Saturday, December 19, 2009


K.K. Downing and Ian Hill formed the band in 1971. They asked singer Alan Atkins to join the group. His band had just broken up and he took the name to the new group. Drummer John Ellis rounded out the quartet. He was shortly replaced by Alan Moore. They played a lot of shows around their hometown of Birmingham, England and the whole country and began drawing a good following of fans. This Band named JUDAS PRIEST.

After some management problems in 1973 Atkins and Moore left the group. At the time Ian Hill was dating the sister of Rob Halford, and she suggested him as the new singer. Halford joined the band along with drummer John Hinch, also of his old group Hiroshima. Shortly thereafter they got a record deal and at the record company's recommendation they added a second guitarist, Glenn Tipton.

Debut Album:

Judas Priest released their debut album Rocka Roller in 1974. It didn't do much, either commercially or critically. Their second album, 1976's Sad Wings Of Destiny did a little better, and looking back is considered a metal classic. With each album Priest became more and more successful throughout the late '70s and into the '80s.

Worldwide Success:

The '80s were the decade Priest had the most success. They had a string of hit albums including Screaming For Vengeance, Defenders Of The Faith and Turbo. They even had some radio and MTV success with songs like "Breaking The Law" and "Turbo Lover."


By the end of the '80s Judas Priest was one of the best selling and top grossing live acts in heavy metal. However, there were some tensions within the band and in 1991 Halford left the group. He was replaced by Tim "Ripper" Owens, who had been the singer in a Priest tribute band. The movie "Rock Star" is loosely based on his story.


Judas Priest released a couple of albums with Owens as lead singer, but they didn't do very well. After 12 years away from the band, Rob Halford rejoined Judas Priest in 2003. After a triumphant comeback concert tour and headlining stint on Ozzfest 2004, they released a new album in 2005, Angel Of Retribution. In 2008 Priest released the ambitious double disc concept album Nostradamus, which received mixed reviews, but was named one of the best CDs of the year by this site.

Current Band Members:

Rob Halford - Vocals (Fight, Halford, Surgical Steel, Two)
Glenn Tipton - Guitar (The Flying Hat Band, Glenn Tipton, Merlin, Shave And Dry)
Kenneth Keith Downing - Guitar (Freight)
Ian Hill - Bass
Scott Travis - Drums (Fight, Hawk, Racer X)

Former Band Members:

Al Atkins - Vocals (1971-1972)
Tim "Ripper" Owens - Vocals (1996-2003)
John Ellis - Drums (1971) Chris "Congo" Campbell - Drums (1971-1972)
John Hinch - Drums (1973-1975)
Alan Moore - Drums (1975-1976)
Simon Phillips - Drums (1977)
Les Binks - Drums (1977-1979)
Dave Holland - Drums (1979-1989)

Essential Judas Priest Album:

British Steel
It is Priest at their finest, containing smashes like "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight." It saw the band leaving more experimental music behind and going for the arena rock anthems that Halford sings so well. There's not a bad song on this album.

Discography :
1. Rocka Rolla (1974)
2. Sad Wings of Destiny (1976)
3. Sin After Sin (1977)
4. Stainded Class (1978)
5. Hell Bent of Leather (1978)
6. Unleashed In The East (1979)
7. British Steel (1980)
8. Point of Entry (1981)
9. Screaming for Vengeance (1982)
10. Defenders of The Faith (1984)
11. Turbo (1986)
12. Priest ...LIVE (1987)
13. Ram IT Down (1988)
14. Painkiller (1990)
15. Metal Works (1993)
16. Jugulator (1997)
17. 98 Live Meltdown (1998)
18. Demolition (2001)
19. Angel of Retribution (2005)
20. Nostradamus - Epic (2008)


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