and two each from Sin After Sin (“Sinner,” “Diamonds and Rust”) and Killing Machine (“Running Wild,” “The Green Manalishi”). The balance features Sad Wings of Destiny numbers: “The Ripper,” “Victim of Changes,” “Genocide,” and “Tyrant.”

In Japan, Epic released the album as Priest In the East with a bonus EP that contains four additional Tokyo live numbers: one from Sin After Sin (“Starbreaker”) and three Killing Machine songs — “Delivering the Goods,” “Rock Forever,” and “Hell Bent for Leather.” The latter two appeared on a UK maxi-single with a Tokyo live rendition of the Stained Class epic “Beyond the Realms of Death.”

Unleashed In the East was engineered by East Wind jazz soundman Yoshihiro Suzuki and post-produced by English engineer Tom Allom, a prior soundman for Hudson–Ford, Jack the Lad, Magna Carta, Michael Chapman, and The Tourists. The only studio touch-ups involved Halford’s vocals. This marked the start of Allom’s nine-year working relationship with Judas Priest.

Rock photojournalist Fin Costello took live pics on the front and back cover, which show the strobe-lit, fog-laden band standing bold in full leather. The back image shows Halford mounted on a motor bike. Costello’s photography appears on numerous covers by earlier hard-rock acts (Argent, Deep Purple, Tempest, Uriah Heep) and recent titles by Priest contemporaries Rainbow, Trickster, Japan, and The Boomtown Rats.

Unleashed In the East reached No. 41 in Japan and No. 70 on the US Billboard 200. In the UK, it reached No. 10 and marked Priest’s homeland breakthrough.

This was their final release with Les Binks, who did a brief stint in Shortlist, the backing band of ex-Family and Streetwalkers singer Roger Chapman. Judas Priest hired drummer Dave Holland, a Wolverhampton native with Sixties pop roots (Finders Keepers, Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours) who served Trapeze throughout their six-album run and played on the solo debut by their original singer–bassist, Glenn Hughes.


British Steel

Judas Priest released their sixth album, British Steel, on April 11, 1980, on CBS. It’s the first of six studio albums by the classic lineup of Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K. K. Downing, Ian Hill, and drummer Dave Holland. From this point forward, all Priest originals are joint-credited to Tipton, Downing, and Halford.

British Steel refines the pile-driving aggression of its two predecessors with interlocking riffs, shredder leads, and Halford’s taut, aggressive modal phrasing and soaring octave wails.

Side A plows through the brisk gallop of “Rapid Fire” and the power chords of “Metal Gods” and “Grinder.” Between the latter two rockers sits “Breaking the Law,” a melodic spitfire that marked their entry into music video. “United” concludes the side with a martial clarion call.

A1. “Rapid Fire” (4:08)
A2. “Metal Gods” (4:00)
A3. “Breaking the Law” (2:35)
A4. “Grinder” (3:58)
A5. “United” (3:35)

Side B opens with a lengthy Tipton–Downing showcase (“You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise”) and careens with a singalong anthem (“Living After Midnight”) and a lurching foray into reggae rock (“The Rage”) before the uptempo “Steeler,” where British Steel folds on Glenn’s pressurized dissonance.

B1. “You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise” (5:04)
B2. “Living After Midnight” (3:31)
B3. “The Rage” (4:44)
B4. “Steeler” (4:30)

Sessions took place at Tittenhurst Park, a Georgian country house in Beggar’s Bush, Berkshire, owned since 1973 by Ringo Starr, who purchased the property from fellow ex-Beatle John Lennon. Tom Allom produced British Steel in sequence with the Tourists’ swan song (Luminous Basement) and another Tittenhurst project: the 1980 Vertigo release On Through the Night, the debut album by Def Leppard.

British Steel was engineered by Lou Austin, a veteran soundman with a decade-long list of credits, including post-psych titles by early Seventies acts (Flash, Catapilla, Groundhogs, Mainhorse) and subsequent glam and hard-rock classics by Queen, Stretch, Sweet, Thin Lizzy, and the Ian Gillan Band. He got his start with Fleetwood Mac on their original version of “The Green Manalishi.”

Killing Machine photographer Bob Elsdale took the British Steel cover image, which shows a hand gripped tight around a sharp blade. The back cover includes live pics of each member (including a longer-haired, stud-decked Halford) by Robert Ellis, a photojournalist for multiple UK weeklies (Sounds, Melody Maker, NME).

CBS lifted “Living After Midnight” as an advance single (b/w “Delivering the Goods”).

Filmmaker Julien Temple directed the “Living After Midnight” video, in which fans greet Halford as he arrives on motorbike for a show at Sheffield City Hall, where Rob sports a disheveled moptop and fist-pumps in studded cuffs to the three-tier audience. This was their first of seven videos directed by Temple, who recently completed his first major big-screen work, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, a Sex Pistols mockumentary.

Judas Priest mimed “Living After Midnight” amid flashing lights and concentric metal fixtures on the March 27 broadcast of TotP, which thrice aired the song amid spring ’80 singles by The Bodysnatchers (“Let’s Do Rock Steady”), Buggles (“Clean Clean”), Dexys Midnight Runners (“Genesis”), Genesis (“Turn It On Again”), The Jam (“Going Underground”), John Foxx (“No One Driving”), Madness (“Night Boat to Cairo”), The Pretenders (“Talk of the Town”), The Selecter (“Missing Words”), Siouxsie & the Banshees (“Happy House”), UB40 (“Food for Thought”), and The Vapors (“Turning Japanese”). “Living After Midnight” reached No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart.

On May 23, “Breaking the Law” became the album’s second single (b/w “Metal Gods”). The video takes place inside a bank where the security guard naps amid the daily service rounds, which halt upon the band’s entrance. Priest’s deafening volume cracks glass and renders the staff and customers horrified and helpless as Halford takes charge while Tipton, Downing, and Hill aim their guitars like machine guns. They climb over counters and bypass barriers to the safe, where Rob bar-breaks his way into a cell and frees a framed Gold copy of British Steel. He displays it for the security camera and a spark ignites as they flee in a Fifties convertible. The derelict security guard (jolted yet amused) grabs a cutout guitar and plays along to the final notes. “Breaking the Law” matched its predecessor at No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart.

In mid-August, “United” became the third British Steel single (b/w “Grinder”). Judas Priest plugged the song with their fourth and final appearance (8|28) on TotP, which twice aired “United” amid summer ’80 singles by Cliff Richard (“Dreamin”’), David Bowie (“Ashes to Ashes”), Elton John (“Sartorial Eloquence”), Gary Numan (“I Die You Die”), Hazel O’Connor (“Eighth Day”), The Piranhas (“Tom Hark”), The Skids (“Circus Games”), and Split Enz (“I Got You”). In Priest’s segment, they mime on a fog-laden stage where Halford — now settled on his permanent look of full leather and close-cropped hair — makes stern eyes at the camera. His bandmates riff along in studded leather; all black apart from Tipton’s red-leather articles.

British Steel consolidated Priest’s conquest of the UK, where the album reached No. 4 and served as a lightning rod for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Abroad, the album reached No. 20 in Sweden and No. 69 in Japan. In North America, British Steel reached No. 45 in Canada and No. 34 on the Billboard 200.

Judas Priest embarked on the British Steel Tour, a five-and-a-half-month blitz with legs in the UK (March, supported by Iron Maiden), Europe (April), and North America (May 25–August 6). The US leg covered 44 cities; twelve with openers Def Leppard. In late July, the two bands welcomed a third act, German metal gods Scorpions. The tour featured several festival appearances, including Superjam ’80 at Busch Stadium, St. Louis, with Journey and Sammy Hagar.

Priest wrapped the tour with late-August festival appearances in England (Monsters of Rock Donington, with April Wine, Rainbow, Riot, Saxon, and Scorpions) and Germany (Golden Summer Night Festival, Nuremberg, with Gillan, Johnny Winter, Molly Hatchet, Ted Nugent, and Wishbone Ash).


Point of Entry

Judas Priest released their seventh album, Point of Entry, on February 27, 1981, on CBS. It’s their second album of the classic lineup with all-original material co-composed by Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing with lyrics by Rob Halford.

Point of Entry is best known for its two uptempo melodic rockers: the freedom anthem “Heading Out to the Highway” and the bold credo “Hot Rockin’.” Other tracks explore spacious mid-tempo rock indebted to the mid-Seventies. “Turning Circles” and the AC/DC-ish “Troubleshooter” are melodic numbers with harmonized hooks. “Don’t Go” and the Beatlesque “You Say Yes” alter choppy verses with singalong choruses.

Judas Priest take darker turns with the polyrhythmic churn of “Desert Plains” and the smouldering “Solar Angel,” both hints of an unconscious post-punk influence. Side B revs with the arching power chords of “All the Way” and the searing close-out “On the Run,” a hopping number with a soaring vocal refrain.

A1. “Heading Out to the Highway” (3:47)
A2. “Don’t Go” (3:18)
A3. “Hot Rockin'” (3:17)
A4. “Turning Circles” (3:42)
A5. “Desert Plains” (4:36)

B1. “Solar Angels” (4:04)
B2. “You Say Yes” (3:29)
B3. “All the Way” (3:42)
B4. “Troubleshooter” (3:59)
B5. “On the Run” (3:47)

Judas Priest recorded Point of Entry fresh of the British Steel Tour. Sessions took place in Spain at Ibiza Sound, where the new batch of songs took shape. (A contrast to prior sessions, where all material was pre-arranged). Tom Allom co-produced Point of Entry in sequence with 1981 albums by southern rockers Doc Holliday and Baltimore hard-rockers Kix.

Rosław Szaybo designed the album’s European cover: an airbrushed view of an aircraft wing at dusk. In North America and the far Pacific, Point of Entry sported an alternate cover by veteran Columbia visualist John Berg, whose image depicts a thin blue lane (made of stationary paper) that trails to the vanishing point of a rocky flatland.

CBS lifted “Don’t Go” as the first UK single (b/w “Solar Angels”). In the video, a leather-clad Judas Priest mime inside a back-tilted narrow room with blue-stripe walls and a high-altitude backdrop. Halford (mustache, German military cap) approaches Ian Hill, who proceeds through the fourth-wall door, which opens to the ledge of a pitch-black arcade. Downing follows and reappears (in scrubs) inside a hospital hallway infested with rabbits, then stumbles upon a room with a Hot Gossip-style dance orgy. Tipton crosses, then reappears (in detective garb) in a night alleyway, where he grabs a vehicle and speeds off. Holland (space suit) jumps through a corridor and floats through outer space.

On April 10, “Hot Rockin'” became the second single (b/w “Breaking the Law” live). The video opens in a gym, where Judas Priest (shirtless in blue jeans) pump iron and belt the chorus in the shower stalls and sauna. After a holographic night ride, they reappear on a studio soundstage, where Halford writhes and gesticulates as flames ignite his microphone, boots, and his bandmates’ instruments. Temple’s ongoing work with Priest coincided with the rise of music video and an influx of clients, including Gary Numan (“She’s Got Claws”), The Kinks (“Predictable”), and The Stray Cats (“Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut”).

In May 1981, “Heading Out to the Highway” became Judas Priest’s fifth single in the US, where it reached No. 10 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. In the video, the band mimes on a low-budget studio creation of the Mojave desert (complete with orange sky and cacti) with a vanishing thoroughfare similar to the album cover. Temple intercut this setting with footage of the members on a raceway, where Halford (in boots and pencil jeans) marshals a race between Tipton and Downing, who zoom off in parallel Fifties muscle cars. The final minute spotlights Rob on the raceway, where he straddles the lanes and flexes with intensity to the final, elongated utterance of “nothing… to lose… at… AAAALLLL!”

Point of Entry reached No. 14 in the UK and Sweden and also went Top 20 in Finland (No. 18) and Germany (No. 19). The album reached No. 39 on the Billboard 200 in the US, where the videos to “Heading Out to the Highway” and the earlier “Breaking the Law” received high rotation on the fledgling cable-music channel MTV.

Judas Priest supported Point of Entry on the World Wide Blitz Tour, which spanned five legs and 115 shows between February 13 and December 14, 1981. Leg 1 covered Europe with openers Saxon, followed by two North American legs: May (with Savoy Brown) and June–July (with Iron Maiden, Humble Pie, and Whitesnake). They resumed in November with an eighteen-date UK showcase and concluded with a Continental blitz, supported by Def Leppard and Accept.


Screaming for Vengeance

Judas Priest released their eighth album, Screaming for Vengeance, in July 1982 on CBS. It features eight Downing–Halford–Tipton numbers, including “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” one of Priest’s signature songs. Side A contains “(Take These) Chains,” a contribution by recurrent band associate Bob Halligan Jr.

Screaming for Vengeance reasserts the speed and fire-power of Judas Priest’s 1978–79 output, starting with “The Hellion,” an explosive, searing lead-in to “Electric Eye,” a brisk uptempo rocker marked by Halford’s dual-voiced call and response.

“Riding on the Wind” and the title track are vicious harbingers of speed metal with soaring leads and wailing vocals. Heaviness runs unabated through the smoky churn of “Bloodstone,” the angular power chords of “(Take These) Chains,” and the dirgy sonic layers of “Pain and Pleasure,” a vaguely post-punk number with remote, echoing vocals.

Side B centers on “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” a clenched industrialized rocker made famous by Halford’s guttural verses and arresting chorus line. The penultimate “Fever” veers between glacial guitar interplay and flaming rock epicism. The smouldering “Devil’s Child” drives out Screaming for Vengeance with Halford’s maddened delivery.

A1. “The Hellion” (0:41)
A2. “Electric Eye” (3:39)
A3. “Riding on the Wind” (3:07)
A4. “Bloodstone” (3:51)
A5. “(Take These) Chains” (3:07)
A6. “Pain and Pleasure” (4:17)
B1. “Screaming for Vengeance” (4:43)
B2. “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” (5:09)
B3. “Fever” (5:20)
B4. “Devil’s Child” (4:48)

For the Screaming sessions, Judas Priest returned to Spain’s Ibiza Sound, where they formalized the tracklist with eight songs and the “Hellion” prelude. The project continued at Beejay Studios in Orlando, Florida, where they laid overdubs and completed a last-minute addition, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” which they slotted down the tracklist with no anticipation of its eventual popularity.

Screaming for Vengeance was their third album with drummer Dave Holland and producer Tom Allom, who also oversaw the 1982 Chrysalis EP Head Contact, the debut release by Wolf, a NWOBHM quintet from Carlisle, Cumbria. Vengeance is Priest’s final album with engineer Louis Austin, who also helped The Associates on re-recordings for the 1982 re-release of their 1980 debut album The Affectionate Punch.

For the Screaming cover, Judas Priest hired Canadian artist Doug Johnson>, a onetime fashion illustrator who mixed vivid airbrushed subjects with neo-Art Deco details on Seventies-era covers for Ike & Tina Turner (The World of…), The Stylistics (Let’s Put It All Together), and Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band (self-titled). Johnson refined and updated his style for the Vengeance art, which shows a cybernetic, rocket-aiming vulture (Hellion) in descent against the Japanese sun (with yellow surround). Priest retained Johnson for their two subsequent albums. The Vengeance inner-sleeve contains a monochrome image of Priest posed in full leather by rock photojournalist Steve Joester.

Due to radio buzz, CBS lifted “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” as a single (b/w “Exciter” live). The video opens at the “Noise Pollution Test Zone” of Kempton Park Water Works, where Judas Priest (flanked with blue rays) perform afar from the plant’s overseer: a mustached man styled as René Magritte’s Man in a Bowler Hat. As Halford lip syncs, he taunts the overseer from a distance (possibly tracing the man’s doom in advance). Once the overseer arrives at a nearby terminal and motions to shut the band’s sound off, Halford makes a hammering motion that bursts the man’s head and renders him pantsless.

In mid-October, “(Take These) Chains” became the second Vengeance single (UK only) backed with a spoken-word audio file of the Judas Priest biography.

Screaming for Vengeance reached No. 11 on the UK Albums Chart. Abroad, it reached No. 14 in Sweden and No. 17 in Finland; a position matched in both Canada and the US, where “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” reached No. 4 on the Mainstream Rock chart and received high MTV rotation.

Judas Priest promoted Screaming for Vengeance with the World Vengeance Tour, which spanned 111 shows between August 26, 1982, and February 21, 1983, across North America. The tour rotated support slots between Iron Maiden (plugging their 1982 third album The Number of the Beast, their first with singer Bruce Dickinson), Uriah Heep (plugging their comeback album Abominog), and four non-UK acts: Swiss metal gods Krokus, Canadian hard-rockers Coney Hatch, Australian hard-rockers Heaven, and NY powertrio The Rods.

In May 1983, Judas Priest played the US Festival, a three-day event arranged by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California, with sets by The Beat, Berlin, The Cars, The Clash (their final show with Mick Jones), A Flock of Seagulls, INXS, Men at Work, Missing Persons, Oingo Boingo, Quarterflash, U2, and Wall of Voodoo. Priest appeared on Day 2 (Sunday, May 29, Metal Day), which also featured Mötley Crüe, Ozzy, Quiet Riot, Scorpions, Triumph, and Van Halen.


Defenders of the Faith

Judas Priest released their ninth album, Defenders of the Faith, on January 13, 1984, on CBS. It upholds the velocity of its predecessor with spitshine production and newfound American vibes.

Side A stresses speed metal with the galloping “Freewheel Burning” and the shredder-intense “Jawbreaker,” both marked by Halford’s taut, rapidfire lines and banshee wails. “The Sentinel” is a brisk, pummeling epic with dizzying leads; cut by a doom-laden middle. The only respite is “Rock Hard Ride Free,” a power-chorded allegro vivace.

A1. “Freewheel Burning” (4:22)
A2. “Jawbreaker” (3:26)
A3. “Rock Hard Ride Free” (5:34)
A4. “The Sentinel” (5:04)

Side B takes a darker, moodier approach on the guttural “Night Comes Down” and the menacing, low-octave “Love Bites.” Halford delivers their second Bob Halligan song, “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll,” with growling|shrieking counterpoint. Tipton plays his most virtuosic runs on “Eat Me Alive,” the sole uptempo rocker. Judas Priest conclude the album with “Heavy Duty,” a jack-booted anthem (ala “United”) that blends into “Defenders of the Faith,” a Queen-like choral-metal postlude.

B1. “Love Bites” (4:47)
B2. “Eat Me Alive” (3:34)
B3. “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” (4:05)
B4. “Night Comes Down” (3:59)
B5. “Heavy Duty” (2:25)
B6. “Defenders of the Faith” (1:30)

Sessions took place in late 1983 at Ibiza Sound, where Sin After Sin soundman Mark Dodson engineered Defenders of the Faith in sequence with albums by John Parr, Pearl Harbour, and the Spanish metal bands Obus and Angeles Del Infierno. They mixed Defenders in Miami with mastering engineer Bruce Hensal (Boston, Balance). Soon after, Priest-associate songwriter Bob Halligan wrote “Midnite Dynamite,” a 1985 hit for Tom Alloms former client Kix.

Vengeance cover artist Doug Johnson returned with his second Priest illustration: Metallian, a hybrid tiger–tank attack machine with Gatling guns and horn blades.

CBS lifted “Freewheel Burning” as the lead single (b/w “Breaking the Law” live at the US Festival). The video opens inside an arcade, where a schoolboy plays the Namco racing game Pole Position (dubbed Freewheel Burning) while Judas Priest perform on a remote soundstage amid flashing blue|red laser beams. Downing (red Hamer Flying V), Tipton (red leather pants, black Hamer Phantom), and Hill (sunburst Fender jazz bass) riff along while Halford (full studded) conducts the beams with his metal accessories. Moments later, the lasers project through the video screen and turn the arcade-goers into headbangers.

In March, “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” became the second Defenders single (b/w “The Green Manalishi” live). In the US, Columbia lifted “Love Bites” (b/w “Jawbreaker”), which Epic Japan issued in a picture sleeve with Metallian’s head.

Defenders of the Faith reached its highest chart placements in Sweden (No. 2) and Finland (No. 10). It scored matching placements in Canada and Norway (No. 17) and Japan and the US (No. 18). The album peaked at No. 19 in the UK and No. 21 in Germany.

Judas Priest road-tested Defenders of the Faith on a December 1983 European tour with Quiet Riot. On Sunday the 18th, both bands played the Rock Pop Festival, a two-day event at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund, Germany, with sets by Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, and the Michael Schenker Group.

On January 20, 1984, Judas Priest launched the Metal Conqueror Tour, a 125-date blitz across Europe (Jan–Feb), North America (March–July), and Japan (September). Priest’s stage setup featured a drum podium with a giant Metallian facade. They emerged from the creature’s mouth.

After a ten-month road break, Judas Priest played Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium on Saturday July  13, 1985, as part of the US portion of the Live Aid concerts. Introduced by comedian Chevy Chase, Priest took the stage at 11:29 EDT (between Crosby Stills & Nash and Bryan Adams) and performed “Living After Midnight,” “The Green Manalishi,” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” Priest secured the slot through their manager, Bill Curbishley, who also managed The Who, which reunited for the event.


Turbo

Judas Priest released their tenth album, Turbo, in April 1986 on CBS. It features nine originals lyricized by Rob Halford and co-composed by Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, who both play guitar-synthesizers in addition to standard guitar. The result is a high-tech sound that stands apart from Priest’s catalog.

Turbo injects modernist synth tones on multiple songs, including “Turbo Lover,” “Private Property,” and “Hot for Love” — all uptempo tracks entwined with sharp, processed guitars and gated drums. “Out In the Cold” is an epic, lurching rocker with an ominous electronic into. Other tracks range from velocity rock (“Locked In”) to glam-metal singalongs (“Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days”). “Reckless” recalls Point of Entry with its mid-tempo riff and fist-pump drive.

Judas Priest made Mad Max-inspired videos for “Turbo Lover” and “Locked In.” In November 1986, “Parental Guidance” reappeared as a US single with a live video filmed on their Fuel for Life tour, a 105-date May–December blitz across North America (with Dokken), Japan, and Europe (with Krokus, Warlock, and Loudness).

Priest conceived Turbo as a double-album (Twin Turbos) with one record of classic metal and one of guitar–synth AOR. The 1985 Turbo sessions generated eleven songs, including two unissued tracks (“Under the Gun,” “Fighting for Your Love”) and the later-released “All Fired Up” (on CD reissues), “Red, White & Blue” (on British Steel reissues), “Prisoner of Your Eyes” (Screaming reissues), “Turn on Your Light” (Defenders reissues), and “Heart of a Lion” (on their 2004 Metalogy box).


Priest…Live!

On June 8, 1987, Judas Priest released Priest…Live!, a double-album recorded in the US on the Turbo tour.


Ram It Down

Judas Priest released their eleventh album, Ram It Down, on May 13, 1988, on CBS.

“Johnny B. Goode”
Released: April 1988
“Ram It Down”
Released: 1988 (NL)


Painkiller

Judas Priest released their twelfth album, Painkiller, on September 14, 1990, on CBS.

“Painkiller”
Released: 3 September 1990
“A Touch of Evil”
Released: 11 March 1991


Discography (1974–1990):


Sources:

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