|Studio album by|
|Released||6 September 1974|
|Recorded||June – July 1974|
|Studio||Island, Trident and Olympic Studios, London, England|
|Genre||Hard rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock|
42:12 (with bonus track)
|Judas Priest chronology|
|Singles from Rocka Rolla|
Rocka Rolla is the debut studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 6 September 1974 by Gull Records. It was produced by Rodger Bain, who had made a name for himself as the producer of Black Sabbath's first three albums. It is the only album to feature drummer John Hinch.
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 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 has struggled with indifferent record production and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel.
Gull was a British record label founded in 1974. Owned by Gull Entertainments Ltd., it was associated with Morgan Sound Studio, and was distributed by both Pye Records and Decca Records. It was also distributed by Motown in the USA.
According to the band, the album was entirely played live, in studio (i.e. all musicians playing simultaneously as in a concert, vs. the more popular method of each musician's parts being recorded separately and then mixing them).
According to the band there were technical problems in the studio, resulting in poor sound quality and a hiss through the album. Guitarist Glenn Tipton had just joined when recording of Rocka Rolla began and did not contribute any songwriting except on the title track and "Run of the Mill". He did come up with the songs "Tyrant", "Epitaph", and "Ripper", but Bain considered them not commercial enough and rejected them. Bain also rejected the concert staple "Whiskey Woman" which later, with contributions from Tipton, morphed into "Victim of Changes". These songs were eventually all included on their next album, Sad Wings of Destiny . In addition, "Winter", "Deep Freeze" and "Winter Retreat" form a suite, but are listed as separate tracks and divided as such on the CD release.
Glenn Raymond Tipton is an English Grammy Award-winning guitar player and songwriter. Often noted for his complex playing style and classically influenced solos, he is best known as one of the lead guitarists for heavy metal band Judas Priest.
Sad Wings of Destiny is the second studio album by the English heavy metal group Judas Priest, released in 1976. It is considered the album on which Judas Priest consolidated their sound and image, and songs from it such as "Victim of Changes" and "The Ripper" have since become live standards. It is the only album to feature drummer Alan Moore.
"Dying to Meet You" contains a clear break before an unlisted song (often known as "Hero Hero") begins. It may be possible that the record company insisted on there being ten tracks on the album and would not allow for one more. Alternatively, this unlisted song may simply be the second half of "Dying to Meet You", as this is how the lyrics were printed on their 1978 Best of... compilation.
The Best of Judas Priest is a collection of a few select songs from Judas Priest's first two albums, and was released under Gull, the band's former record label. It was the first of many reissues of the band's earlier material produced in an effort to "capitalize on Judas Priest's popularity" and was released without any consent from the band.
Several of the songs on the album feature contributions from the band's previous frontman Al Atkins and had been regular parts of their live performances in Manchester, where the band had achieved a cult following during the previous few years. The track "Caviar and Meths" was originally a 14-minute effort penned by Atkins, Downing, and Hill but due to time constraints, only the intro was recorded for the album. A longer version of the song appears on Atkins's 1998 album Victim of Changes . Though not the full-length version, it is notably longer at seven minutes. That album also contains covers of "Winter" and "Never Satisfied".
Allan John Atkins is an English heavy metal vocalist, best known for his association with Judas Priest.
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.7 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.287 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.
Victim of Changes is ex-Judas Priest singer Al Atkins's fourth release, named after a Judas Priest song of the same name originally featured on the Sad Wings of Destiny album. The album's sleeve contains three pages of historic photos and a biography outlining his days in Judas Priest. Former Judas Priest drummer Dave Holland plays on this release.
At this point of the band's career, they had not yet developed their signature look of leather and studs. They had appeared on a British television programme called The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975, performing "Rocka Rolla" and "Dreamer Deceiver", and their wardrobe was very "hippified" as journalist Malcolm Dome put it. This footage was included on the Electric Eye DVD. In addition, the album is more blues/hard rock oriented than their later releases,and also has some slight progressive rock influences that would continue through to Stained Class , but to a lesser extent, and would be abandoned in later releases. This makes the album's style virtually unrecognizable when compared with later Priest albums, although "Rocka Rolla" does feature dual guitars and "Run of the Mill" is the first song that was explicitly designed for Halford's, rather than Atkins', vocal range.
Trademark look or signature look is the characteristic clothes or other distinguishing signs used by a certain character or performer, making the person more recognizable by the audience. Politicians may also have trademark signs, such as the suit of American President Barack Obama or the Merkel-Raute of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It can also refer to the clothes of a certain subculture.
The Old Grey Whistle Test was a British television music show.
Malcolm Dome is an English music journalist. He has written about rock and heavy metal since 1979. In addition to writing books, he has been a journalist for Record Mirror, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer and Classic Rock among others. Dome co-founded the UK's first rock radio station, TotalRock, along with Friday Rock Show DJ Tommy Vance and producer Tony Wilson. After 17 years with the station, Dome left in March 2014 to join Team Rock full-time.
Drummer John Hinch would be dismissed in 1975 before the next record was recorded. Tipton would later refer to him as being "musically inadequate" for the band's future plans.
The album was reissued in 1987 with a different cover. The original "bottle cap" album cover art was initially intended by designer John Pasche for use with an unspecified Rolling Stones album. The band had filed a lawsuit with the Coca-Cola company. [ citation needed ]The re-issue cover art (by artist Melvyn Grant, and originally used as the cover for the novel The Steel Tsar ) was also used for the US cover of Ballistix for the TurboGrafx-16 and Commodore Amiga.
Most of the songs from Rocka Rolla have not been performed by Judas Priest live since the mid-late 1970s, although Halford's solo band performed "Never Satisfied" during live shows in 2003, and the same song was part of the setlist of the Epitaph World Tour.
The tour for Rocka Rolla was Judas Priest's first international tourwith dates in Germany, Holland, Norway and Denmark including one show at Hotel Klubben in Tønsberg, one hour from Oslo, Norway which scored them a somewhat negative review in the local press.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
The album was released to very little reception selling "only a few thousand copies". Because it flopped, the band found themselves in dire financial straits. In particular, they talked of nights in which they were starving and didn't know when they were going to get their next meal. They tried to enter into an agreement with Gull Records to pay them 50 pounds a week, but Gull, which was also suffering economic woes, refused.In a retrospective review, AllMusic gave Rocka Rolla a rating of 2.5 out of five stars, and said that while it was a "sketchy and underfocused debut", the album "definitely hints at Judas Priest's potential and originality".
|1.||"One for the Road"||Rob Halford, K. K. Downing||4:34|
|2.||"Rocka Rolla"||Halford, Downing, Glenn Tipton||3:05|
|3.||"Winter"||Al Atkins, Downing, Ian Hill||1:41|
|5.||"Winter Retreat"||Halford, Downing||3:28|
|7.||"Never Satisfied"||Atkins, Downing||4:50|
|8.||"Run of the Mill"||Halford, Downing, Tipton||8:34|
|9.||"Dying to Meet You/Hero, Hero"||Halford, Downing||6:23|
|10.||"Caviar and Meths" (Instrumental)||Atkins, Downing, Hill||2:02|
|1987 Remaster bonus track|
|11.||"Diamonds & Rust" (Joan Baez cover, 1975 recording)||Joan Baez||3:12|
The original UK LP has a longer version of "Rocka Rolla" than the version used for the US LP release, and most CD releases. It has an extra verse and chorus at the beginning of the song.
The very rare first printing of the UK LP has the words "Thanks for the words Al!" printed last in the credits in the blue circle on the back cover. This, presumably a reference to original singer Al Atkins, has been removed on other versions of the Gull vinyl.
On some versions of the CD release, "Rocka Rolla" is timed at 4:00 and "Winter" at 0:45, becoming a mashup but remaining on separate tracks. Some releases, e.g. Hero, Hero also combine "Winter", "Deep Freeze" and "Winter Retreat" into one track. The iTunes version combines those three plus "Cheater" into one track.
The version of "Diamonds & Rust" that appears on the re-release is actually from the Sad Wings of Destiny sessions and not the version that appears on Sin After Sin . It was probably included to provide interest in Rocka Rolla, an album that would have been unknown to many of the band's fans due to the band not playing songs from it live after the 1970s.
Rocka Rolla features Judas Priest's longest track, "Run of the Mill", prior to "Cathedral Spires" from Jugulator in 1997. It is also the longest track co-written by Halford, Downing and Tipton prior to "Lochness" from Angel of Retribution in 2005.
Ian Frank Hill is an English musician, best known as the bassist of the heavy metal band Judas Priest.
Turbo is the tenth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, released by Columbia on 14 April 1986. A remastered CD was released in 2001, including two bonus tracks. A 30th anniversary edition, released on 3 February 2017 titled Turbo 30, contains 3 CDs which features the album plus 2 CDs of a live recorded performance at Sandstone Amphitheater near Kansas City, Missouri, on 22 May 1986. The album marked the band's first use of guitar synthesizers.
Sin After Sin is the third studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, released in 1977. The album represented several major milestones in the group's career; the band made their major label debut and were able to work with a famous musical artist as their producer, former Deep Purple member Roger Glover. The band also fully embraced an aggressive metal sound with this release, significantly toning down the arena rock and blues rock influences shown in their past work. The group achieved widespread popularity on the radio stations for their first time, oddly enough with their hard-edged version of Joan Baez's song "Diamonds & Rust". It is the only Judas Priest album to feature drummer Simon Phillips, a studio drummer who replaced Alan Moore.
John Frederick Hinch is a British drummer. He was the original drummer of heavy metal band Judas Priest. Hinch is a jazz-rock styled drummer with a very compact style.
The Best Of Judas Priest: Living After Midnight is a compilation album of Judas Priest's hits, dating from their 1978 album Killing Machine through Painkiller (1990). This album was released in 1997. In 2009 the album was reported to have sold 564,000 copies in the United States.
Hero, Hero is a compilation album of early Judas Priest recordings, released in between British Steel (1980) and Point of Entry (1981) by Gull Records. It consists of all ten tracks from the Rocka Rolla album, six tracks from the Sad Wings of Destiny album, and an alternate version of "Diamonds And Rust". The tracks from Rocka Rolla and "Diamonds And Rust" were remixed by Rodger Bain in 1981. The tracks from Sad Wings of Destiny were not remixed.
Genocide is a 2000 Judas Priest compilation consisting of their first two albums, Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings of Destiny, plus a bonus track from the Sad Wings of Destiny sessions as well. Like several others in the past, Genocide was released under the label Gull, in an effort to "capitalize on Judas Priest's popularity." Judas Priest's management firmly states that people should not buy these compilations, because even though it would seem like a new album on the surface, it's just a re-issue of material already recorded.
Rodger Bain is a former British record producer, known for producing heavy metal albums by bands such as Black Sabbath, Budgie and Judas Priest in the 70s.
"Rocka Rolla" is the debut single by British rock band Judas Priest, first released in August 1974, and later released as the title track of their first album the following month.
"Victim of Changes" is a song by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, featured on their 1976 studio album Sad Wings of Destiny. Adrien Begrand, writing for PopMatters, claimed the song changed the course of metal history. Vocalist Rob Halford's performance is considered one of his finest ever, the guitar work is noted as well, Bob Gendron praising the song's "landslide riffs" in the Chicago Tribune. The song has come to be regarded as one of the band's classics, and Martin Popoff listed it at No. 17 in his "Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs of All Time".
The Complete Albums Collection is a compilation box set album collection by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 12 June 2012 by Legacy Recordings. The Complete Albums Collection contains 17 Judas Priest albums,.
"Run of the Mill" is a ballad by British rock band Judas Priest from their debut album Rocka Rolla. The song was the first written by guitarist K. K. Downing, soon after vocalist Rob Halford joined the band. Downing wrote it, in part, to display Halford's unique vocal range.
Epitaph is a live video released by Judas Priest on DVD and Blu-Ray on 28 May 2013. It was filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo on 26 May 2012, which was the last date of the Epitaph World Tour, where they performed songs from each Halford-era album from Rocka Rolla to Nostradamus. The show was first seen in cinemas in New York City on 14 May and in London on 15 May with special screenings around the world on 16 May. It then premiered on VH1 Classic in the United States on 25 May.
The Rocka Rolla Tour was a concert tour by British heavy metal band Judas Priest which was in support of their debut album Rocka Rolla. It ran from 10 September 1974 until 28 December 1975. This would be the band's first international tour as they made their first European visit to Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway.