heavy metal

Judas Priest Bio

Judas Priest
Band members
Rob Halford - Vocals K.K Downing - Guitars Glenn Tipton - Guitars Scott Travis - Drums Ian Hill - Bass


For three decades, they have epitomized the genre with their Harley riding frontman, rapid-fire guitar assaults, and spectacular stage shows. They have toured the world countless times and sold over 20 million albums. Unabashedly committed to their cause, and unrepentant in proclaiming themselves a true heavy metal band even when others have shied away from the term, Judas Priest have forever been defenders of the faith."

- from the METALOGY liner notes written by Bryan Reesman

Celebrating 30 years of heavy metal majesty and grandeur since the release of their debut album in 1974, METALOGY opens the book on the most extensive study of Judas Priest ever undertaken. Coinciding with the band's hotly anticipated reunion on tour this summer, their first career-spanning box set is comprised of 4 CDs containing more than 5 hours of music - 65 tracks selected from their recordings on the Gull, Columbia, CBS/U.K., CMC International, and Atlantic labels from 1974 to 2001.

The box set's fifth bonus disc marks the DVD premiere of Judas Priest - Live, their first full-length long-form concert video of 1983, out-of-print for more than a decade. Assembled with the full participation of the band - lead singer Rob Halford, lead guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis - METALOGY will arrive in stores May 11th on Columbia/Legacy, a division of Sony Music. The release precedes Halford's reunion with his bandmates for their first performances together in 12 years - beginning in America with two months of "U.S. Ozzfest 2004" dates from July 10th through September 4th.

Housed in leather and festooned in glorious metal spikes - Judas Priest trademarks - METALOGY is the monument this band so richly deserves. Featured are album tracks, nearly every single to reach the charts in the U.S. and their native U.K., plus non-album commercial and promotional single B-sides, 9 live performances, and a total of 4 previously unreleased tracks. Among the latter is a rare 1985 demo from the Turbo album sessions, "Heart Of a Lion," subsequently recorded and released by both Travis' band Racer X and Halford's self-titled solo band -- but never heard before as done by the band.

Providing the documentation that makes METALOGY the quintessential Judas Priest study project are the liner notes by journalist and drummer Bryan Reesman. A newly commissioned 5,000 word essay, entitled "Judas Priest: Hell Bent Forever," examines every phase of the band's development, starting with their formation by Hill and Downing in the British midlands, circa 1971. Reesman also offers a year-by-year chronology covering 1973 to 2003, whose entries often contain supplemental details not included in the liner notes essay.

"Influential, innovative, and exuberant in expression, they are the true Metal Gods who have been as unwavering in their desire to expand the boundaries of their music as they have been in crossing international borders to deliver it to their disciples," writes Reesman, who is also known for his writing in MIX magazine, Keyboard, Goldmine, Guitar Player, and other publications.

The lion's share of the material (all but 7 of the tracks) on METALOGY derives from the archives of Columbia (and CBS/U.K.), for whom Judas Priest recorded and released 10 studio albums, two live albums, and nearly three dozen singles between 1977 and 1991. After paying homage to the band's first two LPs on the Gull label (1974's Rocka Rolla and 1976's Sad Wings Of Destiny), the program then moves into a later live version of "Victim Of Changes" (a tune from Sad Wings). Live versions then follow of "Diamonds & Rust" (their jawdropping treatment of the Joan Baez paean to Bob Dylan) and "Starbreaker," both songs heard on Judas Priest's first Columbia LP, 1977's Sin After Sin.

This sets the pattern for most of the contents of the first three CDs, as cuts from each subsequent album - single releases, key tracks, band and fan favorites - are complemented by a live version of at least one song from the album: Stained Class (1978), Hell Bent For Leather (1979), British Steel (1980, their first breakthrough platinum-selling album, with "Living After Midnight" and "Breaking the Law"), Point Of Entry (1981, with "Heading Out to the Highway" and "Hot Rockin'"), Screaming For Vengeance (1982, their platinum MTV-era triumph, with "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"), Defenders Of the Faith (1984, with "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll"), and Turbo (1986, with "Turbo Lover" and "Locked In").

Disc four wraps up Judas Priests's Columbia years with a total of 10 cuts drawn from Ram It Down (1988) and Painkiller (1990, featuring their final Columbia single, "Touch Of Evil," released in '91). Halford departed in 1992 and a long hiatus for Judas Priest ensued. This CD picks up the action in '97, when they finally discovered a suitable replacement for Halford: Tim "Ripper" Owens, who'd fronted a Judas Priest tribute band called British Steel (and another metal outfit, Winter's Bane).

This edition of Judas Priest re-emerged with a new album that year on the metal-heavy CMC International label, Jugulator ("Jugulator," Bloodstains"). After a live double-CD of their tour the following year, '98 Live Meltdown, the Owens-fronted lineup released one more studio album together in 2001 on Atlantic Records. The two representative tracks from Demolition ("Machine Man," "Feed On Me") are the final cuts on the CD portion of METALOGY.

The box set doesn't stop there, however. First released on VHS in 1983, JUDAS PRIEST - LIVE commemorated the 6-month North American tour that followed the summer '82 release of Screaming For Vengeance, their most successful album. The video concert was filmed December 12, 1982, at Mid South Coliseum in Memphis. The DVD includes brand new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes and serves to reaffirm the band's place at the pinnacle of the metal hierarchy.

METALOGY is the follow-up to Legacy's well-received Judas Priest album restoration project of 2001-2002. This historic campaign, encompassing digitally remastered expanded editions of the band's 12 original Columbia recordings, was personally overseen by the band members. With their input, the CD booklets of each expanded edition not only reprised the original LP artwork but also included lyrics (where available), and presented vintage photographs from the band's personal collection, and newly-written liner notes by the band that put each album in perspective.

Bonus material on each of the 12 expanded editions comprised at least one previously unreleased studio track (from the original album recording sessions) and one previously unreleased live version of a Judas Priest classic (recorded during the tour(s) that supported each release at the time). In all the series presented nine previously unheard studio tracks and 17 songs never before released as live performances on album.

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