A classic in every sense of the word, this thrashing track from the band’s first ever album is an absolute powerhouse. A perfect combination of textbook metal chug, guitar tones and Rob Halford’s grittier vocals.
The song that catapulted Priest into the stratosphere, an unrelenting, fast metal masterpiece boasting one of Tipton and Downing’s finest riffs and one of the loudest choruses in their catalog. You can enjoy their entire collection for free on Mp3 Juice.
1. Hell Bent For Leather
This is one of the most high octane Judas Priest songs out there and helped launch thrash metal music. Glenn Tipton’s guitar work is just incredible.
Hell Bent For Leather is the song that made the band a household name for millions of heavy metal fans. It’s also a great example of how a Judas Priest album works best when the whole band is at full throttle.
The phrase “hell bent for leather” refers to moving fast and recklessly. It dates back to 1889 and comes from British Army jargon.
2. Metal Gods
A highlight of the British Steel album, Metal Gods is a dark epic that proves Rob Halford was more than capable of pulling off moody power ballads. With textbook metallic chug and infectious handclaps, this Priest masterpiece is a must-have for every fan.
Bouncing back from the hair metal obsession of Turbo, this fist pumper is classic adrenaline fuelled Priest. Featuring one of their fastest tempos, it’s backed by some of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing’s finest riffs, and one of Halford’s grittiest vocal performances.
3. Beyond The Realms Of Death
A perfect blend of a light ballad and heavy metal song this Priest classic is one of the most popular of their songs. It was the track that made critics take the band seriously. The main riff written by drummer Les Binks gives it a unique feel and Rob Halford’s vocals are superb.
It has a gangster feel to it and was the first track from their breakthrough album. It features some of Tipton and Downing’s best work with a great chorus backed by one of Halford’s trademark screams.
4. Night Comes Down
With its relatable themes of heartbreak and loneliness, Night Comes Down strikes a chord with listeners. Its powerful musical arrangement further adds to its emotional impact, making it a beloved classic among Judas Priest fans.
In addition to the song’s lyrics, the bridge showcases a change in dynamics that emphasizes the protagonist’s feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. The poignant message of the song resonates with listeners, despite its relatively obscure origin.
Judas Priest’s heavy metal albums are legendary and helped pave the way for speedy thrash metal in the ’80s. The band’s operatic vocal style and twin guitar sound set them apart from their contemporaries, resulting in an enduring legacy.
The band continues to tour, treating metal fans to extravagant live shows and spirited renditions of their unmistakable anthems. Ticket holders will never forget singer Rob Halford’s stage entrance, as he emerges from a cloud of fog riding a Harley. And don’t miss the epic performance of songs like Painkiller, Necromancer and Tyrant.
6. The Ripper
From their gargantuan concept album Nostradamus, this churning martial metal monstrosity may be one of their best songs. It features some of Tipton and Downing’s finest riffs backed by Halford at his grittiest and dirtiest.
It’s a shame that the band never played it live. The fast drums and soaring vocals make it perfect for arenas. It’s also a prime example of the vivid, fantastical color that Priest used to paint their lyrics. The song depicts a lone soldier fighting for revenge in a nightmarish (possibly post-apocalyptic) wasteland.
7. A Touch Of Evil
When it comes to classic metal songs about rebellion, few can beat the anthem that is Breaking the Law. The song features a catchy guitar riff and lyrics that resonate with generations of fans. It also features one of Glenn Tipton’s best vocal performances.
While most Priest fans hate power ballads, this one is a great exception. It’s a slow, grinding riff-beast with lashings of atmosphere and pomp. It’s also an impressive showcase for the guitar work of K.K Downing. This song also features an amazing video.
With one of the best drum intros in metal history, Priest smashed through the ’90s with their most ferocious song of their career. Considered a precursor to thrash metal, this track is relentless, and Rob Halford’s piercing vocals make the perfect match for Tipton’s sweep picking.
It’s a staple at live shows, and will have the crowd going apeshit. The riffs are epic, while the lyrics are a call to arms against modern warfare. A must-have for any metal fan.
9. Riding On The Wind
This slow-grinding riff-beast is an absolute classic. Its revenge inspired lyrics are a reminder that Priest were capable of anything and everything at any time in their career.
This song is a clear example of how Judas Priest began to incorporate outside influences into their sound with their sophomore album. With its stomping pace, guitar solos by Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, and Rob Halford’s iconic scream, it is a fan favorite.
A highlight from their Stained Class album, it showcases the talents of new drummer Les Binks. Its textbook metal chug and melodic yet heavy chorus are a great combination.
10. The Hellion
Judas Priest’s first chart success and arguably their greatest song of all time. It’s a churning, martial metal tune with the sort of reckless-but-in-control fury that makes it an absolute classic. It’s also a riff-beast that will get the crowd going mad at any show. The solos from Glenn Tipton & K.K. Downing are jaw-dropping too.
This track from their underrated ‘Ripper’ album might divide fans but it’s a brilliantly dark and grinding riff-beast. Its atmospheric opening sets the mood before a relentlessly pounding drum section.