Tag Archives: rocka rolla

Judas Priest’s “Rocka Rolla” Serving The Hard Rock For 40 Years (1974-2014)

Raise the glasses my Metal friends because today is a monumental occasion for sure as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of an album called “Rocka Rolla” which is the very release by the mighty Judas Priest. Now I will admit that I did NOT purchase this when it came out since I was not actually in the consumer age group at the time and I wouldn’t actually hear this specific work on LP until 1980 or 1981 so my reflections about it come from that particular time. I also don’t really get into the hard core production aesthetics of the release since so much of that is documented with finesse on the albums official Wikipedia entry. These are aimed at my own impressions on the work when I first got to absorb it and now back to the task at hand. The album “Rocka Rolla” is a very interesting one in Judas Priests history because not only is it their first but it’s also not quite a Metal album. Yes there are moments that surely “rock” across its contents, but overall the album is very steeped in Hard Rock, Blues and even bears some Psycehedelic elements. I was the kid on my block that got the others around him to listen to Judas Priest and with that influence created a certain fanaticism in one of them as he became the absolute diehard who sought out all of their past works. I began my own Priest journey with “Hell Bent For Leather” and “Stained Class” and from there I went backward. Now back to the debut.
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“The Complete Albums Collection” by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “The Complete Albums Collection”
Label: Columbia/Epic/Legacy Records
Release Date: 1/24/2012
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

If you are truly a card carrying Heavy Metal fan then you most likely not only hold the name of the band Judas Priest in high regard but you also probably have at least four to five of their albums in your collection if not more. On the other hand should you call yourself a Metal fan and you DO NOT own any Judas Priest albums I will need to see your paperwork and am afraid that I will have to prohibit you from citing this genre as being among your interests. The boxed set “Complete Albums Collection” by Judas Priest is one of those items meant for the absolute diehard and features remastered editions of the bands works. Oh wait a second. Technically that is not true as none of the albums featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens are offered up here and instead we get what is called the legendary lineup of Halford, Downing, Tipton and Hill. Over the years the band had a number of drummers before locking the talented Scott Travis into place with 1991’s “Painkiller”. As this release is a massive one and features seventeen of their albums I decided to offer up a quick viewpoint about each CD and say what it meant to me as a fan of the band for the time I had been into them. One of the most immediate exciting points about this release was the inclusion of the group’s first two releases of “Rocka-Rolla” and “Sad Wings Of Destiny” which had never before been available as sanctioned albums by the band and their label of many decades.

Rocka-Rolla (1974): While it’s great to have “Rocka-Rolla” in remastered form at long last, I will admit that if this was my own first go at Priest that I might not have been originally sold on them. Of course it was released in 1974 and has more of a Heavy Rock vibe with some essence of trippy Psychedelics. Yes there were some stand out tunes but the bands best material was ahead of them.

Sad Wings Of Destiny (1976): Now this was more like it and I think was many fans first foray into the bands magnificence. I was still nowhere near my first meeting with the Priest but I would be here soon enough. Classics on this album like “Victim Of Changes”, “Tyrant” and “Genocide” are still very important songs to the bands set list. With “Sad Wings” Judas Priest had arrived.
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