5 Best Judas Priest Albums of All Time
Hellbent For Leather (1979)
In many ways, Hellbent For Leather was the flip side of Stained Class, trading bloodlust for mostly just plain lust. This album was an early American commercial breakthrough, though no signs of compromise were exhibited by Priest. The throttling title track is a stone cold classic, refining all the elements present in the group's earlier work into a more accessible, but no less edgy, sound. Like all the albums on this list, Hellbent For Leather was enormously influential on hard rock and metal, largely defining the black leather and motorcycles image that countless bands would later ape, while musically proving that aggression and hooks were not mutually exclusive.
Screaming For Vengeance (1982)
Another peak for Judas Priest both artistically and commercially, Screaming For Vengeance builds upon the breakthroughs of Hellbent For Leather and British Steel into a striking balance of tough melodicism and indelible guitar riffs. The inescapable hit single "You Got Another Thing Coming" was most certainly a highlight, but it was lesser known tracks like "Electric Eye" that render Vengeance one of Priest's greatest accomplishments.
Sin After Sin (1977)
This pivotal record was the bridge between Priest's early blues and prog sensibilities and the more extreme metal realized on Stained Class. But to call this a transitional piece in the band's catalog would be a gross error in judgement. "Call For the Priest" shows some of the first signposts of thrash ever recorded while a string of gothic set pieces uncover what the lads that later formed Iron Maiden were listening to after school.
Editor's Note: This post originally had an incorrect date for the Judas Priest show.
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