Screaming for Vengeance (Bonus Track Version)

Screaming for Vengeance (Bonus Track Version)

There isn’t a Judas Priest fan anywhere that doesn’t recognize “The Hellion,” the opening track from Screaming for Vengeance. Not long after the album’s release in the summer of 1982, the majestic 40-second instrumental became the band’s walk-on music. The album then segues immediately into road-ready ripper “Electric Eye,” a song steeped in pinched harmonics and lyrical allusions to George Orwell’s surveillance-state classic Nineteen Eighty-Four. Recorded in Ibiza, Spain, Screaming for Vengeance is the album that made Priest superstars. The instant heavy metal anthem “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” exploded all over MTV less than a year after the network made its debut in American homes, sending Priest’s profile into the stratosphere. Driven by Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing’s slashing guitar chords, and Rob Halford’s lyrics about resilience in the face of obstacles, it’s easily one of Priest’s most recognizable songs. Oddly enough, it was a last-minute addition to the album, as evidenced by its number-eight slot on the 10-song album. Given Priest’s leather-daddy stage gear—not to mention lyrics about dogs on leashes—"Pain and Pleasure” might seem like an S&M song, but it’s probably about a tumultuous relationship. Or maybe both. Any way you slice it, it’s a hot cut. “Bloodstone” is another underrated gem. Is it about blood diamonds? Shady dealings? Who cares? Halford is in top form, and the guitars move with the style and sheen of a Ferrari advert. The title track is the kind of proto-thrash that anticipated Metallica and Slayer. The blacktop-shredder “Riding on the Wind” is the first of Halford’s odes to his rock-star hobby: riding motorcycles. “Fever” and “Devil’s Child,” meanwhile, don’t get nearly as much props as they should—on any other album, they would’ve been hit singles. “(Take These) Chains,” credited to Bob Halligan, Jr., is the first song written for Priest by an outside songwriter. Moody and anthemic, the song caught the ear of many high-profile musicians, as Halligan went on to write songs for Blue Öyster Cult, Kiss, and Cher. Rightly hailed as a heavy metal masterpiece, Screaming for Vengeance was so successful that Priest used the same template for their next album, Defenders of the Faith.

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