For My Sunday Song #296, we are going to discuss the song “Desert Plains” by Judas Priest. The song is from their 1981 album ‘Point of Entry’. The song wasn’t a single, but for me was one of the very few standout tracks on the album. The album went gold in the U.S. selling over 500,000 copies and went to #39 on the Billboard Charts. Not their best showing but that was all about to change with their next album.
“Desert Plains” can have a lot of meanings. I read it was inspired by the beautiful Arizona desert landscape as that is where Rob Halford was living. The song is possibly about riding your motorcycle down the lonely desert road aching to be with your lover and finally arriving at the end as there is a line “The engine roars between my thighs” that makes me think motorcycle, but I guess it could mean some other thing that is between his thighs getting all hot and bothered.
I also saw someone mention that the song is about life and death. The life part is the person on this side of death missing their lover terribly who has died. The other person, who is dead, is on the other side waiting for them so they can one day be together again. If that is the case then the person on this side of death must die because they are together again. That is a little morbid for me, so I personally lean towards the first one because the song does end with them falling in each others arms, but I don’t feel like they died.
The song opens with a loud, heavy drum beat from Dave Holland and is full of dual guitar work from Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing and a thumping bass line from Ian Hill. Rob Halford comes in and gives a serious tone to the vocals which almost feels a little ominous in its presentation. An album that already has “Heading Out to the Highway”, it is another song that feels like you are driving fast down the road and that there is a dangerous element you can’t escape from and is following you about to catch you. Overall, this is a killer track and might be my favorite track on the album.Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Desert Plains” by Judas Priest”