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U.S. Release : KOC8071

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1. Dying To Meet You
2. Never Satisfied
3. Rocka Rolla
4. Diamonds And Rust
5. Victim Of Changes
6. Island Of Domination
7. The Ripper

8. Deceiver

Interview with John Hinch:

9. Halford Finds Priest
10. Priest Fin325ds Audience
11. Dual Guitars
12. Songwriting
13. What's In A Name
11. Gull Records
12. Whiskey Woman/Victim Of Changes
13. Rob Halford
Robert Halford (vocals)
K.K. Downing (guitar)
Glenn Tipton (guitar, piano)
Ian Hill (bass)
Alan Moore (drums)
John Hinch (drums)
Produced by: Rodger Bain
This group was formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969, by guitarist K.K. Downing and close friend, bassist Ian Hill. As another hopeful, struggling young rock band, they played their first gig in Essington in 1971 with a line-up completed by Alan Atkins (vocals) and John Ellis (drums). The name Judas Priest came from Atkins' previous band (who took it from a Bob Dylan song, 'The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest') before he joined up with Hill and Downing. Constant gigging continued, with Alan Moore taking over on drums, only to be replaced at the end of 1971 by Chris Campbell. Most of 1972 was spent on the road in the UK, and in 1973 both Atkins and Campbell departed, leaving the nucleus of Hill and Downing (in 1991 Atkins released a debut solo album that included 'Victim Of Changes', a song he co-wrote in Judas Priest's infancy). At this point, their fortunes took a turn for the better. Vocalist and ex-theatrical lighting engineer Rob Halford and drummer John Hinch, both from the band Hiroshima, joined the unit. More UK shows ensued as their following grew steadily, culminating in the addition of second guitarist Glenn Tipton; ex-Flying Hat Band. In 1974 they toured abroad for the first time in Germany and the Netherlands, and returned home to a record contract with the small UK label Gull. The band made their vinyl debut with Rocka Rolla in September 1974. Disappointed with the recording, the band failed to make any impact, and Hinch left to be replaced by the returning Alan Moore. In 1975 the band's appearance at the Reading Festival brought them to the attention of a much wider audience. Sad Wings Of Destiny was an improvement on the debut, with production assistance from Jeffrey Calvert and Max West. However, despite good reviews, their financial situation remained desperate, and Alan Moore left for the second and final time. A worldwide contract with CBS Records saved the day, and Sin After Sin was a strong collection, with Simon Philips sitting in for Moore. The band then visited America for the first time with drummer Les Binks, who appeared on Stained Class, an album that showed Priest at a high watermark in their powers. Killing Machine yielded the first UK hit single, 'Take On The World', and featured shorter, punchier, but still familiar, rock songs. Unleashed In The East was recorded on the 1979 Japanese tour, and in that year, Binks was replaced on drums by Dave Holland of Trapeze. After major tours with both Kiss and AC/DC, Priest's popularity began to gather momentum. British Steel smashed into the UK album charts at number 3, and included the hit singles 'Breaking The Law' and 'Living After Midnight'. After appearing at the 1980 Donington Monsters Of Rock festival, they began recording Point Of Entry. It provided the hit single 'Hot Rockin', and was followed by sell-out UK and US tours. The period surrounding Screaming For Vengeance was phenomenally successful for the band. The hit single, 'You've Got Another Thing Comin'', was followed by a lucrative six-month US tour, with the album achieving platinum status in the USA. Defenders Of The Faith offered a similar potent brand of headstrong metal to Screaming For Vengeance. Turbo, however, proved slightly more commercial and was poorly received, Judas Priest's traditional metal fans reacting with indifference to innovations that included the use of synthesized guitars. Ram It Down saw a return to pure heavy metal by comparison, but by this time their popularity had begun to wane. Dave Holland was replaced by Scott Travis; ex- Racer X for the return to form that was Painkiller. Although no longer universally popular, Priest were still a major live attraction and remained the epitome of heavy metal, with screaming guitars matched by screaming vocalist, and the protagonists clad in studs and black leather. The band were taken to court in 1990 following the suicide attempts of two fans (one successful) in 1985. Both CBS Records and Judas Priest were accused of inciting suicide through the 'backwards messages' in their recording of the Spooky Tooth classic, 'Better By You, Better Than Me'. They were found not guilty in June 1993 after a long court battle, Downing admitting: 'It will be another ten years before I can even spell subliminal'. Soon afterwards, Halford became disheartened with the band and decided to quit. He had temporarily fronted an Ozzy-less Black Sabbath and recorded 'Light Comes Out Of The Black' with Pantera for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack, as well as working on his Fight project. He debuted with his new band, Halford, in 1996. With new vocalist Ripper Owens, Judas Priest returned to recording with 1997's Jugulator.
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N.E.H. Records
7915 Oxford Road, Niwot, CO 80503, USA
Email: mmcpherson@nehrecords.com
Phone: (303) 652-0199