Greg Prato of Heavy Consequence celebrates the 40th anniversary of Judas Priest’s amazing, [Dana’s note: and my favorite] Screaming for Vengeance, album. Highlights from the article appear below.
Recorded from January through May of ’82 (with Tom Allom once again handling production duties), two studios were utilized — Ibiza Sound Studios in Ibiza, Spain, and Beejay Studios in Miami, Florida. When asked about the Vengeance sessions today, [guitarist Glenn] Tipton recalls, “In Spain, we did drink heavily, and there wasn’t much work done. Also, we found out when we came back to listen to the tapes, a lot of it was not usable, so we had to go to Miami to finish it. And even then, we recorded in some strange places. We recorded in a warehouse and did our own soundproofing. One thing it does is it gives the album a unique sound. I remember some of Florida… but I don’t remember much of Ibiza, unfortunately.”
Despite the hurdles, Vengeance…proved to be an incredibly consistent listen, with the band sounding inspired and focused — starting off with Priest’s greatest one-two punch album-opener, an instrumental entitled The Hellion that goes directly into Electric Eye.
“It’s just a melody that came into our brains and we put multi guitars on it and some big chords,” said Tipton of The Hellion. “And it was written for an intro. I think it serves its purpose very well. It’s very dramatic and creates anticipation — you know something big is going to come to follow that. That was the idea in doing that.”[Regarding one of band’s biggest hits, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,] Tipton states, “[It’s] just this attitude that we’ve always had in Priest, and I dare say, we’ve always had in our personal way of dealing with issues that are sent to challenge us. ‘One life, I’m going to live it up… If you think I’ll sit around as the world goes by, you’re thinking like a fool.’ All this kind of stuff… ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.’’ It’s also wrapped up in the heavy metal community culture of the way we support each other with our metal. It’s very much a song of hope and rising above the issues or difficulties that come your way. It’s a song of resilience, as well.” [Discussing the seminal record], Tipton adds, “It wasn’t an easy album to do, but in the end, it came out as one of the most successful albums.”
So taking everything into consideration, it would be quite understandable to declare Screaming for Vengeance as Priest’s best album. However, Tipton doesn’t feel it is such a clear-cut case.
“Not really. It’s close,” he said. “But I have to say there are a few landmark albums — like Sad Wings of Destiny; Sin After Sin in its own way was a unique album. Screaming for Vengeance definitely; British Steel. Even up to the current day, there’s been stepping stones where the band has touched on a slightly different style. And we’ve always been a band that was willing to experiment. I couldn’t give just one album to say — there were three or our four stepping stones where we changed direction slightly. But I think those are the most important: Sad Wings of Destiny, Sin After Sin, and Screaming for Vengeance… up to the current day. I think that’s the right answer, really.”
Lastly, Priest’s longest-tenured guitarist unveiled the secret behind creating a bona fide metal classic: “It was a great deal of fun. And that’s what it’s all about, really — you’ve got to have fun. Writing and performing shouldn’t be a chore. It should just be a lot of fun.”
Read more at Heavy Consequence.