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SAD WINGS OF DESTINY

     "I tend to look upon SAD WINGS OF DESTINY as being our first proper Judas Priest album."
- Glenn Tipton, HEAVY DUTY official biography, 1984

     "l think the album SAD WINGS OF DESTINY was where we started to figure out what Judas Priest was all about. Or at least it gave a hint as to where we were headed."
- Rob Halford, Guitar World, September 2004

     "For some reason, SAD WINGS OF DESTINY still manages to touch people in a really profound way. I think SAD WINGS OF DESTINY was like Priest's Sgt. Pepper or our Led Zeppelin II."
- Rob Halford, Revolver, September 2003

 

BAND MEMBERS:


Judas Priest L-R:
Robert Halford: Vocals
Alan Moore: Drums
Ian Hill: Bass Guitar
Glenn Tipton: Guitars, Piano
K.K. Downing: Guitars

Management: David Corke, Tramp Entertainments
Agent: Neil French

ALBUM:

Victim Of Changes The Ripper
Dreamer Deceiver Deceiver
Prelude Tyrant Genocide
Epitaph Island Of Domination
  • Released March 23, 1976 by Gull Records (UK Cat. # GULP 1015) and Ovation Records (US Cat. # GULP 1751)

  • Reissued in 1978 by Victor Entertainment/JVC (JPN Cat. # VIP-6553)
  • Reissued in 1983 by RCA Corporation USA (US Cat. # AYL1-4747) and RCA Corporation Japan (JPN Cat. #
  • RPL-2125)

Produced by Jeffery Calvert, Max West (aka: Geraint Hughes), and Judas Priest
Engineered by Jeffery Calvert, Dave Charles, and Chris Tsangarides
Recorded at Rockfield Studios, Whales, November/December, 1975
Mixed at Morgan Studios, London, December, 1975 with
special thanks to Martin, Lindsay and Mike

Certification: RIAA Gold November 10, 1989
Chart position:
UK #48

SINGLES:

  • The Ripper/Island Of Domination released in March 1976 by Gull Records (Cat. # GULS 31)

ARTWORK:

Art Director: John Pasche - Gull Graphics Group
Cover Concept: Neil French
Sleeve Painting: Patrick Woodroffe
Photographs: Lorentz Gullachsen
Ian Hill Photo: Alan Johnson

 
 
Artist a
gent Neil French held quite a number of odd jobs in his youth, from being a rent collector in Birmingham to an apprentice bull fighter in Spain, as well as a waiter, artist and even pornographer, before he became world-renown as an ad agent:
 

     "I wasn't much good at anything else. I wanted to be a top-flight matador, but was utterly useless; I wanted to be a pop-star, but didn't have the vocal range or the looks; I wanted to be a millionaire agent, but kept making dumb decisions and missing the opportunities. All the other jobs were just jobs. I was as surprised as anyone was when I found I could write ads!"
- Neil French, P&C magazine

While a millionaire agent gig didn't come to fruition, French did handle Judas Priest at this juncture of their career, and part of his duties to help get the band known was to come up with a captivating concept for the album cover and title to their sophomore release. Neil also had a good understanding of Priest's vision for the dramatic and when he presented his ideas to Gull Records' head David Howells, Howells had a 1975 watercolor painting of a fallen angel in the flames of hell commissioned from artist Patrick James Woodroffe to grace the cover:
 

     "The painting was done by a guy named Patrick Woodroffe. It was commissioned for that album. The head of Gull Records actually has the painting on the wall of his office. It is a classic album cover - one of the all time classics."
- Ian Hill, Classic Rock Revisited, January 2002

     "Patrick has good memories of those times. Dave Howells, who commissioned the image, was the first person Patrick had ever seen using a mobile phone."
-
Grant Bucknell, Patrick Woodroffe website

     "I feel at home in my own imagery. I live in a world of my own, a planet with portraits and landscapes far too pretty to be called 'modern' art. My TEXT & IMAGES, which come just from my memories and my imagination, are nearly always limited to optimism. Tragic stories and ugly imagery never make me happy..."
- Patrick Woodroffe


Patrick Woodroffe

Woodroffe was born in 1940 in Halifax, Yorkshire, England. Interestingly, he has a language degree from Leeds University, yet no training in painting nor writing, the two fields he pursued professionally as the creator of TEXT & IMAGES in 1972! After graduating from Leeds University in 1964, Patrick has lived in Cornwall, England ever since.

Patrick's SAD WINGS OF DESTINY painting went on to become one of the all-time masterpiece legends among rock album cover art, and Neil French's award-winning concept actually helped French break into future advertising jobs in England. But the large tax bill Neil ran up while working for Priest brought the Inland Revenue after him, so he fled to the Far East, where his real career as an award-winning ad writer and film director began! Now one of the most well known creative directors in the world, French has worked for ad agencies in Asia, Europe and America and won over 500 international awards for his work!

 
1976 logo                                                     1972 logo

Art direction for SAD WINGS OF DESTINY was overseen by Gull Records' John Pasche, who had developed the sleeve and logo for the band's ROCKA ROLLA debut. For SAD WINGS OF DESTINY, John gave the band's logo a much needed update more befitting their image. Using an Old English, gothic-style typeset, the logo looked quite similar to an earlier version from 1972, but with a medieval touch (note how the P looks like the helmet of a knight for example) and topped off with a devil's tail. It was a brilliant blend of British majesty and Gothic sinister-ness that illustrated the name of JUDAS PRIEST quite distinctly.

Woodroffe's cover painting also introduced the band's infamous symbol in the form of a pendant hanging from the fallen angel's neck. The symbol would later re-appear on the covers for DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH, PAINKILLER, METAL WORKS, and THE RE-MASTERS series, as well as on several of the band's merchandise items and their 2004 United tour stage set. The origin of the symbol remains a mystery at this point, as even the artist himself has forgotten...

          "The work is so far away that I don't remember where I found that symbol, which I think is of Egyptian origin - before Christianity. Not sure."
- Patrick Woodroffe, May 2004

Both Glenn and Rob have referred to the symbol as the "devil's pitchfork", and while the Priest symbol does bear quite a resemblance to a pitchfork, it has officially been called the 'Judas Priest cross' by management, promoters and merchandisers.

CD REISSUES:

Judas Priest are quick to warn that most of the reissues are sub-standard rehashes with nothing new to offer.

     "They're flooding the market with re-releases of those albums. It's the same stuff, but they keep repackaging it and presenting it in different formats. The whole thing's just a con and we really look down on that."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

Below is a chart of the most noted of the reissue CDs (Thanks to Chris of the Judas Priest Collector's Page for CD listings and pictures). All except for the Victor/JVC 20-Bit K2 remaster have background hiss and feature very similar audio (as they all appear to use the RCA digital remaster), with variations only in volume and EQ. A Listening Guide is provided in the chart along with personal recommendations as an aid in finding a match to your personal preference. After finding the version you want, try searching for this rare title at the Global Electronic Music Marketplace:
SAD WINGS OF DESTINY AT

Label, Year Catalog No. Audio Notes Front cover remains originalPackaging Notes Listening Guide/Recommendations

 

RCA Corporation

USA

1988

4747-2-R

The copyright shows 1983, Gull Records. This is when RCA licensed the release, but the CD was produced by RCA in 1988

 

Digital Series Coordinator: Don Wardell
Digital Producer: Susan Ruskin
Digitally remastered by: Rick Rowe

This is the original remaster to digital format

Original front cover; generic back cover

BMG Distribution

The initial remastering keeps this release sounding close to the original, but "flat" compared to later releases and there is a fair amount of hiss

Not as recommended as some of the other releases

Repertoire Records

Germany

1983

REP 4552-WY

 

It is unknown who produced this remaster, but it is a popular version preferred by many  

Original front and back graphics, but the front title lettering style differs slightly, and on the back cover "Dreamer Deceiver" is mis-titled as "Dream Deceiver"

Picture disc

 

Stronger mids give this more of an authentic '70s sound and "classic" feel closer to the original master, but hiss still remains

While non of the remastered versions have done a proper job, this one is still highly recommended and is my personal favorite - it remains one of the most faithful in audio and packaging

Teichiku Records

Japan

1992

TECP-25386

Information not known at this time  

Most authentic original front and back LP graphics

OBI packaging

 

Review pending

Packaging on this release is the most faithful to the original LP

Transluxe Records

USA

1995

57802-2

 

 

Digitally mastered by Bob Fisher at Digital Domain

 

Different front cover layout, logo and title style; back cover unknown

Compression and scooped mids smoothes out the highs and adds better consistency, but creates a lack of volume and energy and takes away from the authentic sound of the original

Has a solid low end without getting boomy, but again, the hiss still remains

This is recommended for its consistent audio, but is not as energetic and faithful as some of the other releases

Snapper Music

UK

1998

SMMCD562

 

 

 

It is unknown who produced this remaster or if it was purchased from Repertoire, since it uses the same audio mix. but it is a popular version preferred by many

 

Original front and back graphics

Picture disc

A digipack version (SDPCD120) was reissued on Snapper Classics in 2003

 

Stronger mids give this more of an authentic '70s sound and "classic" feel closer to the original master, but hiss still remains

While non of the remastered versions have done a proper job, this one is still highly recommended and is my personal favorite - it remains one of the most faithful in audio and packaging

This is highly recommended as it uses the same audio as the Repertoire

Koch Reissues

USA

2000

8067

 

 

 

Dave Nives produced this reissue

Another popular version due to its relative availability on store shelves and perceived "fuller" sound

 

Reissue package by Koch's Brad Wrolstad

Front cover has different title lettering style; generic back cover

Picture disc

 

Boosted high and low end gives lots of volume and energy, but tends to sound a bit boomy and raspy as well, plus the usual hiss still remains

I personally do not like to recommend this because it has too much of a "modernized" sound that departs too far from the vibe of the original, however, many like that "fuller" sound

Victor Entertainment

Japan

2002

VICP-61651

 

 

Digitally remastered using the JVC 20-Bit K2 Super Coding System with 128 times over-sampling, high resolution analog to digital converter, and down-sampling to CD without loss of low-level information

 

Original front cover graphics and detailed liner notes; back cover unknown

 

20-Bit K2 provides hiss-free and clearer audio without sampling distortion - allows the listener to hear ever subtle sonic nuance in the music

Very highly recommended if you have the funds and can locate a copy

APRIL 1975: Priest appear on TV

With a debut album now under their belt for over a year, Judas Priest are able to get a couple of important breaks in their career. Though the album had done poorly, the band got to appear in April on the Old Grey Whistle Test BBC TV program where they performed the title single "Rocka Rolla" and introduced a two song epic called "Dreamer Deceiver"/"Deceiver".


     "It was funny because in those days, the BBC got very set ideas of how loud you should be really, and I always remember when we did the Old Grey Whistle Test, they were literally walking around to the audience and giving them earplugs to start with! There was a limit to how high - you couldn't go up to number 11 - it was about number 4 you know? And of course we were trying to play heavy metal without the volume to get sufficient sustain on the guitars... It was that simple - you either turn down or you couldn't perform... But we battled on, we got through, and when we got to the set, we managed to turn up a little bit more!"
- Glenn Tipton, METAL WORKS video, 1993

     "Climbing into the van - gear in the back - we would hurtle up and down the M1 motorway in the UK - or get a ferry (emptying the bar whilst underway!!) battling force 10 gales across the English Channel or the North Sea in the middle of winter - making a date with many an unsuspecting TV studio!! One vivid recollection was a performance on the BBC's OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST where the even older TV camera and sound guys placed carpets over the 4 x 12 cabs and put up a sign with 'Get your earplugs here'...! Looking back at that footage, you would never know!!!
- Rob Halford, ELECTRIC EYE DVD booklet, 2003

     "I could always get very emotionally involved with "Dreamer Deceiver". Glenn did this, what I consider to be, a phenomenal lead break. It would some nights choke me up, I mean it was THAT good!"
- John Hinch, Insight Series interview, 1995

The OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST videos are currently available on the ELECTRIC EYE DVD 2003 Sony Music Entertainment/Columbia Music Video (UK Cat. # 2021939, US Cat. # CVD 51411)

AUGUST 1975: First major concert at Reading Festival

After this came more dates at the renowned Marquee Club in London which led to the band being invited to appear at the prestigious Reading Festival in August, where Priest made perhaps the biggest impact of their career up to that point.

     "The Reading Festival was the first major event that brought us to the attention of the world's press and it allowed us to show people that we were definitely worth watching for the future. It was a great showcase gig and was particularly useful in terms of people going back to places like Japan and America and talking about the band."
- Rob Halford, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

SEPTEMBER 1975: Hinch leaves, Moore returns

Now that the band were making an impression, it was time to take things to the next level, but that meant cutting out dead weight, so in early September the band released John Hinch for what Glenn Tipton called "musical inadequacies" ("John Hinch couldn't even play the drums, believe you me.") and K.K. claims the reason they even kept John was that he had a van and could drive! Hinch claims it was he who left the band because he had damaged his thumb when he and Glenn got into a fight with some other guys at a club and one of the guys bit into Hinch's thumb. Whatever the case may be, John never joined another band, instead choosing a career in management handling the business affairs of artists such as Jameson Raid, Uli John Roth, and Zeno.

The next month, former drummer Alan Moore returned from his stint with Sundance with whom he had recorded one album, 1974's Rain Steam Speed. After a short three-hour rehearsal, Alan played his first show on October 11 at London's Slough College.

NOVEMBER 1975: Sessions begin

With Priest's Gull Records debut a disappointment (as well as an eye-opening learning experience for the band), it was time to spread their wings and chart their own destiny. 1975 had been a successful year on the live circuit, culminating in an attention-getting appearance at the Reading Festival during the summer. The new songs Priest presented were an exciting departure from the ROCKA ROLLA album, heavier and more dramatic - "light and shade" as they now call it. To stand out from the rest of the rising heavy metal pack, Priest were now adding an element of drama to their songs and crafting what many consider the most definitive work of any heavy metal band to date, yet, ironically, the members of Judas Priest did not want to be thought of as merely a "heavy" band at the time; they had a message and a dramatic presentation to share:

     "We don't like to be called heavy; we'd rather be thought of as a dramatic band. After all, we've got a great stage act... For SAD WINGS OF DESTINY, we could have gone all out and recorded ten raucous tracks. We didn't. We laid down 'Epitaph' for example, which is slow and mellow. A variation. But onstage, it must be said, we just let rip. Physically smash the kids' eardrums in, you know?
     "We've all got this opinion about the world today, you see. We're aware that, at some time, a big change is going to come. With SAD WINGS OF DESTINY, we're telling people to enjoy life, but at the same time be prepared for something that could happen. Tracks like 'Genocide', 'Tyrant', 'Epitaph' and 'Prelude' seem to us to follow this idea through - they act as possible preludes to this change... During the last few months - the past three or four weeks in particular - news reports have become very depressing; programs like 'World In Action' and 'Panorama' always seem to be prophesizing mankind's doom in one way or another..."
- Glenn Tipton, Sounds, May 8, 1976

     "We don't want to be set up as prophets or disciples; we're just five aware guys stuck in the middle of a lot of complacent people. Now everybody enjoys life, but we think it should be brought to people's attention that, at any moment, we could all be wiped out... We're far from being pessimists. First and foremost, we're a rock band and our priority is to record a rock album. If we can include a message on it as well, then all well and good.
     "SAD WINGS OF DESTINY has got a bit of a concept to it, but when we started to record it we didn't really intend for it to be anything more than a regular rock album. By the time we finished it, however, and we stood back and looked - lo and behold, there it was. The album flowed freely and easily - had an overall feel to it.
     "Because Rodger Bain produced our first album, we're supposed to be a heavy group. Admittedly, some of our music is heavy, but that's because we like to go onstage and create excitement, to come on a bit loud and play what people class as heavy music. But on our albums we try to show that we can do other things and be subtle. But even so, we can't have too much of a mixture.
     "We may come from in and around the city, but we're not all ex-factory workers and we don't go around biting the heads of chickens!"
- Rob Halford, Sounds, May 8, 1976

With ROCKA ROLLA, Priest were still coming together as a band (Glenn having only been with the band for a few weeks at the time), thus, their debut reflected their influences (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath...) more than their originality. They were also intimidated by their new label situation, willing to go along with Gull Records' vision and presentation of the band in order to be able to get a record out on the market, but they were not satisfied with the handling and end results of their first album release. And while influences such as Queen would still come through on songs like "Epitaph", the guys had learned from their initiation experience and took charge of how their sophomore album was produced and recorded when they entered Rockfield Studios in November:

     "I don't believe there are any musicians who weren't playing other people's stuff when they were just starting out. On one hand, you need lots of exercise, I mean both musical and on-stage, and on the other hand you also have to make a living. That, at that time was nothing but reproducing and if you can do both of them well enough, to a certain extent, you can both accumulate touring experience and work on your abilities. This drags on for a while, until you suddenly realize, 'Now I've made it far enough to be able to purely express what I want and think'. I mean, that's also the actual turning point in the life of a rock musician. Suddenly you're not content with what you're doing anymore, you want to do your own thing but you aren't famous enough to make a living out of it. Even with our LPs you can see the exact same problem. Our first LP, ROCKA ROLLA, still shows our indecision very clearly. But the results, not very well-seen according to sales, were positive, and gave us the strength and will to do it exactly the way we want it, now on our second LP. This is our own individual music, it carries our stamp, and there are no more compromises. People may like us or not - it doesn't matter to us anymore!"
- Glenn Tipton, Fachblatt Music Magazine, September 1976

     "I think we all felt that the material on the first album was good and strong, but it just wasn't recorded properly. I suppose we must have been a bit naive at the time, but the attitudes of the people that were supposed to be in charge - the producer and the engineer - weren't on the right track...The situation had improved by the time we did the second album and I still think that Sad Wings Of Destiny was a great record. It was about a hundred times better than the first album, from a production point of view, and it shows that we were far more in control of what was going on. In a way, you have to go through problems when you're starting out because that's how you learn what you should and shouldn't do. You also realize that you can never allow yourself to be at anyone else's mercy."
- Ian Hill, Turbo Fax, 1986

     "We were a bit lost in the studio when we did our first album, but when we recorded Sad Wings Of Destiny, I think we really started to get off as a triumvirate."
- Glenn Tipton, Atlantis Online, May 7, 1986

     "We definitely took more interest ourselves from the mechanical side of putting things down on tape. On the first LP we didn't really have a clue what was going on, to be perfectly truthful. There were people twiddling knobs, doing this, that and the other. But by Sad Wings Of Destiny, we'd got more experience and we'd seen what could happen if we didn't oversee everything."
- Ian Hill, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

     "Quite frankly, we'd rather forget Rocka Rolla. I'd only joined the band when we went into the studio to record it. I was still a little shaky and it didn't work out too well... We were also landed with the wrong image with that album. If it had worked out properly it would have made us a lot of money; it didn't and now it's a joke."
- Glenn Tipton, Sounds, May 8, 1976

     "Rodger Bain produced it, and while not wishing to slag him off or anything, he did a far from top-notch job. Sad Wings Of Destiny was produced by us, Jeff Calvert and Max West, and everything worked out so much better. In fact, we'd like to start a campaign to get everyone to burn their copy of Rocka Rolla. It's not very good at all... As far as we're concerned, Sad Wings Of Destiny is our first album. It's us, it's what we're about. Hopefully, our second LP - or is that our third? - will be even better."
- Rob Halford, Sounds, May 8, 1976

     "Roger Bain did the first album and obviously we didn’t use him again. We went with Max West and Jeffery Calvert. They were riding high at the time on the pop charts in England. They had done a pop song pretending to be Jamaicans. The song was called 'I Want To Go To Barbados' and the band was called Typically Tropical. Everybody thought they were black soul artists and of course they are not. One is Welsh and the other is a London/Jewish guy. They were great in the studio and we used them as the production team. The difference is noticeable to say the least! The band became more prolific ...it was a learning curve. We were all getting more professional, and it shows to a huge degree on the second album. It wasn’t just the production, it was the performances themselves too."
- Ian Hill,
Classic Rock Revisited, January 2002

     "The only reason SAD WINGS OF DESTINY sounded the way that it did was because we were playing that way. We still yet hadn't figured out what the fuck we were gonna do, so we were just trying to come up with anything. Well that's what we came up with."
- K.K. Downing, 1988

     "SAD WINGS OF DESTINY was pretty much what we were trying to achieve with ROCKA ROLLA; it's just that we had problems with the first album in trying to make it work the way we wanted it to."
- Rob Halford, 1983

 

Max West and Jeffery Calvert (aka: Typically Tropical)



Jeff mixes while Dave Charles and K.K. Downing look on



Glenn lays down some acoustic guitar while...



Rob awaits his cue...

As Priest found themselves involved in the recording process, an interesting relationship was formed during the sessions that would play a pivotal role some 25 years later: A young engineer assistant, Chris Tsangarides, was forced to take over for engineer Dave Charles who called in sick one day:

     "...I was tape-op on Judas Priest's second album and the engineer got taken sick and they said 'Go on then, carry on.' I didn't know what I was doing but I jumped in and carried on — it was sink or swim and luckily I swam, or at least floated!"
- Chris Tsangarides,
Sound On Sound, July, 2001


Chris Tsangarides at
the Morgan Studios
mixing board circa 1975

SAD WINGS OF DESTINY turned out a well-received album with a defining classic sound that carries to this day as one of Priest's best works, with several of the tunes inducted as regular staples in the Priest live setlist. The album also received critical acclaim from the media and did much better in sales than the debut effort. Fans began to increase at the shows as many felt Sad Wings Of Destiny was the best heavy metal album since Black Sabbath's first release.

Things seemed to be looking up for the band, and in terms of popularity and stardom, the sky was the limit. But in terms of financial support, it seemed the gutter would be their future as Gull Records refused to come through with any kind of financial support for the band. In fact, the label even left the band on a less-than-shoestring budget in the studio:

     "We'd barely got enough money to buy food. We used to be allowed one meal at the studios and that was all."
- Glenn Tipton, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984


Now remember guys, that's your meal for the day! Cheers.

     "The label didn't do a thing because they were basically into signing a band, getting them to record for the smallest amount of money possible, and if the album worked, then all was well and good."
- K.K. Downing, HEAVY DUTY official biography, 1984

     "By then we'd reached the stage where we'd got no cash flow at all. Gull couldn't even give us existence money. We asked them for a pittance, just to tide us over, but they turned us down. So we were forced to either take jobs or rely on social security from the government, in order for us to be able to carry on writing and rehearsing. It almost looked as though we might have to break up completely."
- Glenn Tipton,
HEAVY DUTY official biography, 1984

But taking up jobs was not an acceptable option (as Glenn once said, "The best advice I never took was 'Get a job' "!), though the members were forced to do so for a short while. Glenn took a gardening job, Ian drove vans, and K.K. took a "job" in a factory:

     "I got a job through a friend who said, 'I know a factory where you can do some casual labor. All you have to do is hide - go into the basement and play cards or whatever.' I ended up getting fifteen pounds a day, which was unreal because I'd never been so wealthy in my life...and I never did a stroke of work! But I knew I wouldn't be happy until Priest had made it. From the very beginning, my goal was to find success with the band no matter how hard it might be. I think we all felt the same way because it wasn't something that we could suddenly give up."
- K.K. Downing,
HEAVY DUTY official biography, 1984

LYRICS AND LEAD BREAKS:

Victim Of Changes The Ripper Dreamer Deceiver Deceiver Prelude Tyrant Genocide Epitaph Island Of Domination

 

1. Victim Of Changes
Downing/Halford/Tipton/Atkins
1st lead: K.K.; 2nd lead: Glenn
Performed live in: 1973-2002, 2004-2005 (For the dates before Rob joined it was performed under the title "Whiskey Woman")
Available live versions: Unleashed In The East (1979), Judas Priest Live (Video 1983, DVD 2004), '98 Live Meltdown (1998), Live In London (Video 2002, audio 2003), Metal Works (1993), Reading Festival and Slough College (bootleg, 1975),
Long Beach Sports Arena, California (broadcast bootleg, 1984), Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut (broadcast bootleg, 1988), US Festival (1983)

An important development on Sad Wings Of Destiny was the defining song "Victim Of Changes". Rob has considered it the benchmark which all their other songs would be measured against in the future. The main body of the song without the slower ending was originally known as "Whiskey Woman" (written by Priest's first singer Al Atkins) and was the band's opening song from 1972 through 1975, when some changes were made and the song was ready to be put on Sad Wings Of Destiny. At one point, former drummer John Hinch recalls a different dual-guitar intro than the now famous one. In fact, as John hums the original intro on his Insight Series interview (found on The Best Of Judas Priest - Insight Series), it is interesting to note that it is what became the intro for the unreleased song "Mother Sun". Another change was that Rob Halford added the softer end passage, which was taken from a song he wrote called "Red Light Lady" while with his former band Hiroshima.

     "'Victim Of Changes' - that's essentially what Priest is all about."
-
Rob Halford, Heavy Duty official biography, 1984

     "Probably one of the all time classic Judas Priest songs."
- Rob Halford, Metal Works liner note, 1993

Whiskey woman don't you know that you are drivin' me insane
The liquor you give stems your will to live and gets right to my brain
Don't you know you're driving me insane
You're tryin' to find your way through life
You're tryin' to get some new direction
Another woman got her man
She won't find no new connection
Takes another drink or two, things look better when she's through

Take another look around, you're not goin' anywhere
You've realized you're gettin' old and no one seems to care
You're tryin' to find your way again
You're tryin' to find some new...
Another woman's got her man
But she won't find a new...
Takes another drink or two, things look better when she's through

You been foolin' with some hot guy
I want to know why is it, why?
Get up, get out, you know you really blew it
I've had enough, I've had enough, good God, pluck me

Al Atkins version of "Whiskey Woman" has the line:
I've had enough, I've had enough, good God could she bring it

The following lines are from Rob Halford's "Red Light Lady":

Once she was wonderful
Once she was fine
Once she was beautiful
Once she was mine...she was mine

Now change has come over her body, she doesn't see me anymore
Now change has come over her body, she doesn't see me anymore

Changes, changes
Victim of changes

2. The Ripper
Tipton
Lead: Glenn
Performed live in: 1975-1983, 1988, 1990-1991, 1998, 2000-2002, 2004-2005
Available live versions: Unleashed In The East (1979), Judas Priest Live (Video 1983), '98 Live Meltdown (1998), Live In London (Video 2002, audio 2003), Reading Festival and Slough College (bootleg, 1975), New York City Palladium (bootleg, 1977),
 Long Beach Sports Arena, California (broadcast bootleg, 1984), New Haven Coliseum, Connecticut (broadcast bootleg, 1988), Halford, Nagoya, Japan (bootleg, 2000)

You're in for surprise
You're in for a shock
In London town streets
When there's darkness and fog
When you least expect me
And you turn your back
I'll attack

I smile when I'm sneaking
Through shadows by the wall
I laugh when I'm creeping
But you won't hear me at all
All hear my warning
Never turn your back
On the ripper

You'll soon shake with fear
Never knowing if I'm near
I'm sly and I'm shameless
Nocturnal and nameless
Except for "The Ripper"
Or if you like, "Jack The Knife"

Any back alley street
Is where we'll probably meet
Underneath a gas lamp
Where the air's cold and damp

I'm a nasty surprise
I'm a devil in disguise
I'm a footstep at night
I'm a scream and a fright

3. Dreamer Deceiver
Downing/Halford/Tipton
Lead: Glenn
Performed live in: 1975
Available live versions: The Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC TV, 1975 and ELECTRIC EYE video 2003), Reading Festival and Slough College (bootleg, 1975)

Standing by my window, breathing summer breeze
Saw a figure floating, 'neath the willow tree

Asked us if we were happy, we said we didn't know
Took us by the hands and up we go

We followed the dreamer through the purple hazy clouds
He could control our sense of time
We thought we were lost but no matter how we tried
Everyone was in peace of mind

We felt the sensations drift inside our frames
Finding complete contentment there
And all the tensions that hurt us in the past
Just seemed to vanish in thin air

He said in the cosmos is a single sonic sound
That is vibrating constantly
And if we could grip and hold on to the note
We would see our minds were free...oh they're free

We are lost above
Floating way up high
If you think you can find a way
You can surely try

4. Deceiver
Downing/Halford/Tipton
Lead: K.K.
Performed live in: 1975
Available live versions: The Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC TV, 1975 and ELECTRIC EYE video 2003), Reading Festival and Slough College (bootleg, 1975)

Solar winds are blowing
Neutron star controlling
All is lost, doomed and tossed, at what cost forever

Meteors fly around me
Comets die, and then they
And then they, you wanna see how they try to surround me
I can say, here today, we shall stay forever

If you want to find us in a hurry
Oh let me tell you don't you worry
I can't say, here today, we shall stay forever

5. Prelude
Tipton
Keys & Guitar: Glenn

Instrumental

6. Tyrant
Tipton/Halford
1st lead: Glenn; 2nd lead: Glenn & K.K. together
Performed live in: 1978-1981and by Halford in 2000-2002
Available live versions: Unleashed In The East (1979), Halford's Live Insurrection (2001), Palladium, New York (broadcast bootleg 1981)

     "I wouldn't say that there's no fantasy at all in our lyrics. Our lyrics are firmly bound to the present, but there's still a certain freedom in their organization which enables the listeners to include their own fantasy, their own experience, their environment. For example, I wrote a song with the title 'Tyrant'. In this piece I expressed my aversion towards any form of control, that is very concrete, but still the lyrics are chosen in such a way that the listener is able to find his own frustrations of this problem interpreted within this framework..."
- Rob Halford, Fachblatt Music Magazine, September 1976

Behold 'tis I the commander
Whose grip controls you all
Resist me not, surrender
I'll no compassion call

(Tyrant) Capture of humanity
(Tyrant) Conqueror of all
(Tyrant) Hideous destructor
(Tyrant) Every man shall fall

Your very lives are held within my fingers
I snap them and you cower down in fear
You spineless things who belly down to slither
To the end of the world you follow to be near

Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shackled we are bound
Freedom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned

I listen not to sympathy
Whilst ruler of this land
Withdraw your feeble aches and moans
Or suffer smite from this my hand

My legions faithful unto death
I'll summon to my court
And as you perish each of you
Shall scream as you are sought

7. Genocide
Tipton/Halford/Downing
Licks: Glenn/K.K./Glenn & K.K. together; lead: Glenn
Performed live in: 1978-1981and by Halford in 2000-2002
Available live versions: Unleashed In The East (1979), Halford's Live Insurrection (2001), Palladium, New York (broadcast bootleg 1981)

Mercenary battalions
Are poised to strike us down
Terminations conquest
Upon us now full grown

Save me, my heart's open wide
Help me, no question of pride
Save me, my people have died
Total genocide

Devastation hungers
She waits to leap to earth
Imminent liquidation
Before the grand rebirth

Sin after sin I have endured
Yet the wounds I bear are the wounds of love

Frantic mindless zombies
Grab at fleeting time
Lost in cold perplexion
Waiting for the sign
Generations tremble
Clinging face to face
Helpless situation
To end the perfect race

Flashing senseless sabers
Cut us to the ground
Eager for the life blood
Of all who can be found

Slice to the left, slice to the right
None to retaliate, none will fight
Chopping at the hearts, snuffing out the lives
This race departs, no one will survive
Heads to the feet, feet to the air
Souls in the soil, heavy in despair
End of all ends, body into dust
To greet death friends, extinction is a must

8. Epitaph
Tipton
Piano: Glenn

     "...As there are no places for children in our modern cities, there's also no place for the old. And it's simply frustrating for me to see how these old human beings are forced to live their lives. From these feelings developed the song 'Epitaph'. Besides, the lyrics and texts still have strong importance for me. The words have to mean something for me, they have to help me articulate my feelings. Just like Glenn can make you happy or sad with his guitar playing, it has to be exactly the same with the lyrics. The sound must express what is stated in their logical content.”
- Rob Halford, Fachblatt Music Magazine, September 1976
 

The old man's sitting there, his head bowed down
Every now and then he'll take a look around
And his eyes reflect the memory-pain of years gone by
He can't regain nostalgic dreams he'll never see again

With trembling hands, he wipes a tear
Many fall like rain, there's one for every year
And his life laid out so clearly now, life that's brought death
So nearly now life once he clung to dearly lets go

But spare a thought as you pass him by
Take a closer look and you'll say
He's our tomorrow, just as much as we are his yesterday

A lonely grave, and soon forgot
Only wind and leaves lament his mournful song
Yet they shout his epitaph out clear
For anyone who's passing near
It names the person lying here as you

And you...and you...and you.

9. Island Of Domination
Downing/Halford/Tipton
Licks: K.K.
Performed live in: 1975
Available live versions: Reading Festival (bootleg, 1975)

Beware of their coming
Take heed our time is near
Fatality relinquish not
Brutality in arms doth seek to destroy

They smashed through the clouds into the light of the moon
Their steeds were full charging, called destruction and doom
'Twas as if all hell had broke loose on this night
And all in all it was a terrible sight
Now we are taken unto the island of domination

We gotta get, we gotta get, we gotta get out of this place
There's a man with a needle who's pleading to get at my face
Hide me and hold me control free as best as you can
It's all becoming too much, I can't cope, for one man
Now we are taken unto the island of domination

Sky rider, supersonic flyer
Night driver, demon of desire
Spine snapper, tried your best to break us
Throat choker, thought that you could take us

The fright of your life, the fright of your life
The fright of your life is here guaranteed
This is no illusion confessing confusion, you're freed
Lashings of strappings with beatings competing to win
Oh what a mess I am blessed, dominations set in
Now we are taken unto the island of domination...

All songs published by Blue Lake Music

TOUR DATES 1975A:

Rob Halford - v, K.K. Downing - g, Glenn Tipton - g, Ian Hill - b, John Hinch - d

SETLIST (Orange titles are from the current album)

From the August 23 Reading Festival show:
Victim Of Changes
Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver
The Ripper
Mother Sun
Island Of Domination
Deep Freeze/K.K.'s Solo
Rocka Rolla/Glenn's Solo -
This version starts off with an intro that later became the intro to "Genocide". The full version is performed, with the last verse at the beginning and vocal vamps at the end, after which Glenn takes an extended guitar solo and then shares vocal duties with Rob in a rousing audience participation sing-along to conclude the set!

January - February Tour of Holland and Scandinavia.
DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
February 21 Main Hall Latfield England  
America's famous Motown Records (distributor of Gull Records titles in the US) set plans to push a remix of the "Rocka Rolla" single and put the band on tour in the States in May, but the deal falls through.

     "The Black Country sound - on Tamla Motown! That will be the result of a recent record deal in which Judas Priest signed with the famous Detroit label for the American market. This makes them the first British group ever to have been signed by Motown. It's a great deal as far as the band is concerned and they are now looking forward to their first tour of the States in May. Motown already have plans to issue 'Rocka Rolla' as a single in a remixed version in readiness for the tour.
     "In the meantime, the band have just finished a tour of Denmark, Norway, and
Sweden which went down exceptionally well and they are now preparing for a tour of Britain in March, calling
on Top Of The World, Stafford, on March 6 and playing their only other Midland date at Barbarellas in April."
- John Ogden, POP, 1974
March 4 The Steam Machine Hanley England  
March 6 Top Of The World Stafford England  
March 20 Cornwall Tech Cornwall England  
March 22 Liverpool Stadium Liverpool England With Gravy Train and Ray Phillips Woman


April 5 Johnson Hall Yeovil England Support from Tuesday and Sounds
April 12 Town Hall Birmingham England  
April 13 Barbarellas Birmingham England  
April 25 Old Grey Whistle Test Television Centre
BBC TV
London England Audio and video bootlegs exist

     The BBC Page on The Old Grey Whistle Test

     Host Bob Harris' Old Grey Whistle Test Page

 

You can hear horns during the TV performance of "Rocka Rolla" because another band at the OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST set decided to play along with the track for a laugh. The studio microphones picked it up and they were broadcast along with the performance. Presto - we got the only recording of Priest with horns! A studio backup performance was also recorded, as is standard practice, so audio bootlegs are available without the horns.

This video performance is available on the ELECTRIC EYE DVD 2003 Sony Music Entertainment/Columbia Music Video (UK Cat. # 2021939, US Cat. # CVD 51411)

But that wasn't the only bizarre event to surprise the band members on their first TV performance:


     "One vivid recollection was a performance on the BBC's OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST, where the even older TV camera and sound guys placed carpets over the 4 X 12 cabs and put up a sign with 'get your earplugs here'...! Looking back at that bit of footage, you would never know!"

- Rob Halford, ELECTRIC EYE DVD booklet, 2003

April 30 Marquee Club London England Cancelled
May 3 76 Club Burton on Trent England  
May 16 Marquee Club London England  
May 23 Poyton Civic Hall Poyton England  
June 5 The Highwayman Threapwood England  
June 14 Cloud Nine Redditch England  
June 20 Mayfair Ballroom Newcastle England  
June 27 Locarno Sunderland England  
June 28 City Hall St. Albans England  
July 5 Priority Hotel Scunthorpe England  
July 22 Cardiff Top Rank Cardiff England  
July 24 Cleopatras Derby England  
July 25 Regency Ballroom Derby England  
July 27 Winning Post Twitenham England  
July 29 Ivanhoes Yorkshire England  
August 2 Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone England  
August 3 Roundhouse London England With Babe Ruth and Stray
     "The Roundhouse in those days was a major venue for progressive music; heavy metal was still in its infancy at that time. But I recall that was one of our very first shows down there and it would have been one of the biggest shows we did in London at that time. I can remember that gig quite vividly: There used to be a guy down there called Jesus - he had really long hair and used to have a tambourine and used to be leaping about all during the show in the audience (not on the stage with us), but he was like a figure in London; everybody knew him. Everybody was stoned out of their minds. It was like the end of the hippie thing almost. People were trying to find what they were into and that, so you still got people there who were dressed like, you know, with the beads and everything else.
     "I guess we played mostly material from ROCKA ROLLA and probably some material that went onto the SAD WINGS OF DESTINY album afterwards. I can't recall the songs at the moment but I suppose it was 'Victim Of Changes', 'Rocka Rolla', 'Dying To Meet You', 'Never Satisfied', some songs that were never recorded, like 'Mother Sun' and 'Caviar And Meths'; songs that have never ever been recorded yet for one reason or another. They probably didn't fit into a particular album at the time."
- Rob Halford, 1983
August 7 Civic Hall Dunstable England  
August 9 Roundhouse Lodge Dagenham England  
August 14 Nagshead High Wicombe England  
August 15 Palace Newark England  
August 16 Casino Club Wigan England  
August 21 Hardrock Manchester England  
August 22 15th Annual Jazz & Blues Reading Festival, Thamside Arena Reading England Audio bootlegs exist


    

The Reading Festival website

National Jazz & Blues Festival pages

  


1975 Reading Festival ad

Before their set, John Hinch remembers how the band were very nervous to leave their dressing room and go on stage. No, it wasn't a case of stage-fright, but actually fear for their own safety - for you see, a band called Stella opened the three-day event, with Judas Priest following next, and the audience responded to Stella by throwing so many cans, bottles and other things at them that they had to quickly exit the stage! Fortunately the members of Judas Priest overcame their apprehension to this hostile crowd and took the stage, opening with "Victim Of Changes" -  this time to rapturous applause!

Last night, it seemed for a while that the only highlight was going to be a young lady in crutch throttling shorts, who flitted about the press arena. Stella, the first act to tread the virgin stage flopped. A three-piece from Durham, they produced a string of monotonous songs about nightmares, a lad who got his thrills wearing concrete boots, and a lunatic on holiday by the seaside. Adding to the atmosphere, the singer did chilling impersonations of Frankenstein's monster. The lead guitarist, who looked as if he had been involved in an argument with a lawn mower, plunked merrily away. "You get that crazy feeling you don't want to be a rock star", droned the singer during one number. Stella are certainly going the right way not to hit the lofty heights of stardom.

When Judas Priest appeared, things looked up. Lesson number one at a festival is to get the audience on their feet and clapping. Judas Priest have a commanding, self assured air. Lead singer Bob Halford, resplendent in medieval style jacket, had the audience in the palm of his hand. Following in the footsteps of Black Sabbath and Budgie, Judas Priest's music is as heavy as a ton of lead. Guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton set up a relentless assault - cutting across one another and then spiraling off individually. At one point K.K. launched off into a Hendrix style solo, sounds catapulting across from one set of speakers to the other. Strangely, the rhythm section seems to be lacking in the band. Bass and drums were drowned out, as Tipton and Downing thrashed away.
- Reading Evening Post, August 23, 1975

August 28 Winter Gardens Penzance England  
August 29 Blue Lagoon Ballroom Cornwall England  
Septemmber 5 Town Hall Watford England Support from Soon After
September 6 Links Pavilion Cromer England John Hinch's final show with Priest

TOUR DATES 1975B:

Rob Halford - v, K.K. Downing - g, Glenn Tipton - g, Ian Hill - b, Alan Moore - d

DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
October 11 Slough College London England Alan Moore's return to Priest;
Audio bootlegs exist
     "I'll introduce you to our new drummer 'Skip': A big round of applause, it's his first night. He's doing very well; he's only had three-hours rehearsal!"
- Glenn Tipton, following the performance of 'The Ripper' at Slough College, October 11, 1975
October 12 Roundhouse London England With Pink Fairies and Reds Whites & Blues
October 18 City Hall St. Albans England Support from Consortium
October 30 Dundee University Dundee Scotland  
October 31 Edinburgh University Edinburgh Scotland  
November 1 Glasgow University Glasgow Scotland  
November 5 Marquee London England  
November 14 Harrow College Harrow England  
November 15 Hitchin College Hitchin England  
December 5 Northcumberland College Northcumberland England  
December 7 Winning Post Twickenham England  
December 9 Ivanhoes Yorkshire England  
December 12 Coventry Tech Coventry England  
December 28 Roundhouse London England With Stray, U.F.O. and Strife

TOUR DATES 1976:

 Rob Halford - v, K.K. Downing - g, Glenn Tipton - g, Ian Hill - b, Alan Moore - d

The setlist is unknown

     "Since our successful stint at the Reading Festival last August there's been no looking back. We're on a headlining tour right now and doing very well. We've done all this with the minimum of exposure."
- Rob Halford, Sounds, May 8, 1976
    
British Tour with support from Jailbait
DATE VENUE CITY, STATE COUNTRY NOTES
April 6 The Plaza Truso England  
April 9 Corn Exchange Cambridge England  
April 12 Town Hall Birmingham England Support from Zipper Kids
April 14 Winter Gardens Malvern England  
April 17 City Hall St. Albans England  
April 18 Greyhound Croyden England  
April 25 Wayvern Theatre Swindon England  
April 30 Mayfair Ballroom Newcastle England  
May 4 King George's Hall Blackburn England  
May 6 Leeds Polytechnic Leeds England  
May 8 Harlow Technical College Essex England  
May 9 Civic Hall Guildford England  
May 11 Queensway Hall Dunstable England  
May 12 Kursaal ballroom Southend England  
May 13 Skindles Maidenhead England  
May 14 Slough University Slough England  
May 15 Thames Polytechnic Kent England  
May 27 New Victoria Theatre London England  
     "The first time I saw Judas Priest was at a venue called New Victoria in London and it was just after they released their second album Sad Wings Of Destiny, and at this point, Rob Halford was splendid in chiffon rather than being the leather studded maniac that we know and love, and numerous costume changes throughout the show - he used to scuttle on and off and come back in these various long-sleeve, beautifully kinda wind-swept creations. K.K. Downing had his Stetson on, couldn't really see very much of him at all, and the other guys - I don't know - I didn't really notice them at the time! I think I was transfixed by Rob and his beautiful guise."
- Geoff Barton (former Sounds writer and Managing Editor for Kerrang! and RAW), Metal Works video, 1993
May Drill Hall Lincoln England  
May Civic Hall Guildford England  
June 20 Roundhouse Theatre London England With Isotope and Alkatraz

Thanks go to Christophe Dassy of the French Metallian website for providing these tour dates and Anthony Zolota and Michael Liljhammer for additions
Tour dates also from the HEAVY DUTY official biography


2002-2003
Steel & Leather Productions, U.S.A.