We’ve celebrated a lot of metal and hard rock anniversaries here on TG, and there have been plenty of them over the past year or two.
Three of thrash metal’s greatest albums, Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Megadeth’s Peace Sells, and Slayer’s Reign in Blood turned twenty-five last year, and the peak of Judas Priest, Screaming For Vengeance, just hit the thirty year mark.
Metallica have indeed done so much for metal and will go down in history as one of the genre’s most important bands, but Iron Maiden and Priest are the foundation that so many bands are built on, and long before metal was being played on MTV or was acceptable to regular music fans, Priest had hit their peak with the Vengeance album.
Vengeance has their most well known song, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin,'” but it’s also got so many other great songs like “The Hellion / Electric Eye,” “Bloodstone,” (One of my all time favorite Priest jams), “Take These Chains,” which has one of Rob Halford’s most impassioned vocal performances, and so much more.
It’s also got a great guitar sound, thanks to producer Tom Allom who was the engineer on the first three Black Sabbath albums. British Steel may arguably be Priest’s best album, but again, Vengeance is the band at the peak of its power. So yeah, it’s fun to watch Heavy Metal Parking Lot because it’s so true, and brings back a lot of memories of my metal parking lot days, but I also recommend you check out their Live Vengeance DVD to see how great Priest were in the live arena.
In those days, you couldn’t lip synch everything live, and a metal band had to prove they could reproduce the album onstage, or they were nothing. Metal bands didn’t get radio play, MTV wouldn’t touch ’em for years, so they had to hit the road build their fanbases from the ground up.
This show, which was filmed in ’82 on the Vengeance tour in Memphis, not only proves that Priest could absolutely deliver live, but that Halford is also one of the best singers and frontmen in metal history. Like Freddie Mercury, he had the audience in the palm of his hand, and had total command over the stage, not to mention he could sing like a mofo.
So if you haven’t heard Screaming For Vengeance or any of the other classic Priest albums like British Steel, Stained Class and Unleashed in the East, get on it due speed. Without Priest and Maiden, a lot of great metal never would have come to pass, and we metalheads are very grateful they laid the foundation for what was to come.