1982 – Part IV – Screaming For Vengeance

My first introduction to Judas Priest was via the “Turbo Lover” album that my cousin “Mega” had. Then “Mega” purchased the “Priest Live” video and I was blown away at hearing such classic songs in one release like “Metal Gods”, “Breaking the Law”, “The Sentinel”, “Electric Eye”, “Turbo Lover”, “Freewheel Burning”, “Living After Midnight” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'”.

So I searched for Judas Priest in the discount bins as I was trying to maximise the $20 I had with three to five albums instead of one album. In 1987, Judas Priest was not one of those bands you found in the discount bins at record stores. Eventually, after “Painkiller” came out in the early Nineties, I came across “British Steel” for $5 on cassette. It wasn’t until the mid-Nineties, that I purchased “Screaming For Vengeance” and “Defenders of The Faith” on vinyl, via the second hand record store and record fairs. I was actually surprised that Judas Priest had a whole career, a whole catalogue, before I even got into their music. But with all things musical, I had limited cash, so I needed to choose wisely.

So my Priest soundtrack of my youth, was the Live album dubbed on cassette, the Painkiller album dubbed on cassette and the Ram It Down album dubbed on cassette. So I was a fan of the band since 1987 and I never spent a cent on their recorded music. Even when I purchased their albums in the Nineties via the record fairs and second hand record stores, the money I gave, was all pure profit to the store owners, as I purchased used albums. And the labels complain today about people not purchasing music.

This album is important for a variety of reasons;

  • Certain songs proved to be the embryos of the Metalcore, Melodic Rock and Power Metal movements.
  • The album moved Judas Priest away from the NWOHM brand, which was becoming an Achilles heel for some bands like Tygers Of Pan Tang and Diamond Head.

“The Hellion/Electric Eye”
This is a one-two knockout. The emotive harmony guitars in “The Hellion” kick things off nicely and then that riff to kick off “Electric Eye”. That one single riff spawned the whole Metalcore movement. My favourite track on the LP. Because of the riff, “Electric Eye” is instantly memorable.

You think you’ve private lives
Think nothing of the kind
There is no true escape
I’m watching all the time

Man, with all of our security agencies spying on us and our governments passing laws for more privacy violations, lyrics from 1982, about a Satellite spying on us, is not that far off from what is happening.

Back when I first heard the album, it was on LP. It was easy, you just lay back with the headphones and wait for the next song to start. However, when I listen to it today, with my headphones, I press repeat after this song finishes.

“Riding On The Wind”
It’s classic Priest. Priest always did Blues Metal excellent. Plus Halford breaks out the falsetto in the verses.

Tearing up through life
Million miles an hour

In the 80’s that is all we wanted to do. In the 2010’s it’s very different. The kids are tearing it up in their bedrooms, connected online and 24/7. There is no need to go out and let your hair down and connect with people. In the end, the term “speed of life” is summed up in those two lines.

It’s not the best song, but I dig the way it musically flows. If “Electric Eye” gave birth to the Metalcore movement, then “Bloodstone” would be a child of the Melodic Rock movement.

How much longer will it take
For the world to see
We should learn to live
And simply let it be

The term “Bloodstone” will probably be associated with Machine Head. Again, the lyrics are Halford’s take of what is happening in the world around 1981 and 1982. “Electric Eye” focused on government spying, “Riding on the Wind” focused on breaking free from social norms and “Bloodstone” focuses on learning to live together instead of against each other.

“(Take These) Chains”
The first 30 seconds is a Police song. Actually the verses are very similar to the Police. Then the rest is melodic rock.

It’s written by Bob Halligan, Jr.

Who’s that you say?

Well I said the same damn thing when I saw him listed as a songwriter. But it triggered a memory. So I went to my record collection and pulled out “Hot In The Shade” from Kiss, and there he was, listed as a song writer to “Rise to It” and “Read My Body” along with Paul Stanley. I then pulled out Bonfire’s “Point Blank” album and there he was again, listed as a co-writer to the excellent “Bang Down the Door”.

I remember seeing his name on other albums, so I went through my whole collection to see on what else he was listed as a co-writer. This is before you could Google his name and see. And there he was on “Midnite Dynamite” from Kix. Actually he is all over that album, having 7 co-writes out of 10. And there he was on Kix’s biggest hit, “”Don’t Close Your Eyes” from the “Blow My Fuse” album.

“Pain And Pleasure”
Musically, I love the groove. Lyrically it’s not the best, but the stomping beat is enough to get my head nodding and my foot tapping.

“Screaming For Vengeance”
The embryo of the Power Metal movement is right here. As frantic as the music is, it is Rob Halford’s falsetto vocals all the way through that define what Power Metal would become. The lyrics on this song are brilliant.

Hey listen, don’t you let ’em get your mind
Fill your brain with orders and that’s not right
They’re playing at a game that draws you closer
Till you’re livin’ in a world that’s ruled by fear

There is tons of attitude and anger in this track. The whole “1984 – Big Brother is watching” is throughout this album.

Everyone who makes it in the great escape
Leaves a thousand more who suffer in their wake

So true.

“You Got Another Thing Comin”
How cool is this song?

It was never meant to be a single. It was buried at the back end of the album. It took a radio DJ to start playing it back when DJ’s drove culture, before radio got shareholders. Hell, it was even a last minute addition to the album. So the song started to get traction via radio stations playing it, and when Sony caught on, they put some money in the marketing and officially released it as a single. The rest as they say is history.

One life, I’m gonna live it up
I’m takin’ flight, I said I’ll never give it up

There it is, the whole message of the early Eighties, the one that made Twisted Sister superstars with “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

Judas Priest spent close to 18 months touring the US (from July 82 to December 83) and then they hit Europe. During these years, Judas Priest cemented their status as a force to be reckoned with in the Eighties. The victory lap that Judas Priest did each year after 1982 was because of “Screaming For Vengeance”.

A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance

It’s there Eighth album. Think about that for a second. How many bands out there had their biggest album on their 8th release. Just to put it into context. Metallica’s 8th album was “St Anger”. Motley Crue’s 8th album was “New Tattoo”. Aerosmith’s 8th album was “Done With Mirrors”. Black Sabbath’s 8th album was “Never Say Die”. Ozzy’s 8th album was “Down To Earth”.

There is a reason why this album is a classic album. The good old right place and right time applies, however there is more to it.

It molds the AC/DC style of rock, with the NWOBHM style of metal that Judas Priest was involved in, with the Euro Metal sounds of Accept and Scorpions, with the sounds of the new Hard Rock scene coming out from the U.S. It has so many styles and genres merged into one concise package. And the audience lapped it up.

It satisfied the audience that they built up with “British Steel” in 1980 and the “Livin After Midnight” fans.

“Screaming For Vengeance” also brought in a whole new audience with the lean and simple, “You Got Another Thing Comin”.

And when a band is faced with a deadline two things happen. They choke or they deliver. In this case, Judas Priest delivered. They found themselves needing one more track. And that last track was “You Got Another Thing Comin”.

And you know, the band felt that the more complex pieces should be sequenced earlier on and as it turned out, that buried eighth track called “Another Thing Comin” was the one. Radio picked up the track and started to play it without the label even thinking of releasing it as a single. It was the final years of when the actual DJ had the power to break a band with the playlists they created.

Tom Allom was in the producers chair again.

Again it is the one/two punch of “The Hellion/Electric Eye” that kicks it off. With the lyrical themes of “someone spying on us” and the melodic pedal point riff, you can easily place this song as a parent to the thrash movement.

The whole Orwellian “1984” theme of spy satellites and the invasion of privacy is so real today, with the NSA and other democratic Government agencies around the world spying on their own citizens. In 30 plus years, the world is exactly the “Electric Eye” and our civil liberties are being eroded a little bit at a time.

You think you’ve private lives
Think nothing of the kind
There is no true escape
I’m watching all the time

Yep, it sure sounds like 2014.

Even in “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” there is a theme in there that was used to great extent by Dee Snider in “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

“My life, I’m gonna live it up”

The teenagers of the Eighties were born to parents who were born during World War II or just after. Our upbringing was different. Live, work and die was the unwritten mantra.

So when we heard songs like “You Got Another Thing Comin”, “Cum on Feel The Noize”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “Shout At The Devil” and “Don’t Stop Believin” we connected with them immediately.

“(Take These) Chains” was written by Bob Halligan Jnr. If that name sounds familiar, it should. He co-write “Rise To It” with Paul Stanley from the Kiss album, “Hot In The Shade”. He also co-write “Don’t Close Your Eyes” with the Kix guys for the “Blow My Fuse” album.

“Screaming For Vengeance”

Tie a blindfold all around your head
Spin you round in the torture before the dread
And then you’re pushed and shoved into every corner
Then they lead you out into the final slaughter

This is what the Copyright industries and the powerful record labels have done. In order to protect their business models, they lobbied hard to get Copyright terms extended. They lobbied hard and went to the courts to challenge or kill innovation that challenged their profits. All done with a blindfold over the public.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

The Great “Bark At The Moon” Song Writing Controversy

Coming into the “Bark At The Moon” sessions, the Blizzard of Ozz band was in disarray. Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake got fired before “Diary of A Madman” was released and in the process they had their credits removed from the album. The other driving force, Randy Rhoads died tragically when the plane he was on crashed into a mansion and burst into flames on March 19th, 1982.

Ozzy Osbourne as usual was at his drunken best and after delivering the “Speak/Talk Of The Devil” album, he was free from his Jet Records contract, ready to sign a major label deal with CBS.

Jake E Lee joined Ozzy’s band during the “Speak of the Devil” tour. The band at the time consisted of Tommy Aldridge on drums, Don Costa on bass and Lindsay Bridgewater on keyboards. Once that tour ended, the song writing process began for the next album.

This is what Jake E. Lee had to say on the song writing process in a recent interview with the Ultimate Classic Rock website;

Well, most of that was really me and Bob Daisley. Because Ozzy would show up and kind of play around with songs. I remember that I had the riff for ‘Bark at the Moon’ and I played that, and he said, “Oh, I love it — we’ll call that one ‘Bark at the Moon,’” because he already had the album title in mind. So he said, “That’s the one that’s going to be ‘Bark at the Moon.’” He’d come in with things like that and then he’d drink, and he’d either pass out or leave, which left just me and Bob. We’d stay in the studio and flesh out the songs. It was fun working with Bob. He wrote all of the lyrics, [and he’s] a great lyricist. So yeah, me and Bob, we had a good working relationship. It was fun doing that record.

Bob Daisley told his story to the Bravewords website in the following way;

“You see Ozzy and Sharon were trying to get me to agree to get rid of Lee (Kerslake) and get Tommy Aldridge in the band. I kept on saying no, it’s not broken, so let’s not fix it. Lee (Kerslake) was working fine. So they got rid of both of us. But a few months later, Sharon phoned me and asked me to meet her in London for a chat. She said that Randy wanted me to come back and that they wanted to do a third album. So I was supposed to do an album with Randy, Ozzy and Tommy Aldridge. It was all planned that I was supposed to do the third album, which I did but not until 1983 but was supposed to be in 1982. Obviously Randy was not a part of it and it ended up being Jake E Lee. Everything was postponed when Randy left us.”

That postponement meant that Dan Costa was playing bass on the 1982, Winter/Spring European tour. Eventually, Ozzy got fed up with him, punched him in the face, breaking his nose and firing him all in one swoop. The call went out to Bob Daisley again to do the US Festival gig and then the third album.

The US Festival attendance figure varies however it is safe to say that the attendance was somewhere between 350,000 to 450,000 people. The US Festival was the Metal’s world “Woodstock”.

From May 29, 1983 up until 1992, metal and rock ruled. Coming into the US Festival, Bob Daisley had a week to get himself re-acquainted with the songs. In typical rock star fashion, Daisley flew in to L.A, went straight to rehearsal from the airport with some series jet lag. After another rehearsal the next day, he walked out on stage to play to a sea of people on the third day. The bands that performed on the Heavy Metal day included;

Quiet Riot
Mötley Crüe
Ozzy Osbourne
Judas Priest
Van Halen

The US Festival (sponsored and orchestrated by Apple’s Steve Wozniack) was a pivotal moment for all of the metal bands involved.

Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health” was released on March 11, 1983 however it didn’t really do anything. The album then started to take off after the US Festival in May 1983 and after the release of “Cum On Feel The Noize” as a single in August 1983, it exploded.

Motley Crue already had some momentum going with “Too Fast For Love”. The U.S Festival helped cement their status as Sunset Strip favourites and when “Shout At The Devil” hit the streets in September 1983, the momentum became a tidal wave to platinum glory. Motley Crue played the perfect set, including a few of the new songs that would appear on “Shout At The Devil”, so as a concert goer, if you heard those songs and liked them, you more or less would go out and purchase the album that has them them.

Triumph, Scorpions and Judas Priest already had some serious momentum going.

1981’s “Allied Forces” for Triumph was a success and the follow-up “Never Surrender” released in January 1983 was no slouch either and it was certified Gold on September 30, 1983 by the RIAA. Isn’t it funny what a festival in May of that same year did to boosting sales.

Judas Priest had their 1982 “Screaming For Vengeance” album doing the rounds and in April 1983 it was certified Platinum in the U.S.

Scorpions had their 1982 album “Blackout” out in the market and their visibility at the US Festival in May 1983, assisted in “Blackout” reaching Platinum status in March 1984. Also in March 1984, “Love At First Sting” hit the streets with the worldwide smash “Rock You Like A Hurricane” further cementing the band’s status as superstars. This success didn’t come instantly either, as the Scorpions had been working since the start of the Seventies.

Van Halen at the time were kings of LA however their last album “Diver Down” didn’t do them any favours. The visibility from the May 1983 festival along with Eddie Van Halen featuring in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” song would help their “1984” album released in January 1984 reach the lofty Diamond certification.

Ozzy Osbourne on the other hand was a very different place in his career. He had the momentum with the Blizzard Of Ozz band and then started losing that momentum when Sharon and Ozzy fired Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake. With the death of Randy Rhoads, all of that momentum was totally lost. So the US Festival was an important moment for Ozzy Osbourne’s career.

For Daisley, coming back into the fold after he played the U.S Festival meant that he came with conditions this time around. Two of the conditions he stipulated was to be paid for writing the songs and to be paid to play on the album. Other conditions that he stipulated was to get bonuses when the sales reached a half a million and then a million and so on. However, as usual, he got screwed again and no bonuses came. Of course when the album was released in November 1983, by January of 1984 it was certified Gold in the US.

So after the US Festival in May 1983, Bob Daisley, along with Jake E. Lee, Tommy Aldridge and Ozzy Osbourne went to New York and started writing. Writing continued in London and recording started at Ridge Farms with Max Norman Engineering and producing again. The rest of the album was finished at The Power Station back in New York in 1983. The reason for the change was that Ridge Farm Studio was losing money at that point. In typical Osbourne fashion, the favourite Tommy Aldridge struggled in the studio, with Sharon Osbourne constantly on his case as to why the drum parts were taking so long. So after Aldridge recorded the album and just before the tour, he got fired.

That is when Carmine Appice entered the fold. Appice appeared in the “Bark At The Moon” video and had a contract to do the tour. Eventually he got fired from the tour as well due to him sneaking off and doing drum clinics, which infuriated Sharon Osbourne, especially when he would come back late for sound checks.

This is what Bob Daisley had to say on the matter in an interview on the Classic Rock Revisited website;

“Sometimes he (Appice) would throw extra things into the songs that shouldn’t be there just to show his pupils that he gave free tickets to after doing the clinics. He got a little carried away with himself but it was wrong for Ozzy and Sharon to get rid of him because he had a contract to do that tour. They should have ironed out the problems but what do they do? They get rid of him and bring Tommy Aldridge back and I think it was a mistake. Carmine sued them and he won.”

How many law suits would the Osbourne’s face that all could have been avoided if they were fair to the musicians that really made Ozzy Osbourne’s solo career. Let’s get one thing out-of-the-way. The mix is horrible. Thank Tony Bongiovi for that.

“Bark At the Moon” was a title that Ozzy came up with. Ozzy mentions it and both Jake and Bob agree with it. Jake E. Lee came up with the riffs and Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics about a beast that comes out in a full moon.

I love the lyrics in “You’re No Different.” Bob Daisley has stated that it was Ozzy’s title and that Ozzy wanted the song to be about people judging and criticizing him.

Look at yourself instead of looking at me
With accusation in your eyes
Do you want me crucified
For my profanity

Concealing your crimes behind a grandeur of lies
Tell me where do I begin
If you think you’re without sin
Be the first to cast the stone

Living my life in a way that I choose
You say I should apologize
Is that envy in your eyes
Reflecting jealousy

Tell me the truth and I’ll admit to my guilt
If you’ll try to understand
But is that blood that’s on your hand
From your democracy

The lyrics to the song “Now You See It (Now You Don’t)” were composed by Daisley and were aimed at Osbourne’s wife and manager Sharon Osbourne. However Ozzy and the rest assumed the song was about sex. Even Bob Daisley stated once that the song is about hiding a sausage.

For the song “Rock N Roll Rebel” this is what Bob Daisley had to say about it on his website;

Ozzy’s title and another one about him being accused of being a devil worshiper. Some of the lyrics were his too but about 90% were mine.

“Centre of Eternity” or “Forever” was Bob Daisley’s title and lyrics. As Bob stated, it is a “tongue-in-cheek philosophical look at ‘time’ and our existence in eternity.”

“So Tired” to me was a great song. Jake E Lee hated the orchestra in the song. Bob Daisley has stated that it was his title and lyrics. On his website, this is what he had to say about the song;

Something quite unusual for me to write – a love song. The idea came from a Kinks’ song I heard on the radio one night driving back home from Ridge Farm. Their song was called ‘Tired of Waiting’ but that’s where the similarities end.

“Slow Down” is a Bob Daisley title and all lyrics are by Daisley. This is what Bob Daisley had to say about the song;

Inspired by The Beatles’ song of the same name but again, that’s where the similarities end, the lyrics are very different. I remember Jake E. Lee particularly liked this one.

“Waiting for Darkness” to me is a favourite. It is Ozzy’s title however Bob Daisley wrote all the lyrics.

This is what Bob Daisley had to say about the song;

I wrote it about the hypocrisy within organized religion, the brainwashing, mind control, paedophilia and manipulation through guilt, and that if that’s what equates to the ‘light’ then I’ll wait for the ‘darkness’. When Ozzy was asked what the song was about during his interview with ‘International Musician’ magazine, mentioned earlier, his answer was, “A witch.” It seems he didn’t understand the lyrics I’d written and he’d sung, although he took credit for writing it.

“Spiders” was a Bob Daisley title and lyrics.

This is what Bob Daisley had to say about the song;

When we were recording ‘Bark’ at Ridge Farm, there were hundreds of little spiders everywhere. They were harmless but the glut of them inspired the song idea. I turned it around at the end with ‘the spider’s in your head’…

“One Up the B-side” is Bob Daisley’s ode to anal sex and the title and lyrics are all his.

In relation to the music, Jake E. Lee has said that he would come up with riffs and the ones that got the nod of approval ended up into songs.

On the Ultimate Classic Rock website, Jake E . Lee is asked the question if he went into the making of the “Bark At The Moon” record knowing that he would not be getting any writing credits. He answered that question with a simply “No”.

This is what he had to say on the matter;

“I was promised that I would get [credit]. Because I was young and I was in the middle of Scotland recording, I didn’t have a manager or a lawyer — it was just me. From the beginning, every musician, it’s always hammered into them, “Keep your publishing” and “Keep your writing.” So those were the only conditions that I had was “OK, I’m getting song writing credit, right?” I was always assured that “Yes, I’m getting publishing — of course you are!” When I didn’t on the first record, it was upsetting. But I figured OK, what am I going to do? I got freaked — what am I going to quit? We’re about to tour on a record that I finally got to make. There’s no problem for Ozzy to find another guitar player — am I just going to be that guy that played on that record, didn’t even get credit on the record and then refused to tour because I had a problem with Ozzy? No. I had to go out and tour. It would have been stupid not to. So I was only able to put my foot down at the end of the tour. “Let’s make another record” and I was like, “OK, but this time, you know what? I want the contract first before we start recording. I don’t want to be a dick, but I don’t want to get freaked again either.”

A lot of people think that Ozzy wrote a lot of the lyrics. Ozzy has led people to believe that. In interviews Ozzy has always stated, “when I wrote that”. It is all lies.

This is what Bob Daisley had to say on the matter, in an interview on the Classic Rock Revisited website;

“The Osbournes won’t recognize or admit it’s true. They dislike the fact that, through my lyrics, I had a big hand in creating the magic and image that is Ozzy Osbourne. They’ve always tried to hide that. I remember at the time of Bark At The Moon, Jake E. Lee’s song publishing and mine had some complications. So we opted for a buyout and that’s why it says – ‘All songs written by Ozzy Osbourne.’ This of course, is not true. Ozzy did an interview with International Musician magazine, back in ’83 or ’84, they asked him how he wrote those songs and he said ‘with one finger on a piano.’ What a joke. The whole thing was ridiculous. Most people take it for granted that if someone is singing lyrics, that they wrote them.”

Now Bob Daisley got a buy out for “Bark At The Moon”, however it looks like Jake E.Lee got really screwed over for this release. There are no royalty checks for the songwriting and no publishing monies either. Let’s hope the Osbourne’s can sleep well each night, considering that a couple of million from the hundreds of millions that Ozzy is worth could right their wrongs.