ARTIST: Judas Priest
TITLE: Rocka Rolla
YEAR RELEASED: 1974
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Rocka Rolla
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: This is some deep cut Judas Priest
LINEUP: Rob Halford, KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill, John Hinch
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First record for the heavy metal mainstay. It’s kinda hard, not really that heavy (mostly), nor really metal, nor really good.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s not a record that makes you run to the store for more Judas Priest, let me tell you. Only a few of the tracks, and sometimes just moments in the tracks, scream out “Priest!” and then it’s more of a whisper than a scream.
The title cut rocks, and a couple of others have some heavy moments, but the material isn’t up to par (Halford hadn’t been in the band that long, and Tipton JUST joined, so about half the tracks were pre-dating Halford and only the tile cut was co-written by Tipton). So we can chalk this up to being rushed in the studio. The production is kind of flat and meh as well, not crisp and sharp like you’d want your metal.
It could be worse, of course. But they’d do so much better on their next try.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The producer, Rodger Bain, didn’t want to record some great tracks that were also co-written by Tipton, saying they weren’t commercial enough. Those tracks became the focus of Sad Wings of Destiny. D’oh!
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: They added a version of “Diamonds and Rust” that was actually recorded in 1975.
GRADE: C+: There have been a lot of repackaging of this album, but it all adds up the same. It’s not really great, and only the title cut makes you want more.