Sunday, October 18, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Judas Priest

Artist:Judas Priest
Song:Living After Midnight
Album:The Best Of Judas Priest: Living After Midnight

British heavy metal band Judas Priest floundered for a decade before they hit it big with the 1980 album British Steel and their signature song Living After Midnight. They were never a big singles band but their 80s albums were big sellers and they are still a strong concert draw today. The name Judas Priest is from the Bob Dylan song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. The late 60s band with that name only lasted a few months. Guitarist K.K. Downing, bassist Ian "Skull" Hill and drummer John Ellis took the Judas Priest name when they formed a band in 1970. Only lead singer Al Atkins remained from the first band. He suggested keeping the name. They played gigs without much success. Atkins left in 1974 and he was replaced by Rob Halford. They signed with Gull Records. They added guitarist Glenn Tipton. The 1974 album Rocka Rolla and their European tour didn't go well. Things improved when they signed with Columbia Records in 1977. Deep Purple's Roger Glover produced the 1977 album Sin After Sin. And this was followed by the successful 1978 album Killing Machine. Plus it looked like drummer Les Binks was worth keeping. Judas Priest is known for a revolving door of drummers. But with success Judas Priest went in a more commercial direction. Binks didn't like that and he left. Dave Holland from Trapeze joined and he remained for several years. Though the 1980 album British Steel was more radio friendly, it didn't alienate the Judas Priest fanbase. Living After Midnight was probably the biggest hit from that album. Working with producer Tom Allom, Judas Priest found a formula that worked and they stuck with it through the 80s. All of their albums went at least Platinum and they were a huge concert draw. They started to fade when they added synthesizers for the 1988 album Ram It Down. Holland left the band at this time. Then Halford left in 1992. One would think that losing their lead singer would end Judas Priest and they did go on hiatus until they returned in 1997 with new lead singer Tim "Ripper" Owens from a Judas Priest tribute band. Meanwhile, Halford released three albums for Epic with his new band Fight. After Epic dropped them, he formed Halford in 2000. This budget comp covers Judas Priest's 80s music. Halford returned to Judas Priest in 2003 and he still leads them today. K.K. Downing retired in 2011. Judas Priest released a new CD last year and they continue to tour. They have certainly had longevity. Here's the video for Living After Midnight by Judas Priest.


  1. Persistence pays off. They kept at it until they had success. Good for them. I still like their big hit "You "got Another Thing Coming". Heard that a lot when I was young.

  2. They just needed a record company that believed in them and knew how to sell them. They were never going to have a top ten pop hit. Columbia accepted that and that was the key. Producers Roger Glover and Tom Allom were a big part of that too. And BTW, they never had a top 20 pop hit. And they didn't need it.

  3. Thanks for the information about them Frank. Your right they never needed a top 10 or 20 hit. They had so many hardcore fans out there, and still do. I am not one of them. Just like some of their songs.