At the turn of the 80’s decade, Judas Priest had reinvented themselves as premier heavy metallers with a passion for black leather and biker gear. The new album ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ was even more powerful and successful than their 1980 run.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Judas Priest
ALBUM: Screaming For Vengeance
SERIAL: CBS CD 85941
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Rob Halford – vocals * K.K Downing – guitars * Glenn Tipton – guitars * Ian Hill – bass * Dave Holland – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Hellion * 02 Electric Eye * 03 Riding On The Wind * 04 Bloodstone * 05 (Take These) Chains * 06 Pain And Pleasure * 07 Screaming For Vengeance * 08 You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ * 09 Fever * 10 Devil’s Child
WEBLINKS: Site Link
At the turn of the 80’s decade, Judas Priest had reinvented themselves as premier heavy metallers with a passion for black leather and biker gear. Defining an entire generation with studded wristbands, belts, chains, handcuffs and whatever else turns your fancy, the band arrived with ‘British Steel’, one of the top albums of 1980.
The following years ‘Point Of Entry’ was markedly different in style, very American sounding – which some fans thought was a change for the worse. Thankfully for them, a return to the rampant style of metal heard on ‘British Steel’ was in order. The new album ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ was even more powerful and successful than their 1980 run, and by July 1982, I had joined the throng to buy the LP upon it’s first day of release.
The joyride commences with a walk through the gates of the Judas Priest theme park called ‘The Hellion’, a brief but incisive blitz before we segue directly into the secret squirrel world of ‘Electric Eye’, a song about electronic surveillance and hi-tech spy systems.. ‘I take a pride in probing all your secret moves, my tearless retina takes pictures that can prove’.
Moving from hi-tech to fantasy elements is ‘Ridin’ On The Wind’, with a fast galloping riff amid the searing solar winds generated by this track. One of my favourite ever Judas Priest songs is unquestionably ‘Bloodstone’. The trademark guitars and relentless rhythm section marks this one down as one of my ‘go to’ tracks among their extensive discography.
The song that sounds slightly different to the rest is ‘(Take These) Chains’, which was written by Bob Halligan Jnr interestingly enough sounds a lot like Icon, which is a bit of reverse psychology considering the Arizona youngsters were still in HM diapers when this album came out. ‘Pain And Pleasure’ is a slower track where Halford does his best Ozzy impersonation, the track itself a slow intense burn guaranteed to hurt ya!
The title track ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ picks up the pace, but is a bit of a lolly scramble in the vocal department, but Rob makes up for it with perhaps one of JP’s most memorable tracks. ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’, which comes across in the same vein as party-ready AC/DC, who at this point in history, were one of the biggest bands on the planet – so not a bad thing to be compared with!
The band initially delve into ballad territory with ‘Fever’, but gradually heavy things up, though the mix is all over the show, with left/right speaker changes, volume swells and contrasts.. all giving your aural senses a workout. The closer ‘Devils Child’ sounds like a tale of woe for some poor sucker who can’t get rid of a woman who has him literally by the balls!
Released in July 1982, the album went gold in the US some three months later, eventually achieving platinum status sixth month later in April 1983.
If ‘British Steel’ was the album to break Judas Priest into the big time then ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ opened up huge arena doors through the US, all helped by having a young Iron Maiden travelling beside them on the 1982 US tour – keeping them honest.
Years later, the album would become recognised as one of the most influential heavy metal albums of all time, let alone the 80’s. Also, ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ would become the first album to be downloaded in its entirety for the video game ‘Rock band’.
2001 saw the album re-released on CD with two bonus tracks: ‘Prisoner Of Your Eyes’ (an outtake from the ‘Turbo’ sessions) plus a live version of ‘Devils Child’. Any self-respecting metal fan would have this album in their collection, that there is no doubt.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)