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Artist: Judas Priest

Judas Priest

Bio

Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band have sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production, repeated changes of drummer, and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status. The band's membership has seen much turnover, including a revolving cast of drummers in the 1970s, and the temporary departure of singer Rob Halford in the early 1990s. The current line-up consists of Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis. The band's best-selling album is 1982's Screaming for Vengeance with their most commercially successful line-up, featuring Halford, Tipton, Hill, guitarist K. K. Downing, and drummer Dave Holland. Tipton and Hill are the only two members of the band to appear on every album. Their influence, while mainly Halford's operatic vocal style and the twin guitar sound of Downing and Tipton, has been adopted by many bands. Their image of leather, spikes, and other taboo articles of clothing were widely influential during the glam metal era of the 1980s. The Guardian referred to British Steel as the record that defines heavy metal. Despite a decline in exposure during the mid 1990s, the band has once again seen a resurgence, including worldwide tours, being inaugural inductees into the VH1 Rock Honors in 2006, receiving a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2010, and their songs featured in video games such as Guitar Hero and the Rock Band series. K. K. Downing and bassist Ian Hill had known each other since early childhood, as they lived near one another and attended the same nursery and school in West Bromwich. They became close friends in their early teens, when they shared similar musical interests (Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Cream, The Yardbirds) and learned to play instruments. The band was founded in 1969 in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom, after a local ensemble named Judas Priest (after Bob Dylan's song "The Ballad of Fra
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News

Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls - Exclaim! (Reviews)

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Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls

From the very opening of "Dragonaut," it's hard to hear Redeemer of Souls as anything less than a triumphant celebration. It can be stated without hyperbole that Judas Priest occupy a peerless position of influence and reverence in the metal genre, with a rock-solid and immediately identifiable aesthetic that has now thrived for 17 studio albums and 40 years. However, only a few years ago, it seemed that the deeply beloved band might be teetering at the edge of its own twilight; after the release of Nostradamus in 2008 and the subsequent departure and retirement of founding...Read More

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Redeemer of Souls by Judas Priest - ArtistDirect

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07/08/2014
$11.99

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Articles

Judas Priest: Killing Machine Melody Maker, Dec 1978

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THE LEAD SINGER sweats redly, tuffness of the strategic stud decorations unable to blind the look of uncertainty in his eye for the camera as he 'struts his stuff', the guitarists, bassist and drums pout and grimace so baad on the back sleeve as the needle prepares to violate the virgin vinyl of CBS 831355 and (grunts and groans off camera)..."You dish the hot stuff up/But you keep me waiting/So I play it dirty/Til your body's breaking/We got to make love/The time is right"....

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"The economy of everyday life is based on a continuous exchange of humiliations and aggressive attitudes. The feeling of humilation is nothing but the feeling of being an object. Today, the more man is a social being the more he is an object."
– Raoul Vaneigem

And so on. It's just SO easy for critics to stitch up heavy-metal albums – paper meets stone and paper wins – that the exercise becomes redundant: instead other questions must be asked. And, indeed, although light years away from my own preconceptions and consumer attitudes, it's to be acknowledged that this is a slick, well-made example of the genre, with an added bonus of two 'ballads' – 'Evening Star' and 'Before The Dawn' – which in their vulnerability and numb yearning are by far the most listenable thing here. The rest merely sounds like ersatz Led Zeppelin: while the Limp Blimp is away, the surrogates will play...

It's obvious that the main reason why continued popularity of HM annoys the critics so much is that it highlights their own disposability. Sorry, funsters, thousands of people out there who just don't give a shit what you or the other three think...it's really pretty funny.

Out there in a realer (or less privileged) world, where albums cost money and not many groups pass through, the Heavy Metal Machine lumbers on, ever churning out the Big Beat – the massive wall of noise which was so much a premise of original rock 'n' roll and still is...

The audience goes along to get wrecked, completely out of it, dance and dissolve into jelly in the holocausts of noise: no analysis, just sweet unconsciousness. It's not pretty, but it's a release, which many need and enjoy, and why shouldn't they?

But of course analysis being so superfluous, the critics get mad and find ever-inventive new ways to insult the groups and their audience and neatly reinforce the pattern.

On the basic noise-machine level, JP have got it taped. The uptempo numbers – 'Delivering The Goods', 'Rock Forever', 'Hell Bent For Leather', 'Take On The World', 'Burnin' Up', 'Killing Machine', 'Running Wild', 'Evil Fantasies' – are sturdily and flashly played, with just the right amount of studio gloss (nothing over the top – too pansy – but enough to be technoflash and therefore admirable). The subject matter and attitudes of the songs themselves can be surmised easily enough from the above titles.

As a solid commercial, consumer item – pandering to and accommodating the expectations and attitutes of a particular market, it works as well as, say, the new Clash album on the same label – in other words, excellently. But whereas the codes and attitudes on the Clash album are well known to me (if not actively sympathetic), those on the Priest albums aren't, and that's where I find the main difficulty.

The HM market being a tight one, Priest have come up with a gimmick for the album and the tour that promotes it. It's disposable and thus not to be taken that seriously.

But, in keeping with the aggressive, blocked male suprematist attitude of HM in general (the other main variants being pulp SF and technoflash pure and simple), singer Rob Halford is wheeled out in full S&M bondo mondo gear, whips and studs: in many ways this is just good old Dave Dee again, except this time (snicker) we 'know' so much more about S&M. And of course the punks did it.

To avoid any gay biker associations, Priest have to be even straighter than usual in compensation, rattier like the Glitter-clones who'd wear make-up and hi-heels and clock you one if you'd so much hint they were poofs. So they're either body breakers or whimperers, depending on whether the woman is saint – or slut-variant. In this context, the stud/S&M trappings come on as just the icing on the dull machismo cake. A cake which many find appetising...

No Big Bad Moral Conclusions, sorry. One man's poison is another's cake. Probably the most distressing thing is not that Priest serve the particular needs and attitudes of a market (they know which side of their bread is buttered, and don't get their motives confused), but that that market exists and wants just that.

It comes down to THE crux mass media argument do 'the people' want what they get, or will they accept more than they're usually given? Priest give 'the people' what they get efficiently and with a modicum of style: conversely many critics (including this one) in various fits of idealism aim for the latter course.

What annoys them, but what in the end has to be faced, is that many people are indeed very happy, and wanting what they get.

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Top Albums

British Steel cover art

British Steel

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Painkiller cover art

Painkiller

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Screaming for Vengeance cover art

Screaming for Vengeance

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Angel Of Retribution cover art

Angel Of Retribution

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Sad Wings of Destiny cover art

Sad Wings of Destiny

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Top Songs

Breaking the Law cover art

Breaking the Law

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Painkiller cover art

Painkiller

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Living After Midnight cover art

Living After Midnight

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Electric Eye cover art

Electric Eye

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Night Crawler cover art

Night Crawler

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Turbo Lover cover art

Turbo Lover

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Recommended Songs

Rainbow in the Dark cover art

Rainbow in the Dark by Dio

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