Painkiller (Judas Priest album)

Last updated

Painkiller
Judaspainkiller.JPG
Studio album by
Released3 September 1990 (1990-09-03)
RecordedJanuary–March 1990
Studio Miraval Studios, Correns, France and Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands
Genre Heavy metal, [1] [2] [3] speed metal [1] [4]
Length46:08
Label Columbia
Producer Chris Tsangarides
Judas Priest chronology
Ram It Down
(1988)
Painkiller
(1990)
Jugulator
(1997)
Singles from Painkiller
  1. "Painkiller"
    Released: September 1990
  2. "A Touch of Evil"
    Released: March 1991
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Sputnikmusic 5.0/5.0 [1]
Record Collector Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]

Painkiller is the twelfth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released in September 1990. It is the last Judas Priest album to feature lead singer Rob Halford until his return for the 2005 album Angel of Retribution and the first to feature drummer Scott Travis.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Judas Priest British heavy metal band

Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. They have sold over 50 million copies of their albums. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band had struggled with indifferent record production and a lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel.

Rob Halford English rock singer

Robert John Arthur Halford is an English singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest. He is famous for his powerful wide-ranging voice and his trademark leather-and-studs image, both of which became iconic in heavy metal. In addition to his work with Judas Priest, he has been involved with several side projects, including Fight, Two, and Halford.

Contents

Recording

Painkiller is the first Judas Priest album to feature drummer Scott Travis, who replaced long-time drummer Dave Holland in 1989. Travis was previously a member of Los Angeles band Racer X and with his heavy use of double pedals and blast beats, it gave Judas Priest a new sound and heavier edge.

Scott Travis American drummer

Mark Scott Travis is an American rock musician, best known as the drummer for the English heavy metal band Judas Priest, the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, and the American heavy metal band Racer X.

David Holland was an English heavy metal drummer born in Northampton, England, best remembered for his stints with Trapeze from 1969 to 1979 and Judas Priest from 1979 to 1989.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

The album was recorded at Miraval Studios, Brignoles, France in early 1990 and mixed at Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, the Netherlands later that year. It was produced by the band and Chris Tsangarides, marking the first time since 1978's Killing Machine that Judas Priest had not worked with Tom Allom and the first time since 1976's Sad Wings of Destiny that Judas Priest and Tsangarides worked together.

Brignoles Subprefecture and commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Brignoles is a commune in the Var département in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.

The Wisseloord Studio is a recording studio in Hilversum, Netherlands. It was officially opened on 19 January 1978 by Prince Claus. The studios were founded by electronics company Philips, to enable their PolyGram artists to record in a professional environment. Initially there were three studios, nowadays there are five.

Hilversum City and municipality in North Holland, Netherlands

Hilversum is a city and municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. Located in the heart of the Gooi, it is the largest urban centre in that area. It is surrounded by heathland, woods, meadows, lakes, and smaller towns. Hilversum is part of the Randstad, one of the largest conurbations in Europe.

Release

Despite the album being finished in March 1990, the album's release was delayed due to the pending, much-publicized subliminal message trial that began on 16 July 1990. The band was the subject of a civil lawsuit alleging their recording was responsible for the suicide attempts of two young men in Reno, Nevada on 23 December 1985. The case was eventually dismissed on 24 August 1990. With the trial behind them, the band finally released the album on 3 September 1990 on LP, cassette and CD.

The album was certified Gold by RIAA in January 1991. A remastered CD was released in May 2001, including a live recording of "Leather Rebel" and a previously unreleased song, "Living Bad Dreams". The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance at the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards, losing to Metallica's cover of the Queen song "Stone Cold Crazy".

Grammy Award Accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The trophy depicts a gilded gramophone. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.

The Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance is an award presented at the Grammy Awards to recording artists for works containing quality performances in the heavy metal music genre. The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony, where honors in several categories are presented by The Recording Academy of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position". The ceremony was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.

The 33rd Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 20, 1991. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the previous year. Quincy Jones was the night's biggest winner winning a total of six awards including Album of the Year.

Reception

Critical reaction to Painkiller has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from the metal community. On metal-archives.com, the album holds an average score of 92% based on 26 reviews. [6]

Most of the album's tracks were performed live on the Painkiller World Tour, with the title track becoming one of the band's concert staples. "Hell Patrol", "All Guns Blazing", "A Touch of Evil", "Night Crawler" and "Between the Hammer and the Anvil" have all returned to the setlist on later tours, while "Metal Meltdown" and "Leather Rebel" were retired after only a few performances in 1990. "One Shot at Glory" and the intro "Battle Hymn" are the only tracks not yet performed live from the album.

Halford's departure

Following the tour for this album, singer Rob Halford left the band in May 1992 and maintained little contact with his former bandmates throughout the 1990s. The reason for this was growing tensions within the band, along with Halford's desire to explore new musical territory by creating a new band of his own, Fight, which forced him to legally leave Judas Priest to allow this creation to be sold. Judas Priest remained inactive for several years after Halford had gone; however, the band would eventually re-vamp, record, and tour, recruiting new singer Tim "Ripper" Owens in 1996, who would perform on the studio albums Jugulator and Demolition .

Track listing

All tracks written by Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford and K. K. Downing, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Painkiller"6:06
2."Hell Patrol"3:35
3."All Guns Blazing"3:56
4."Leather Rebel"3:34
5."Metal Meltdown"4:46
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Night Crawler"5:44
7."Between the Hammer & the Anvil"4:47
8."A Touch of Evil" (Tipton, Halford, Downing, Chris Tsangarides)5:42
9."Battle Hymn" (Instrumental)0:56
10."One Shot at Glory"6:46

Personnel

Charts

Chart (1990)Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA) [7] 60
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) [8] 22
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) [9] 7
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) [10] 27
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) [11] 19
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) [12] 19
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) [13] 14
UK Albums (OCC) [14] 26
US Billboard 200 [15] 26

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada) [16] Gold50,000^
United States (RIAA) [17] Gold500,000^
Worldwide sales:2,000,000

^shipments figures based on certification alone

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Stagno, Mike (4 August 2006). "Judas Priest – Painkiller". Sputnikmusic. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. Sharpe-Young, Garry (2007). Metal: The Definitive Guide. Jawbone Press. pp. 39–40. ISBN   9781906002015. All in all, Painkiller put Judas Priest back at the top of the heavy metal pile.
  3. Popoff, Martin (2004). The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time. ECW Press. pp. 63–4. ISBN   9781554902453.
  4. 1 2 Huey, Steve (4 August 2006). "Judas Priest – Painkiller". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 8 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2013.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  5. Davenport, Rich. "Painkiller - Record Collector Magazine". Record Collector . Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  6. "Judas Priest - Painkiller - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". www.metal-archives.com. Archived from the original on 8 June 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  8. "Austriancharts.at – Judas Priest – Painkiller" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  9. "Officialcharts.de – Judas Priest – Painkiller". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  10. "Charts.org.nz – Judas Priest – Painkiller". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  11. "Norwegiancharts.com – Judas Priest – Painkiller". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  12. "Swedishcharts.com – Judas Priest – Painkiller". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  13. "Swisscharts.com – Judas Priest – Painkiller". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  14. "Judas Priest | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  15. "Judas Priest Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  16. "Canadian album certifications – Judas Priest – Screaming for Vengeance". Music Canada.
  17. "American album certifications – Judas Priest – Screaming for Vengeance". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.