My Sunday Song – “Blood Red Skies” by Judas Priest

For My Sunday Song #294, we are going to discuss the song “Blood Red Skies” by Judas Priest off their 1988 album ‘Ram it Down’. The song is not an official single from the album which had some real crappy singles so this would’ve been way better as a single then what the chose. Ok, probably not a better choice as the song is over 7 minutes long so way to long for radio. The album did go gold thanks to songs like this (but mostly due to past success). The song was written by the normal trio of characters with Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Rob Halford.

The song to me is so powerful. There is a real struggle and battle with the singer. And since the singer is Rob, I believe the battle is his struggle with and the world’s acceptance of his homosexuality. He was so afraid of being found out and what that would do to the band and to him. Rightfully so as this was the metal community back in the 80’s and being gay was not widely accepted yet. The song dives in to his personal struggles and what religion says will happen if you are gay, he’s being watched by everyone and is afraid the fame will all go away. But damn it, he is who is and he is going to fight for the right to be who he is and as history has shown, no one cares that he is gay. We all love Rob for Rob and it never hurt him or the band and he is finally happy being who he is.

The most epic song on ‘Ram It Down’ is “Blood Red Skies” the song feels like it is wrapped in a whole Terminator-like vibe. It feels like science fiction in music. The song starts off slower and it sounds like we are in space or something atmospheric like that. There are some acoustic guitars and Rob comes in soft and gentle to keep with the feel of the music. His falsettos are stellar. The song kicks up the tempo with some guitar synthesizer sounds and heavier drumming (although they sound programmed which sucks a little). Rob changes his vocal approach as well getting a little more sinister and angrier. The song takes me back to earlier Priest when they were doing a little more Prog stuff (without the synths though). This is one of the better songs on the album and really reaches new heights with the grand levels it reaches. It is engaging and feels like it is telling some powerful journey which it actually is.

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think. Doesn’t it feel epic and so important. Rob just attacks the song and it feels so personal to him which I believe it was. Let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful and Happy Sunday!! And remember, be who you really are because that is all the world really wants to see.

“Blood Red Skies”

As the sun goes down, I move around
Keeping to the shadows
Life, hangs by a thread
And I’ve heard it said, that I’ll not see tomorrow

If that’s my destiny, it’ll have to be
So I’ll face the future
Running out of time
I’m on the line
But I’ll go down fighting

Felt the hand of justice
Telling wrong from right
Threw me out upon the street in the middle of the night

Cybernetic heartbeat
Digital precise
Pneumatic fingers nearly had me in their vice

Not begging you
I’m telling you

You won’t break me
You won’t make me
You won’t take me,
Under blood red skies

You won’t break me
You won’t take me
I’ll fight you under
blood red skies

Through a shattered city, watched by laser eyes
Overhead the night squad glides
The decaying paradise

Automatic sniper
With computer sights
Scans the bleak horizon for its victim of the night

They’re closing in
They’ll never win

You won’t break me
You won’t take me
You won’t make me,
Under blood red skies

You won’t break me
You won’t take me
I’ll fight you under
blood red skies

As the end is drawing near
Standing proud, I won’t give in to fear
As I die a legend will be born
I will stand, I will fight
You’ll never take me alive
I’ll stand my ground
I won’t go down

You won’t break me
You won’t make me
You won’t take me,
Under blood red skies

You won’t break me
You won’t take me
just I’ll face you under
blood red skies

You’ll never take me alive
I’m telling you
Hands of justice
I will stand, I will fight
Never surrender
As the sun goes down
I won’t give in to fear

Written by K.K. Downing, Glenn Tipton and Rob Halford

16 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Blood Red Skies” by Judas Priest

  1. I don’t really care for the song, but there’s a really funny moment during the intro to “Victim of Changes” on ’98 Live Meltdown when Ripper says ‘this next song needs no introduction’ someone in the audience yells ‘BLOOD RED SKIES!’

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel I’ll probably do this for the next several Sundays – consult the Judas Priest Nigel Tufnel lists!
    Interesting to see Ram It Down didn’t appear on anyone’s list, though good to note that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any highlights.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting choice for a Sunday John, but I like a little robotic apocalypse with my morning coffee.

    At least that’s how I interpreted the lyrics! Funny story. In grade 11 we had to do a poetry analysis so I choice this song (got an A). A girl in class told me the lyrics were “beautiful” LOL. But somewhere in my parents basement, there might still be the overhead transparency I did for the lyrics. I typed them out of my computer and then gave them to the teacher to make the transparency. I hope I still have that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not a bad track. When I think of this record the cover comes to mind as its awesome. I bought this on tape back in 88 and that was it. Never bought it on any other format.

    Liked by 1 person

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