Judas Priest is a heavy metal band that originated in Birmingham, England, in 1969. They are widely considered to be one of the most influential and pioneering bands in the heavy metal genre, with a sound that combines intense vocals, heavy guitar riffs, and complex drumming.
The band’s early albums, such as “Sad Wings of Destiny” and “Stained Class,” helped establish their signature sound and have since become classics in the heavy metal canon. However, it was their 1982 album “Screaming for Vengeance” that catapulted them into mainstream success with hits like “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” and “Electric Eye.”
Throughout their career, Judas Priest has experimented with various sub-genres of heavy metal, including speed metal, thrash metal, and even incorporating elements of industrial and electronic music into their sound. Their iconic “leather and studs” image has become synonymous with the heavy metal subculture, and they continue to inspire new generations of fans and musicians alike.
Despite some lineup changes over the years, Judas Priest has remained a consistent and influential force in the heavy metal world. Their music has earned them numerous accolades and awards, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.
1. ‘Victim of Changes’
“Victim of Changes” is a classic heavy metal song by Judas Priest, originally released on their 1976 album “Sad Wings of Destiny”. The song features a dynamic arrangement, with a slow, atmospheric intro giving way to a driving, guitar-heavy riff and a blistering solo. The lyrics explore themes of heartbreak and betrayal, with singer Rob Halford delivering a powerful vocal performance that conveys a sense of vulnerability and anger. “Victim of Changes” is a masterclass in heavy metal songwriting and performance, and remains a fan favorite and a testament to Judas Priest’s enduring legacy as one of the most influential and innovative bands in the genre.
2. ‘Evening Star’
“Evening Star” is a power ballad by Judas Priest, released in 1978 as part of their album “Killing Machine”. The song features slow and melodic verses, building up to a powerful and emotional chorus. Lead singer Rob Halford’s soaring vocals express a sense of yearning and longing, while the guitar solos from Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing showcase their technical proficiency and complement the emotional tone of the song. “Evening Star” is a standout track in the album and has become a fan favorite, showcasing Judas Priest’s ability to craft dynamic and moving ballads amidst their signature heavy metal sound.
“Exciter” is a classic heavy metal song by Judas Priest, released in 1978. The track features the band’s signature blend of pounding drums, scorching guitar riffs, and soaring vocals by lead singer Rob Halford. The lyrics describe the exhilaration and excitement of a live concert experience, with lines like “I feel electricity, your soul is what I need” and “come on and let it out, scream and shout.” “Exciter” has become a fan favorite and a staple of Judas Priest’s live shows, showcasing the band’s virtuosity and musical prowess. The song remains a classic of the heavy metal genre and a must-listen for fans of Judas Priest.
“Painkiller” is a classic heavy metal anthem by Judas Priest, released in 1990 on their album of the same name. The song features a lightning-fast guitar riff and a driving, double-bass drum beat, with singer Rob Halford delivering one of his most powerful vocal performances to date. The lyrics explore themes of power, vengeance, and triumph over adversity, making “Painkiller” a favorite of metal fans worldwide. The song is a testament to Judas Priest’s ability to evolve and adapt over the years, and a reminder of their enduring legacy as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal bands of all time.
5. ‘The Hellion’ / ‘Electric Eye’
“The Hellion/Electric Eye” is a classic heavy metal song by Judas Priest, released in 1982. The track opens with an instrumental introduction called “The Hellion,” featuring a cinematic, ominous tone that sets the stage for the song’s main riff. The riff then explodes into “Electric Eye,” a fast-paced, hard-hitting track with lyrics that describe a sinister, all-seeing entity that monitors and controls society. The song features the band’s signature driving drums, searing guitar solos, and Rob Halford’s powerful vocals. “The Hellion/Electric Eye” has become a fan favorite and a staple of Judas Priest’s live shows, showcasing the band’s musicianship and theatrics.
6. ‘Heading Out to the Highway’
“Heading Out to the Highway” is a classic Judas Priest song that was released in 1981. The track opens with an infectious guitar riff, setting the pace for the whole song. Rob Halford’s soaring vocals blend perfectly with the melodic guitar solos, creating an electrifying sound. The lyrics are about the thrill of the open road and the excitement of adventure, perfectly capturing the essence of heavy metal culture. The song is a fan favorite and remains a staple of Judas Priest’s live performances. Its catchy hooks and driving rhythm make it one of the band’s most memorable songs.
7. ‘Delivering the Goods’
“Delivering the Goods” is a classic heavy metal song by Judas Priest, originally released on their 1978 album “Killing Machine” (known as “Hell Bent for Leather” in the US). The song features a catchy guitar riff and a driving, energetic rhythm section, with singer Rob Halford delivering a powerful vocal performance that perfectly captures the raw intensity of the band’s live shows. The lyrics celebrate the thrill of the open road and the adrenaline rush of being a touring musician, making “Delivering the Goods” a favorite of Judas Priest fans and a staple of their live shows.
8. ‘Breaking the Law’
“Breaking the Law” is a classic heavy metal song by Judas Priest, released in 1980. The track features the band’s signature driving rhythm, catchy guitar riff, and powerful vocals by lead singer Rob Halford. The lyrics describe a rebellious character who has reached his breaking point and decides to break the law, with lines like “We’re breaking the law, we’re breaking the law” and “So much for the golden future, I can’t even start.” “Breaking the Law” has become one of Judas Priest’s most popular and enduring hits, a must-listen for fans of the band and the heavy metal genre.
9. ‘Living After Midnight’
Released in 1980, “Living After Midnight” is one of Judas Priest’s most popular songs, and a classic in the heavy metal genre. The song features a catchy riff and a memorable chorus, and it showcases the band’s trademark sound that influenced many other metal bands. It has been described as an anthem for the night life, with lyrics about living life to the fullest and enjoying the thrill of the night. The song was a commercial success for the band, reaching the Top 20 in the UK and becoming a fan favorite that is still played frequently at their live shows.
10. ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’
Released in 1982, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” is one of the most well-known songs by Judas Priest. The track features a driving rhythm, powerful vocals by lead singer Rob Halford, and electrifying guitar riffs by K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. The song became a huge hit for the band, reaching number 4 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and earning them a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. With its memorable chorus and high-energy performance, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” is considered a classic in the heavy metal genre and a fan favorite at Judas Priest concerts.