After finishing up the tour for ‘Sin After Sin’, the band didn’t rest for too long before they jumped right back in the studio. They were on a brutal schedule of album, tour, album, tour, etc… It can be exhausting. The band’s fourth album and second with Columbia records was recorded between October and November 1977. The album, ‘Stained Class’, was released on February 10, 1978 and would barely break the Billboard 200 Albums chart going to #173. But the album did go Gold selling over 500,000 copies, but reality is that album only went Gold after the success of the band in the early 80’s. Still Gold nonetheless.
The band saw something strange happen with this album. They got a new drummer which would now be the fourth drummer in four albums. That isn’t the strange part as their drummer turnover has been legendary. The strange part is new drummer, Les Binks, actually stayed on after the album was done and would go on to record two more albums with the band. That is a huge record for them and they should be so proud of themselves for not letting another drum go. And that wasn’t all. This is the ver first album that all 5 band members got writing credits on an album. Yes, Les got one credit and so did long time bassist, Ian Hill.
After the band’s second album, “Sad Wings of Destiny”, they were growing tired of their relationship with their current label Gull. They were discouraged at the cheapness of the label and the lack of funds they were receiving. And who can blame them. The band jumped ship and wound up with the first major label contract with CBS. All was right with the world.
We still had the same bandmates of Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill. The only difference was the drummer, yet again! This seems to be a huge trend with the band. They can’t keep a drummer. It is Spinal Tap in reality. During the recording of the album, the band was unhappy with current drummer, Alan Moore, so they fired him. The band picked up session drummer Simon Phillips to finish recording the album. Now, Simon didn’t want to be a full fledge member so they had to replace him as they needed a drummer for the tour. They wound up with Les Binks to handle those duties. We will see if Les winds up recording the next album.
Since the band was with a bigger label, they actually got a big name for producer. Well, he maybe wasn’t a big name as a producer, but he was a big name bass player for a little band called Deep Purple. They hired the services of Roger Glover to help produce along with Judas Priest. The band was all set. In January 1977, they went in to the studio and after one session with Glover, they fired him. Oh my!! The band finished recording the album on their own, well….not exactly. They struggled a lot so Glover was asked back to finish the album. The album was released on April 8, 1977 and would see the album go Gold. It was the first of eleven straight albums to go Gold for the band! Judas Priest were on their way to stardom.
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!
Welcome to another series on 2 Loud 2 Old Music. This time we are going to go through all the Albums that were in ‘The Complete Albums Collection’ Box Set that I received as a gift for this last Christmas. Here’s the thing, I have only really ever listened to the 80’s singles for Priest. I don’t know much about them other than who they are and maybe a couple albums, but I thought it was time to take a deep dive in to the Priest World and see what all the fuss is about. I also have Rob Halford’s new book ‘Confess’ that I am dying to read to learn even more. When I do something, I am not going to do it half-ass so we are going to start with the first album and work our way up to the final one. Now, this box set was missing the Ripper albums and the two most recent Priest albums, plus I am sure some live albums, but we will have 17 albums to go through that I am hoping to have done by the end of the year. Once I am done with those, we will go back and do the ones this set missed.
Judas Priest is out of Birmingham, England and were formed in 1969 and what I learned quickly is that Rob Halford was not the original singer of the band. That role was filled by Al Atkins. In fact, when the band released their first album in 1974, Ian Hill was the only original member. K. K. Downing didn’t come on board until 1970, Halford and John Hinch was 1973 and the Glenn Tipton was 1974. The classic line-up of the band was complete just in time for their first album. The main four guys less Hinch would go on to be together until 1992 then back again in 2003 up until 2011. Quite an impressive run.
We are at the final month of 2020 and thank the Heavens. I hope 2021 sees an end to Covid, but not an end to my music buying. This month we have another treasure trove of stuff I have obtained over not just the month, but the last 6 months as a couple things I ordered in prior months finally arrived. And being December, there is everything I got for Christmas that is music related.
First up this month are a couple things I bought back in April/May timeframe, right when Covid started. My brother saw these on the Facebook market from a friend of his and knew I would like it so I told him I wanted them and he bought them (I paid him back of course). I told him to hold them and I would be down to Atlanta soon and boy was I wrong. We are now in December and I haven’t been down. I eventually asked him to mail them. I got another Kiss Tour Book and this was from the Alive/Worldwide Tour (1996-97) and the other is The Ultimate Kiss Fanzine Phenomenon 1976-2009 hard back book. They are both awesome and will be reviewed in detail in 2021.
Do you remember Krokus? I certainly do. Krokus was the biggest selling Swiss band ever until the band Gotthard came along, but that is another post. For now, the focus is Krokus…hey, that rhymed!! Back in 1983, Krokus was starting to make some headway in the US. Their sound was heavy and sounded a lot like AC/DC. Then on April 25, 1983, they released the album ‘Headhunter’. They took that heavy AC/DC sound and when up another notch as they were louder and way heavier than they had ever been before.
All of that was due to producer Tom Allom (hey, I think that rhymes too! – man, I am on roll). Tom is a producer and a sound engineer who had worked with Black Sabbath and Judas Priest so the man knew his metal and he took that expertise and gave Krokus their biggest selling and most successful album to date. And man, did it rock. The use of the twin guitars, the awesome sound of the double bass drum and man the singer could lay down some killer vocals on the chorus. It is everything you could want. And on a side note for you Def Leppard fans, Tom was producer on their debut ‘On Through the Night’.
Another great Friday of releases is upon us. There aren’t a ton this week, but there are some I am eager to get ahold of. Those choices will be highlighted in Blue. This list is mostly rock and metal, but there is one country album and a pop/alternative release as well. Hopefully you will find something you like. I know I have. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.
Stone Temple Pilots – Purple (25th Anniversary) – (Rhino Entertainment): I can’t believe it has been 25 years since ‘Purple’ has been released. That is crazy!! This was the album that got me in to STP as I hadn’t jumped on the whole 90’s music bandwagon by the time their debut album came out. I was still strongly entrenched in the 80’s music. But this one had so much guitar and the swagger of Scott Weiland won me over. I can’t wait to get this set with all the bonus material…plus it is on CD and Vinyl!!
Alter Bridge – Walk the Sky – (Napalm Records): When Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy get together, you know it is going to rock and be amazing and I expect nothing less from this, their 6th album. This is basically Creed with Myles Kennedy on vocals as the rest of the band, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips as well as Mark are all from Creed. What is still cool is that after 15 years, it is still the same 4 guys. Ok, they are not really Creed I was generalizing, but they are still awesome.
With a new album out, it is time to show some love for Judas Priest. I am glad to see these guys still rocking it and putting out some great songs. I guess you are never too old to rock. Get ready to celebrate all things Judas Priest…enjoy!!