BAPTIZM OF FIRE
"You have to believe in what you are. I'm thrilled to be playing heavy metal. It really does make me sick when I read
interviews with bands and they're turning their back on metal, just because
everyone else has been so mixed up with being alternative. There's no reason
heavy metal can't also be contemporary...I'm proud of what I've been able to
accomplish on Baptizm Of Fire. I'll play heavy metal until my dying day."
album was done for all the right reasons, because I didn't know whether
there would be a Priest or not. No delusions of grandeur or to be a solo
artist. I got such great encouragement from all the other artists. I can't
thank them enough..."
C.J. de Villar
Management: Bill Curbishley, Trinifold Management
Produced by Glenn Tipton and Mark Dodson
Enter The Storm/Himalaya released on CD in 1997 by Atlantic Recording
Corporation (US Cat. # PRCD 8092).
Cover Illustration: Mark Wilkinson
1992-1995: A new drummer? A new band??? Where it all started...
Now ten years later, and with the future of Judas Priest uncertain, the members took some time off to recover from the grueling Reno trial, the exhausting PAINKILLER world tour, and the devastating blow of Rob's departure. But Glenn Tipton, ever the workaholic who cannot stay away from making music for too long, began writing some personal material as far back as 1992, not quite sure of what the direction would be:
By 1995, things were looking dim for Judas Priest. They had not found a suitable singer as of yet, and with Rob Halford's Fight maintaining ground with two studio albums, an EP of live and re-mix tracks, and successful world tours, it seemed drummer Scott Travis might not be coming back as well. Glenn had been writing with drummer legend and good friend Cozy Powell, and now the thought of the songs being used for the next Priest album were becoming a very real possibility:
Cozy himself shared another interesting possibility as well:
Apparently, Glenn was preparing to stay active in heavy metal music, should Judas Priest decide to call it a day. The songs Glenn and Cozy were writing together almost become the beginnings of a whole new group!
As for the other musicians:
Cozy had a good track record with bassist Neil Murray, having recorded and toured together in such legendary bands as Whitesnake and Black Sabbath, as well working together in a few bands of their own, such as Cozy Powell's Hammer and Forcefield...
In 1995, John West was not as well-known yet. His claim to fame had not been recorded on any album, but he had replaced Badlands vocalist Ray Gillen in 1992 and toured with the band until their breakup. It is rumored that John then applied for the vocalist position in Judas Priest (he had previously applied to Iron Maiden), which is how he ended up in this possible new band lineup. But in 1996, Priest found Ripper Owens and ended any hopes of John singing with Glenn, so he moved on in the industry, contributing to other albums and tours, including doing all the vocals on Cozy Powell's ESPECIALLY FOR YOU release. He also recorded a couple of solo albums and is a member of the bands Artension and Royal Hunt. In 2002, John also recorded his third solo album, EARTH MAKER, with the help of Halford band mates Metal Mike Chlasciak and Bobby Jarzombek.
1995-1997: Puzzle pieces
The next move for Glenn Tipton was a puzzle in the making. Many pieces were coming into place, but not a full picture. Interest was beginning to pick up within the music industry and as Cozy had mentioned above, a Japanese deal was even closed. Atlantic Recordings Corporation Co-Chairman/Co-CEO, Val Azzoli, was interested as well in the developing collaboration. Through Judas Priest's American agency, Glenn was put in contact with Val, who offered Glenn valuable help to focus his ideas:
Part of Val's advice and support came in the form of a contract with Atlantic Records! Glenn was now signed to a major once again, so he called in longtime friend and engineer Mark Dodson (SIN AFTER SIN, DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH) to help record the developing songs.
Around this same time, the members of Judas Priest concluded to stay together (with Scott Travis still on board) and quickly discovered Ripper Owens to bring the band back from the ashes. This meant that Cozy would not be joining or writing for Judas Priest, nor would there be a new band for Glenn, so the songs he and Cozy had worked on were directed into a solo album for Glenn, with several well-known musicians recruited to inspire the writing and immortalize the results on tape...
And with the demise of a possible new band formation, John West had moved on to other pursuits, leaving Glenn still without a vocalist. One well-known British name did come up however, but did not pan out... Tipton had apparently invited Glenn Hughes to sing for him, but Hughes thought it was for a Judas Priest try out, which would not be a fit for him, so nothing ever came of the request:
Meanwhile, Glenn Tipton had laid down scratch vocals as a guide for the approach he was after, when it was discovered that perhaps he should revive a former talent from his early '70s Flying Hat Band days and do all the lead vocals himself:
Not everything came together all at once though. Indeed, this was a puzzle in the making, fit together piece-by-piece. And in early 1994, the Judas Priest vocalist auditions had to be put on hold while Glenn was fitting recording sessions around the world into his schedule:
The revival of Judas Priest also brought about another change of direction: Glenn had recorded enough material to complete two solo albums, but with Priest back in action, it was decided to release only one solo album and to keep the material distinct from Judas Priest:
As mentioned above, during the BAPTIZM OF FIRE sessions, Glenn had recorded enough material for a second solo album, but before Glenn could wrap up that second solo album, the members of Judas Priest decided to carry on. Glenn devoted his time and energies to the band and the recording of JUGULATOR. A successful world tour followed and a live album was released. Then, as time and commitments marched on, sadly, two other tragedies took place.
First, was the untimely death of Cozy Powell: On April 5, 1998, Cozy Powell was driving his SAAB 9000 at speeds in excess of 120 MPH, when he crashed into a center divider reservation barrier on the M4 motorway near Bristol, England. It was later determined that he had been using his car phone at the time of the accident. Powell was taken to a nearby hospital, but succumbed to his injuries, passing away at the age of 50.
The other tragedy occurred June 27, 2002, when John Entwistle was found dead at the age of 57 in his hotel room at the Las Vegas, Nevada Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the night before the Who were to embark on a U.S. tour. It was determined that John had compounded a bad heart condition with the use of cocaine, leading to a heart attack.
Glenn says he has to have a reason to do a solo album, not just for showing off, and with Priest recording and touring again, Glenn did not want to release the second solo album as a conflict of interests. But with the passing of both Cozy and John, Glenn feels there is now a purpose to put this second album out, once Glenn and Priest are able to make the time again. As Glenn reflected on the recent news about John's death, he shared the following:
As I lie awake in the morning
Paint It Black
I see a red door
3. Enter The Storm
Enter the storm
Fuel Me Up
Don't pass me by
(footnote: famous last sentiments which have unfortunately taken many from us at great loss.)
I am alive
So you've come of age
It depends on your point of view
Or Be Killed
The pacifist won't last
You can hear the thunder in the sky
You can live your life of ease
Cities in the sky
All songs Written and Arranged Glenn Tipton (© 1996 EMI Songs Ltd., ASCAP) except "Paint It Black, Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (© 1966, Renewed 1994 ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI)
Steel & Leather Productions, U.S.A.