All of the members of Judas Priest grew up in or around the northern industrial English city of Birmingham amidst coal mines, steel factories, iron ore smelters, and the mountainous piles of waste, or”slag”, an inevitable by-product from such heavy industry(the most notorious “slag heap” in rock is the album cover photo on The Who’s Who’s Next ). In English slang, to” slag off” somebody or something meant to reduce its value to useless waste.
It took a full five albums and the entire 1970s decade for Judas Priest to break out, but few of the music critics who slagged them initially were around to write about the band’s multi-million selling successes in the Eighties, starting with the live Unleashed in the East in 1979 followed by the definitive metal statement British Steel. While still trying to get a band together, Judas Priest lead guitarist Glenn Tipton actually worked at British Steel for his day job. And now it appears that some 21st century Madison Avenue “Mad Men” advertising exec is a closeted heavy metal fan, slipping Judas Priest into the soundtrack of the recent Honda Accord car tv commercial. British Steel and Defenders of the Faith each are marking significant anniversaries this year, so be sure to register to win the deluxe 3-CD edition below. –Redbeard