When you think metal, Judas Priest have to be one of the first bands that comes to mind, so we're going to celebrate their legacy by counting down the group's very best songs. The band's subtle and charming style has woven its way into the fabric of our hearts – wait a minute. What? We're talking Priest here – loud, uncompromising, hard-rock action. So, gather around as we deliver our list of the Top 10 Judas Priest Songs.
'Victim of Changes'From: 'Sad Wings of Destiny' (1976)
Judas Priest provide an epic slab of drama from their second album, Sad Wings of Destiny. This was Judas Priest before their signature style was truly defined, but certainly no less powerful. The circular guitar riff propels the song along like a revved up Black Sabbath. The song breaks down into a mellow, almost psychedelic, break that is kicked back into gear by Rob Halford's vocals. He is the star here, letting loose some of his most impassioned and dynamic vocals ever.
'Evening Star'From: 'Hell Bent for Leather' (1978)
"Evening Star" is one of the band's great lost tracks and deserving of a spot in the Top 10 Judas Priest Songs. Shining from the middle of their Hell Bent for Leather album, the cut posses a true melodic sense and really falls on the hard rock rather than the metal side of things. Not unlike UFO in some respects here, the song has lots of killer changes and hooks. A real gem.
'Exciter'From: 'Stained Class' (1977)
One of the highlights on the Stained Class album, "Exciter" is full-force Priest. The song kicks in with some double-time chugging riff action and features truly classic Rob Halford vocalizing. Its urgency is relentless and contagious. You'll be banging that head in no time. This song also provided the name for the Canadian speed metal band from the early '80s.
'Painkiller'From: 'Painkiller' (1990)
The title track from Judas Priest's 1990 album is a scorcher – full-on pedal-to-the-metal stuff. Speed and power merge in one hell of a Priest ride on Painkiller. Halford is at his most sinister sounding here, and the harmonies he provides are drama incarnate. Judas Priest is totally on fire here, and the lead guitar break is one of their finest.
'The Hellion' / 'Electric Eye'From: 'Screaming for Vengeance' (1982)
"The Hellion" provides the dramatic opening to a true Priest classic, making it a natural fit for the Top 10 Judas Priest Songs. A souped-up riff powers this cut and the simple but catchy chorus helps make this one of the group's best all around tracks. Glenn Tipton dishes out some pure fire lead work before launching back into that mighty riffage. It's pure Priest all the way.
'Heading Out to the Highway'From: 'Point of Entry' (1981)
One of the Judas Priest's strongest riffs kicks off this 1981 classic. Never at a loss for a hooky chorus, "Heading Out to the Highway" provides one of the band's finest mid-sections to date. The track is one of the their most simplistic and catchy songs, and definitely gets stuck in your head. It's total pop with hard-rock action powering it – and yes, that's a good thing.
'Delivering the Goods'From: 'Hell Bent for Leather' (1978)
If there was ever a true lost classic from Judas Priest, this would have to be it. One of the best album openers ever, "Delivering the Goods" kicks off their masterpiece Hell Bent for Leather with a perfect call to arms. They deliver the goods here with all cylinders firing on, as heavy riff action and a killer lead guitar seal the deal. This song is simply phenomenal.
'Breaking the Law'From: 'British Steel' (1980)
With a riff that is almost like "Smoke on the Water" on speed, "Breaking the Law" is one of Judas Priest's most iconic songs. Blazing away in under three minutes, the urgency of punk with the finesse of metal crash head on to create one of the band's most enduring songs.
'Living After Midnight'From: 'British Steel' (1980)
"Living After Midnight" is a must for the Top 10 Judas Priest Songs. It was their first big breakthrough in America, and helped push the British Steel album over the top. It was also the band's first gold record in the U.S. Short, simple and to the point – this is pure rock and roll. Powered by an almost Kinks-like riff, the song surges in perfect head-banging style. It's one of their finest moments.
'You've Got Another Thing Coming'From: 'Screaming for Vengeance' (1982)
Probably their most beloved song, its power hasn't diminished one bit. In many ways, "You've Got Another Thing Coming" is everything about Judas Priest's appeal boiled down into one song. Everyone is at the top of their game here and even though the record only made it to No. 67 on the Billboard charts, this has become a signature song for the band over time.