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robhalfordleathersuit When asked by MusicRadar which ten albums changed his life, his list included Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and the Beatles.

His top pick was Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Halford said, “Listening to this music at the time it was being made is something I’ll never forget. Simply because of the sheer audacity of this extraordinary guitar player and artist. He made the room light up so vividly. To listen to the sounds that he made with the electric guitar was unbelievably special.

Things were changing at this time. The music in general was getting louder. Marshall amps were being made, speaker cabinets were being used – everything was getting bigger, louder, more impactful. I think Jimi had something to do with that.”

He also praised Led Zeppelin II, describing it as the “roots of heavy metal.” Halford explained, “When I heard the riffs that Jimmy was doing, I got a real sense of where things were going. Even though Led Zeppelin never expressed, ‘We’ve got some heavy metal in us,’ it’s quite apparent that it was there all along.

The riffage and the way they played live – they were a bit like Cream on steroids. John Bonham smashed those drums, and along with the powerful musicianship of Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, they made a sound that was simply incredible. And then you’ve got Robert Plant, screaming and wailing in a way we’d never heard before. Led Zeppelin were such an important band.”

He continued, “The music that touches you in your youth is magnified as you get older. Each record can be a virtual time machine – all you need is to hear a second or two and you go back to that place and time when you first heard it. It’s a brilliant feeling when music touches you so profoundly and stays with you through time.”

The 10 records that changed Rob Halford’s life:

1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland
2. Cream – Disraeli Gears
3. The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
4. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II
5. David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
6. King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King
7. The Rolling Stones – Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out
8. John Mayall – Blues From Laurel Canyon
9. Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
10. Queen – Queen

Also, Happy Birthday to the Metal God who celebrates his 63rd year today (August 25th). Judas Priest’s Redeemer of Souls was released on July 8th through Epic Records.

additional source:


    1. I agree. The 2 nicest guys in rock I ever met were Rob and Brian May. Class acts. Rob just got off the stage after giving it his all for 90 minutes and he comes out all smiles. “Who wants to take a photo? Who would like an autograph?” 1988, I’ll never forget it and I always tell people about what a cool guy he is. Unlike Paul Stanley, who after a solo gig in 1989 runs past the 12 people waiting outside in the cold for an hour and onto the bus. No wave, no hello, no apology. Just thanks for the money and off I go. THAT I share with people as well. Gene Simmons? The 3rd nicest guy in rock I ever met. he appreciates the fans very much, and is sincerely vocal about it. he gets it. I do not agree with all of his views or decisions, but he was super the 2 times I met him, in and out of costume. patient and funny.

      1. You know what’s interesting, I just realized Gene’s birthday was also on the 25th, and nobody mentioned it, maybe Gene really has alienated everybody! Well, even with all your faults, bad choice of words and so on, happy belated birthday gene, and many more! 🙂

  1. Ten that changed my life, in no particular order:

    KISS – Alive
    Aerosmith – Rocks
    Ted Nugent – Double Live Gonzo
    Van Halen – Van Halen
    AC/DC – Powerage
    Scorpions – Tokyo Tapes and then Lovedrive
    Judas Priest – Stained Class
    Boston – Boston
    Montrose – Montrose
    Cheap Trick – Heaven Tonight

    1. Cheap Trick and Meat Loaf made a huge impression on me in 1977-78. i remember the first Time I heard Van Halen in 78 coming from this guys car cranked to the Max next to a football field I was playing at and thinking who is playing that guitar.

    2. Great list Doug. Since you posted your list, I’ll post mine, also in no particular order:

      Savatage, Sirens
      Judas Priest, Point Of Entry (not my favorite Priest album, but it literally saved my life)
      Iron Maiden, Killers
      Ozzy Osbourne, Diary Of A Madman
      Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell
      Kiss, Creatures Of The Night
      Van Halen, Fair Warning
      Metallica, Ride The Lightning
      Def Leppard, High And Dry
      Scorpions, Lovedrive (the original album cover is the greatest album cover ever)

  2. My Top 10 albums that changed my life in no particular order:

    1. Kiss – Alive II
    2. Van Halen – I
    3. Metallica – Ride The Lightning
    4. Def Leppard – High ‘N Dry
    5. Scorpions – Blackout
    6. AC/DC – Highway To Hell
    7. Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengence
    8. Iron Maiden – Number OF The Beast
    9. Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard Of Ozz
    10. Dio – Holy Diver

  3. No order:
    Black Sabbath -Paranoid
    Pink Floyd- The Wall
    ACDC-Back in Black
    Meat Loaf-Bat out of Hell
    Cheap Trick- Buokan/Dream Police
    Devo-Are We Not Men
    Alice Cooper- Killers
    Beatles-Sgt. Peppers
    Queen-Night at the Opera

    1. Also when i discovered my dads original Chuck Berry Chess Records LP. Blew My mind the groove that guy had. I was given and still have original Band of Gypsies LP by Hendrix that was played a LOT!

  4. Happy Birthday to the Metal God!! He makes some great choices, but here are mine:

    1. KISS – Rock & Roll Over
    2. Judas Priest – Unleashed in the East
    3. Black Sabbath – We Sold Our Souls for Rock & Roll
    4. Ted Nugent – Double Live Gonzo
    5. AC/DC – Highway to Hell
    6. Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic
    7. Iron Maiden – Killers
    8. Saxon – Wheels of Steel
    9. Scorpions – Blackout
    10. Van Halen – Van Halen

  5. Acdc- back in black
    kinks-Give the people what they want
    Ozzy- Blizzard of oz
    Reo speedwagon -Hi Infidelity
    Black sabbath -Paranoid
    The Doors -Greatest Hits
    Kiss alive 1
    Kiss alive 2
    Rush-Moving Pictures
    Motley Crue- Shout at the devil

    Honorable mention
    Queen- the game

  6. Great list from the Metal God (Happy Birthday and see you in the ATL in late October) and great internal lists! I have never really thought about this but fun none-the-less. I have some repeat from above and repeat artists too. I cannot ignore the 2nd cd/album/tape for any of them! This is in no particular order:
    Priest – Screaming for Vengeance
    Priest – Point of Entry
    Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast
    Metallica – Ride the Lightening
    Metallica – Master of Puppets
    Dio – Holy Diver
    Dio – The Last in Line
    Ozzy – Blizzard of Oz
    Queen – The Game
    Styx – Paradise Theater


  7. No particular order:

    Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance (changed my life in more ways than I can say)
    Triumph – Just A Game
    Van Halen – Van Halen
    Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever (absolutely perfect album)
    Heart – Dreamboat Annie
    Kiss – Destroyer
    AC/DC – High Voltage
    Aerosmith – Get Your Wings
    Deep Purple – Made In Japan
    Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
    10, out of hundreds, thousands! 🙂

    1. Ted’s is “an absolutely perfect album.” That is one of the most profound things ever stated about rock and roll. It calls for more investigation, not only into the said album, but exactly what is rock and roll and why does Ted capture, synthesize, what you call the “absolutely perfect album.” And what is perfection? And how does Ted defy quantification to be said to be perfect? Does this put rock and roll on a different axis? Does Ted knock rock and roll off its current one, so that rock and roll’s axis now resides in the Universe of Ted? One where Ted, much like what Manowar has tried to do with metal, is the King of the Jungle, the master of the “state of nature,’ if you will. What you have done Doug R. is state that rock and roll, in its purest form, when it has reached its data point of total purity, is Ted Nugent. So Ted, with this record, where he has made his mission statement, has taken rock and roll and redefined it almost. Uhh, right?

      1. ? Just a little over-analyzed! IMO, Cat Scratch Fever is a “perfect album” because EVERY song is strong, not just the title track. From “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” to “Out Of Control”, and everything in between, once again IMO is as solid as it gets. It kicks my ass & makes me feel good every time I listen to that album, it gives me “Cat Scratch Fever”! Sorry for the pun, but I couldn’t resist! Cheers Clown! 🙂

          1. You tell me clown, you’re the expert analyzer! You have all the answers.
            I didn’t know you wanted specific in-depth details. I thought this was just a conversation about music, not a personal philosophy lecture. Have a good one. 😉

        1. ..Doug R. music and philosophy are certainly not mutually exclusive, in fact, far from it. Besides you said one was a perfect album, and another, a life changer. I think we’re ready to move past Ted and now focus on Sammy. You said it was a life changer…please, enlighten me.

          1. Alright clown, well since you’re so interested, here goes. When I said “talk about a life changer”, I meant for me, personally, ’81/’82, well let’s just say it was a very interesting time in my life. Long story short, you know how it is, sometimes when your life turns to s**t, even temporarily, you need to hear a song sometimes, something encouraging, motivating, “I’ll Fall In Love Again”, without getting too personal, at that time in my life was just what I needed to hear. “There’s Only One Way To Rock”, “Heavy Metal”, were just the ass-kickers that I needed to help get me through a lot of other s**t. Anyway, again, for me, it was a life changing (for the better) album, and if “One Way To Rock” and “Heavy Metal” doesn’t give you motivating positive energy, I don’t know what will! Well, so there you have it, in a nutshell, I hope my explanation was good enough for you, sometimes not everything can be put into words, emotions, feelings, sometimes, there are no words. All I can say is, thank God for music. Cheers 🙂

  8. Awesome Topic, and Happy Birthday to the Metal God! I remember seeing Priest on the Screaming for Vengeance tour in KC with Iron Maiden Number of the Beast opening an amazing show!

    Here is my list in no order.
    Van Halen— 1
    Kiss —-Rock and Roll all Over
    Ozzy —Blizzard of OZ
    Black Sabbath —Heaven and Hell
    Led Zeppelin–II
    AC/DC–Back in Black
    Iron Maiden–Number of the Beast
    SRV-In Step
    Jerry Reed–Guitar Man
    Rush–First Album

  9. Happy Birthday Rob! You STILL RULE! I have 8 of the 10 you listed in my CD collection. Can’t resist listing the ones that got my motor runnin’. These started hitting me at ablout age 10…
    Elton – Goodbye Yellow Brick Rd.
    Kiss – Alive
    Led Zep – IV
    Aerosmith – Rocks
    Yes – Fragile
    BTO – Not Fragile (not trying to be funny, these are the actual album titles)
    Van Halen – Van Halen
    Queen – A Night at the Opera
    Blue Oyster Cult – Agents of Fortune
    Rush – 2112 (literaly bought this within HOURS of hearing for the first time!)
    Thanks for your list Rob, love knowing what my favorite rockers got nutured on! A few years ago I went out and bought a live Frank Marino and Mahogony Rush CD simply because Eddie said Zakk said it was great. That’s good enough for me.

  10. Mine are ranked, come on guys, you have to bite the bullet and rank ’em.

    1. Kiss Alive II
    2. Screaming for Vengeance
    3. Fair Warning
    4. Mob Rules
    5. SoZo
    6. Elton John Greatest Hits Vol II
    7. Abbey Road
    8. Sabotage by Black Sabbath
    9. Kiss Alive!
    10. Are You Experienced?

    1. My personaltop ten no order
      1 maiden life after death
      2 metallica ride the lighting
      3 megadeath killing is my business
      4 death angel act 1
      5 Suicidal tendacies instatutionalize
      6 scorpions world wide live
      7 kiss alive
      8 anthrax
      9 ozzy blizzard of oz
      10 slayer

        1. I’ve been saying it for years. The alpha and omega of heavy metal. From HOLE IN THE SKY to THE WRIT,it is unstoppable. Ozzy never sounded better, the riffs are in attack mode and Butler- Ward blow away any rhythm section ever. The CITIZEN KANE of all music. When I die. I want that playing.

  11. 1. KISS: Destroyer
    2. Queen: A Night at the Opera
    3. Beatles: Sgt. Pepper
    4. Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks
    5. AC/DC: Let There Be Rock
    6. Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell
    7. Aerosmith: Rocks
    8. Hanoi Rocks: All Those Wasted Years
    9. Deep Purple: Machine Head
    10. Iron Maiden: Killers

  12. Oh OK why not?
    Rolling Stones- Exile On Main Street
    The Who- Quadrophenia
    Led Zeppelin- Physical Graffiti
    Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
    Jimi Hendrix- Electric Ladyland
    Black Sabbath- Master Of Reality
    Blizzard Of Oz- Blizzard of Oz
    Queen- 2
    Humble Pie-Rockin The Fillmore
    Deep Purple- Made In Japan

  13. Are you guys seriously comparing notes with an all-time great lead vocalist? WTF. HEY ROB YOU LEFT OFF MACHINE HEAD. EXCUSE ME MR. HALFORD, I THINK REVOLVER IS WAY BETTER THAN SGT. PEPPER. Holy cow, you guys are lunatics. HEY YOU METAL GOD, WHERE THE F@#K IS QUADROPHENIA? HOW IS DONOVAN NOT ON YOUR LIST? You guys have live albums and greatest hits. If Rob is reading this. Half of you left off PRIEST albums. Any of you guys heard of an album called APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION? but at least SABOTAGE (my #1) made a list. For God sakes, Halford is a cool guy. My top ten:
    4) TURBO

  14. No order but here are some that did it for me

    KIX – Midnight Dynamite
    Molly Hatchet-Flirting with Disater
    Ace Frehley-Solo
    Van Halen -Women and Children First
    Def Leppard-High and Dry
    Judas Priest-British Steel
    Riot- Restless Breed
    Rush-Moving Pictures

  15. Oh yeah, I think Eddie Trunk might take a look at some of these lists. I’m so sorry Mr. Trunk:
    3) UFO 2
    I hope that list is okay. Those guys didn’t mean to offend you sir. HANOI ROCKS? JERRY REED? KILLING IS MY BUSINESS…………ROCK N ROLL OVER is number 1. WASSAMATTAWHICHU?

  16. Ok I will join the party
    1. UFO Strangers in The Night
    2. Pink Floyd Dark Side of The Moon
    3. Led Zeppelin II
    4. Deep Purple Made in Japan
    5. Rush Permanent Waves
    6. Scorpions Blackout
    7. Iron Maiden Number of The Beast
    8. Def Leppard High n Dry
    9. Judas Priest Hell Bent for Leather
    10. Don Rickles Hello Dummy

  17. In no particular order.
    1. Iron maiden “piece of mind”
    2. Iron maiden “number of the beast”
    3. Saxon “the eagle has landed”
    4. Judas Priest “unleashed in the east”
    5. AC/DC “back in black”
    6. Boston “Boston”
    7. Aerosmith “rocks”
    8. Dio ” holy diver”
    9. Black sabbath ” heaven and hell”
    10. Van halen ” van halen”

    Honorable mention, though it’s not necessarily metal.
    Zakk Wylde ” book of shadows”
    One of the greatest records ever!

  18. Okay now: Top 10 metal songs of all time: Go!
    Not in any order:
    1. Killers- Iron Maiden
    2. Screaming for Vengeance-the mighty Priest
    3. Angel of Death-F’in Slayer
    4. Disposable Heroes-Metallica
    5. Symptom Of The Universe-Sabbath
    6. Iron Fist-Motorhead (sorry Lemmy, it’s pretty much metal!)
    7. Blackout-Scorpions
    8. Bloodlust-Venom
    9. A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh-Celtic Frost
    10. War Pigs- Sabbath
    11. Weekend In New England-Barry Manilow (ha ha) : )

  19. Just 10, OK:

    2112 – Rush
    Go For What Ya Know – Pat Travers
    Narita – Riot
    Wild Cat – Tygers Of Pan Tang (1st time I heard Slave To Freedom, never heard anything like that before!)
    Strangers In The Night – UFO
    Killers – Maiden
    Rising – Rainbow
    Made In Japan – Deep Purple
    On Through The Night – Def Leppard
    Rust In Peace – Megadeth

  20. Too many to choose from, but here’s ten that molded my life.

    1. Stained Class- Judas Priest
    2. Vol. 4- Black Sabbath
    3. On Through The Night- Def Leppard
    4. 2112- Rush
    5. Rock N Roll Machine- Triumph
    6. Heaven And Hell- Black Sabbath
    7. Get Your Wings- Aerosmith
    8. High Voltage- AC/DC
    9. Free For All- Ted Nugent
    10. Van Halen/II- Van Halen

    I know , i cheated on #10 but the 1st two Van Halen albums influenced me equally, very hard to narrow it down to just 10.

  21. Here is my list in no particular order:

    Van Halen I
    Tnt – Intuition
    Queen – A Night At The Opera
    Deep Purple – Machine Head
    Kiss – Destroyer
    U.F.O – Strangers In The Night
    Thin Lizzy – Live and Dangerous
    Led Zeppelin – II
    AC/DC – High Voltage
    Dio – The Last In Line

    Honorable Mention goes to Whitesnake’s self titled 1887 album and Motley Crue’s Shout At The Devil

    1. The Whitesnake record released in 1887 is a real rarity to find in mint condition, considering the fact that the Vectrola really did a ruinous job on vinyl back then.

  22. In no sequence, here are 10:

    Savatage- Ghost in the Ruins
    Metal Church- Metal Church
    Blue Öyster Cult- ET Live
    Black Sabbath- Sabotage
    Megadeth- Rust in Peace
    Queensryche- Operation Mindcrime
    Ghost- Ghost
    Black Sabbath- Live Evil
    AC/DC- Back in Black
    Metallica- Black Album

  23. Here’s some that I like:

    1. Eric Clapton – Journeyman
    2. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
    3. UFO – Strangers In The Night
    4. Rory Gallagher – Irish Tour ’74
    5. AC/DC – Let There Be Rock
    6. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Texas Flood
    7. Elton John – Madman Across The Water
    8. CCR – Bayou Country
    9. Steve Miller Band – Fly Like An Eagle
    10. Buddy Guy – Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues

  24. Happy birthday Rob here’s my list:

    1. Nirvana – Nevermind
    2. Kiss – Destroyer
    3. Metallica – Black album
    4. Guns ‘n Roses – Appetite for Destruction
    5. The Doors – The Doors
    6. Aerosmith – Rocks
    7. The Eagles – Hotel Cailfornia
    8. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
    9. Pearl Jam – Ten
    10. The Ramones – Ramones

  25. These are some solid lists. In the same spirit, I offer mine, too. Also, I premise mine on the affect it had on me the moment I realized what I was hearing was something special, possibly an addition to the soundtrack of my life, and certainly a gateway into other genres of rock and metal.

    1. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry
    2. Van Halen – 5150
    3. Poison – Open Up and Say… Ahhh
    4. Queensryche – Rage for Order
    5. Lynch Mob – Wicked Sensation
    6. Metallica – Master of Puppets
    7. Stevie Ray Vaughan – Greatest Hits
    8. WASP – Headless Children/Crimson Idol
    9. Korn – Untouchables
    10. Godsmack – Faceless

    Honorable Mention:
    Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast
    Ozzy/Randy Rhodes – Tribute
    Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil
    Skid Row – Self-Titled
    Def Leppard – Hysteria
    Bullet for My Valentine – The Poison

    An eclectic mix for sure, but these were imporatant and resonated on their first spin.

  26. This is my list with an early leaning on hard rock that evolved to metal and everything else in between. Totally incomplete though, as I could go on forever!

    1) Montrose, Montrose
    2) Robin Trower, Bridge of Sighs
    3) Bad Company, Burning Sky
    4) Pat Travers, Makin’ Magic
    5) Lynyrd Skynyrd, One More From the Road
    6) Thin Lizzy, Bad Reputation
    7) Johnny Winter, Captured Live!
    8) Black Sabbath, Never Say Die
    9) UFO, Obsession
    10) Judas Priest, British Steel

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