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Judas Priest: 'Rocka Rolla'

Reviewing: Koch Records 1976  |  Rating:
David Nesteby By David Nesteby on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 7 | Music Expertise:

As the years went by slowly, my youth was plagued (that's a good thing) with the chronic blasts of Judas Priest. Every new album was like the world was reborn. In all actuality, the shape of many futures including mine, were shaped by the metal infection. My genes have converted to the mutant likeness of my favorite band.

A pair of releases in 1976 started the Judas Priest fad. First off the stage, right into the history books was ‘Rocka Rolla. This album was made for the road, as the first ecstatic title, ‘One For The Road', was first to go big. The days of the LSD trippers and the sunshine fabric came to a close as the dawn of leather was ushered in on the soundwaves of Glenn Tipton and KK Downing. Rob Halford is the master of Rock-N-Roll from day one. His vocals get the listener acquainted from the start.

Flashy and poetic, the next song rivals the first with ‘Rocka Rolla'. "Rocka Rolla woman for a Rocka Rolla man, take her if you want her, if you think you can." The lyrics were the hybrid to my crooning miss sweetness. Today, I still listen to this one with a family gathering almost immediately the moment the stereo starts lashing. Then there is a stillness from within the room. This is one of my all-time favorite licks from this monster of a band.

‘Winter' is a slick waning tune that sounds a bit like the first Sound Garden album. I am sure Sound Garden received a little influence from this magical song. I dig the rhythm and the guitar sound effects. The whale sequence (guitars) at the end is like lovemaking. This was an actual combination of 4 pieces of art slammed into one long song. These four pieces of history were: ‘Winter', ‘Deep Freeze', ‘Winter Retreat', and ‘Cheater'-all taking up the third track on this fabulous 70's album that I love more than most other works. There are no downsides to this release. I wish I could say that it had a flaw or two, but this one is perfect. Nothing compares.

Most of us are ‘Never Satisfied', and this rival song to anything Ozzy ever did is for the fans like me that would go see Judas Priest any day over the bird killer. Ozzy was one of the best until this band came along. Once you listen to this band, you will never be satisfied. There just is not enough time on earth to fully enjoy this band, unless you are immortal. This is a monster metal rock song if there ever was a tune that appealed to music lovers. You can, t top this song, not even Zeppelin can top it.

The fifth title to knock you of the stool is ‘Run Of The Mill'. This is truly a masterpiece from the exclusive tipster. Tipton can really make the guitar grab you from your chair. Downing blends in with an older sound of the late 60's, flushing the core of this sentimental ode out like a chemical.

‘Dying To Meet You', is another early Zeppelin like sounding trick. Halford gets a little ‘Doors' on us, with Jim's touch on the outer edge. If you liked Morrison's vocals, you will dig this piece.

Next to last is ‘Caviar And Meths', a much faster track like ‘Rocka Rolla'. The standard mechanism of their success was embedded in the songs that Tipton and Downing were able to captivate the audience. This is pure guitar magic for the rock lovers of all ages. Many of today's bands don't even come close. I would drop my money on this old stuff first, any day.

The mightiest track on this release was the last song, 'Diamonds And Rust.' This favorite of Priest lovers around the world can probably be credited with giving these boys the club in which we were beaten with. It was not hard to submit to these masters of the 70's scene.

This album can be purchased at any music house, but you may find that you need to order it first. I think this is a true classic that should be in every collection. I give this one ten stars of ten, and at $12.99 it is a steal!