Saxon & Black Star Riders
There are few heavy metal bands that have managed to scale the heights that Judas Priest have during their nearly 40 year career. Their presence and influence remains at an alltime high as evidenced by 2008's 'Nostradamus' being the highest charting album of their career, a 2010 Grammy Award win for 'Best Metal Performance', being a VH1 Rock Honors recipient, and playing to capacity crowds throughout 2011 and 2012 on their Epitaph Tour they are about to release their 17th studio album 'Redeemer of Souls' through Epic Records.
Judas Priest originally formed in the early '70s in Birmingham, England (an area that many feel birthed heavy metal). Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, K.K. Downing and Ian Hill would be the nucleus of musicians (along with several different drummers over the years) that would go on to change the face of heavy metal. After a 'feeling out' period of a couple of albums, 1974's 'Rock Rolla' and 1976's 'Sad Wings of Destiny' this lineup truly hit their stride the result was a quartet of albums that separated Priest from the rest of the hard rock pack 1977's 'Sin After Sin', 1978's 'Stained Class' and 'Hell Bent for Leather' and 1979's 'Unleashed In The East' which spawned such metal anthems as 'Sinner', 'Diamonds and Rust', 'Hell Bent for Leather', and 'The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)'. Also, Priest were one of the first metal bands to exclusively wear leather and studs– a look that began during this era and would eventually be embraced by metal heads throughout the world.