If you’re a loyal reader of Dose of Metal, then you know one of our most exciting aspects of this site is our very own Friday Top 10. When composing a top 10 list for bands, we feel we’ve covered the most important bands ever: Metallica, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, and most recently, Black Sabbath. That being said, it would only make sense to include a certain band from Birmingham, England, to that list.
Regardless if you like them or not, Judas Priest are one of the greatest and most influential metal bands of all time. Fact. Rob Halford and the boys formed in 1969 and since have released 16 albums (7 or 8 of them are ranked absolute classics in the metal world).
Feel free to complain about ‘Breaking The Law,‘ ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin,‘ and other songs not making the list. Positive or negative comments are always welcomed here at Dose of Metal, so
bitch post away!
Okay, it’s that time again! So, make the jump….
#10 – The Ripper (1976)
“Never turn your back on the ripper!” What a song to open the Top 10 with! The song is about, well, you guessed it, Jack The Ripper, a serial killer from well over 100 years ago, when life was dull and boring. Anyway, ‘ The Ripper’ is a rather short song (under 3 minutes), but that doesn’t change the fact that it rocks hard and is essential to the Judas Priest catalog.
#9 – Sinner (1977)
Sinner is one of those songs which need to be performed at most Judas Priest shows. It’s just that good. ‘Sinner’ is the type of track that has it all: nice classic opening bluesy/ metal riff, some really killer solos, amazing vocal performance (Rob was clearly in his prime or just about to enter it). It’s an all around catchy song. Back to Rob Halford, his “Sinner!” yell/scream (whatever you want to call it) is my personal highlight from this song. “You will fail by the hand of the SINNER! SINNER!” – A very strong opener from the Sin After Sin record.
#8 – A Touch Of Evil (1990)
When people think of the Painkiller record, they think of it as their heaviest/fastest record to date — which, to be fair, it is. The song I chose to be number 8 is easily the slowest song on the album. It’s very mid-tempo, very moody and very evil sounding. Besides the lyrically content of the song, Don Airey’s guest appearance on keyboard plays a big part of the evilness and creepiness on ‘A Touch Of Evil.’ Overall, ‘A Touch Of Evil’ is my second favorite song from the Painkiller.
#7 – Beyond the Realms of Death (1978)
I know this isn’t a love song, but is this even considered a ballad? If so, it’s clearly the best ballad Judas Priest have ever written. Lyrically, Rob is on top of his game with this one. I’m not really sure what this song is about, but when you listen to the words, it seems as if it’s about someone that is either planning to commit suicide, or maybe that person already has and is telling a story from another life. I mean, yeah, I suppose I can do a Google search for it to find out — it’s just that I’m way too lazy. Either way, Beyond the Realms of Death is the seventh best Judas Priest song ever, in my opinion.
#6 – Exciter (1978)
To me, this song has always been the 70s version of ‘Painkiller.’ I know it’s not considered heavy by today’s standards, but imagine going back into 1978 and hearing this. You probably would have blown a load and your parents would be trying to kick you out of the house because of the satanic music. Ah, I ‘d love to have grown up in the 70s/80s, just to see all the crazy religious freaks portraying heavy metal as evil. Anyway, back to the song, I’d like to point out the main solo in ‘Exciter’ is one of Priest’s best ever. Yeah, Exciter rocks hard.
#5 – Freewheel Burning (1984)
Judas Priest were quite popular in the 80s, thanks to albums like British Steal and Screaming For Vengeance. The thing is, Defenders of The Faith is probably the best 80s Priest album, and, at the same time, the most overlooked. By 1984, ‘Freewheel Burning’ was probably the fastest and hardest Priest song up to that point. ‘Freewheel Burning’ is basically a pure speed metal tune — just really fast-paced and in your face. Yes, I’m aware I’m going to sound like a broken record, but the solo near the end sounds so godly.
#4 - Painkiller (1990)
You know, I really didn’t want to include this song on the Top 10. Why, you might ask? Mainly because it gets rated highly, and it seems to be a lot of people’s favorite Priest song. That being said, this song rules. Amazing drum intro, shredding all over the place from Glenn/ K.K , and Halford’s haunting vocals. I’m not really sure a Judas Priest fan can say this song is mediocre, much less hate it.
#3 – Electric Eye (1982)
If the opening riff to ‘Electric Eye’ doesn’t do anything for you, then I really don’t know what does. After releasing Point Of Entry with fairly mixed reviews, Priest knew they had to release another kickass metal album to be on the same page musically, as a lot of new bands that were slowly coming out around this time (*cough* Iron Maiden *cough*). ’Electric Eye’ did that, as it’s a is a very powerful track, with a lot of energy/speed throughout the entire song, and the the main verse is a total rocker. ‘Electric Eye’ is the most memorable Judas Priest song from the 1980s.
#2 – Tyrant (1976)
The last two spots were quite a challenge for me. However, after listening to the two songs over and over again, for approximately 8-9 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘Tyrant’ is, in fact, the second best Judas Priest song ever. I feel bad saying that, because ‘Tyrant’ is excellent, it really is. Probably the fastest and heaviest Judas Priest song from the 70s. It’s also filled with amazing riffs, the guitar playing is quite fast for that time period, and that chorus — Wow! Probably the catchiest song, from the whole Judas Priest catalog. It’s definitely a classic.
#1 – Victim Of Changes (1976)
”Whiskey woman don’t you know that you are driving’ me inssssaaane! ” Yes, here it is folks: the greatest Judas Priest song off all time. It also comes off my personal favorite metal album of all time, Sad Wings Of Destiny‘ ‘Victim of Changes’ has so much emotion and range. To me, Downing and Tipton became what they are today because of this song, with their twin lead guitar attacks. I’d like to also point out the breakdown and ending for this song are incredible. The final scream is absolutely thrilling and should send a chill down your spine the very first time you hear it. Even by today’s standards.
In my humble opinion, ‘Victim Of Changes’ defines heavy metal, and it should be ranked up there with ‘Stargazer’ and ‘War Pigs’ (other essential metal songs).
This song is perfect. The best Judas Priest song ever.