My Sunday Song – “Ripper” by Judas Priest

For My Sunday Song #298, we are talking “Ripper” by Judas Priest. The song is off their stellar 1976 album ‘Sad Wings of Destiny’. The song was released as the first single off the album and only released in the UK. I don’t have any chart information for it, sorry. The song was written solely by Glenn Tipton and what a great song.

“Ripper” is from the point of view of the legendary UK serial killer, Jack the Ripper…or if you like, Jack the Knife. The song speaks from Jack’s mind telling the world how deranged he was on basically telling you how and when he will kill you. It shows how much Jack enjoys what he is doing and has done and he smile while he does the deed. It is scary and twisted and a brilliant take on perspective.

It is an intense, riff-roaring killer track. The opening guitars of Tipton and Downing stab at you from every angle with such ferocity. And that opening falsetto by Halford is that fatal cut that will slice through you like butter. Is it possible for someone to go so high without any help. That scream has to be mixed with a guitar to go where no man can possibly go, but he does. I like the galloping beat of the drums at certain points and Halford’s pacing on the delivery of the lyrics. It is a menacing, heart racing song and I can see why this was the single because it does make you sit up and take notice.

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Judas Priest – ‘Sad Wings of Destiny’ (1976) – Album Review (The Complete Albums Collection Series)

Judas Priest recorded their second album in only 2 weeks in November and December of 1975. That is not much time at all, but the record label, Gull, was pretty freaking cheap and the boys were only living on one meal a day. Heck, some of the guys had to work a side job to make ends meet. Doesn’t sound like a good record deal in my book, but what do I know. It was recorded at the Rockfield Studios in Wales and finally saw its release on March 23, 1976.

The album had positive reviews, but that did not translate in to sales as the timing in the UK wasn’t the best. There was a genre that was popping up and becoming real popular. It was called punk rock. As a result, the band only released one single and the album only went to #48 on the UK Charts. What is really great about this album though, is this is really the birth of the Judas Priest sound. This is what I was expecting on ‘Rocka Rolla’, but I didn’t get. This was the real beginning of Priest.

The band was basically the same line-up with Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill. They did have a new drummer as John Hinch left the band and they replaced him with Alan Moore. This was be the only album that Moore would play on because he wasn’t overly thrilled with the money situation and would soon leave the band. They seemed to have trouble keeping a drummer as I have counted around 9 different drummers over the years. Crazy!

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