Rob Halford Reflects On Classic Judas Priest Album and Concert


. As Judas Priest release a deluxe 30th anniversary edition of their "Defenders Of The Faith" album, frontman Rob Halford takes a look back at the album and live concert recording that they included in the new package.

Halford shared his memories of the Long Beach Arena concert (including as on a bonus disc of the anniversary reissue) with Classic Rock Revisited. He said, "It was Saturday night, I believe and it was kind of a summer show. It was a sold-out event. It was just absolute magic.

"That night everything was working as you hoped. The crowd was great. It is a classic Priest memory and I am really pleased we were able to have recorded it. When I listen to it now you can sense it.

"We were playing the music a million miles an hour. I don't know how we were able to play the songs that fast. I know how it happened, as we were just caught up in the energy of the moment and we were pushing it as fast as we could, so the tempo increased dramatically on some of the songs. It didn't create any detrimental effect, in fact, I think it just gave the event more ferocity.

"It is wonderful that we can marry those two things up with this release. We can marry up the live experience of what the Metal Heads were going through that night and on that tour, as well as having the studio recordings to kind of make a comparison."

Halford also discussed the up and down circumstance surrounding the recording of "Defenders Of The Faith". He said, "The tremendous reaction to Screaming for Vengeance was propelled by the way radio embraced the song, 'You've Got Another Thing Comin'' which became part of rock and roll history.

"You get a record that goes Platinum pretty quickly in America, at least, and naturally everybody's stoked and excited and you're ready to get to that next level, whatever that might be. There is always an element of uncertainty in rock and roll. You play your heart out and you write and record the best you can, but there is no guarantee what the outcome will be. Having said that, we were completely immersed in this amazing time that we had, particularly in the States, which wound up at the now iconic and infamous US Festival. We shared the stage with our mates on 5/29/'83. Ozzy was there. [Motley] Crue was there. Triumph was there. Van Halen was there. The Scorpions were there, and Priest was there.

"In July we got on a plane to Ibiza, Spain. It is a small bunch of islands off the East coast of Spain. We're all set to go and we get to the studio, and talk about hitting your brakes… there was absolutely nothing left in the studio. There was just the building. It had been gutted. They hadn't been paying the bills and so, unbeknownst to us, they'd come in and taken the consoles out. They took the tape machines… everything that was not secured was taken.

"We basically went back to square one in the idea of getting off the plane to start making Metal. We had to wait two or three weeks before we could fire everything back up again.

"I look back now at that with kind of bewilderment and amusement, but at the same time, the thing about Metal is that whenever these difficulties or adversities are put in your face, Metal Heads deal with it. We say, 'Bring it on' and we take care of business and that's what we did. Having said that, we just started like we've done with past Priest albums and we turned the amps on and plugged in the guitars. Slowly but surely, we put together Defenders of the Faith." Read the full interview here.

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