Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Judas Priest- Sad Wings of Destiny

Many great acts, especially metal ones had to pay their dues before they finallly make it to the big time. This was especially true with the metal gods we worship to day as Judas Priest. When I worshipped these gods in concert two and a half years ago in Cardiff, Wales, Robert Halford told the audience how thrity five years ago, the band would come to Cardiff in a little white van to play at the local pubs and clubs at the time. Back in the 1970s, Judas Priest were virtually unheard of, especially outside the UK and paid their dues by playing all the back holes of Britain and opening for more popular bands of the time like Budgie. Fortunately for us, they perservered and went on to become the great metal act we all know and love.

The downside of many bands once they ascend to the big stage is that much of their earlier work goes unnoticed. Some people will buy a band’s earlier stuff upon hearing about it, but it still doesn’t get the recognition it deserves as most people seem to be focused on the new stuff. The same can be said for me in regards to Judas Priest. “British Steel” was the first Judas Priest album I ever heard and you could say the rest was history, I became a total Priest fan. It wasn’t until a few years later, however, when I heard the song “The Ripper” on a metal compilation album that I went back to the past and investigated earlier offerings such as “Sad Wings of Destiny.”

It is often said that before a heavy metal band gets discovered, their hunger is reflected in their music. This is definitely true for “Sad Wings of Destiny.” Listening to such tracks as “The Ripper,” “Deceiver” and “Genocide” show the hunger. However, the album also shows the unmistakable guitar riffs of Tipton and Downing as well as the unique vocals of Halford that would later eventually enshrine Judas Priest in the annals of metal glory.

Track Listing:

1. Victim of Changes

2. The Ripper

3. Dreamer Deceiver

4. Deceiver

5. Prelude

6. Tyrant

7. Genocide

8. Epitaph

9. Island of Domination

Judas Priest

Rob Halford- vocals

Gelen Tipton- guitars and piano

KK Downing- guitars

Ian Hill- bass

Alan Moore- drums

I recently read a quote by a fan who states that “70s Priest kicks the sh*t out of 80s Priest.” I will not get involved in that argument, especially as 80s Priest gets quite a lot of mention in “Rock And Roll Children,”  but I will admit that the 70s albums like “Sad Wings of Destiny” and the one I’ll be visiting in my next post show a raw and hungry sound that I really like. So with my teacher head on, your assignment today is go and have a listen to this great diamond in the rough of an album and you will see what I mean.

Next post: Judas Priest- Sin After Sin

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