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The 10 Songs We NEED to Hear on Judas Priest's UK and Ireland Tour

Monday, 04 March 2024 Written by Jack Butler-Terry

For more than half a century, Judas Priest has been at the forefront of British metal, staking their claim as one of the most important and enduring heavy acts on the planet. Having written some of the genre’s most iconic anthems, it’s hard to narrow things down when selecting a setlist that accurately captures their influence and undimmed arena-shredding power. 

But with their 19th album ‘Invincible Shield’ set to be accompanied by massive shows in ​​Glasgow, Leeds, Dublin, Bournemouth, Birmingham and London we took on the challenge by combing their mammoth catalogue to choose the 10 songs we simply NEED to hear on their upcoming tour.

Crown Of Horns 

In the run up to ‘Invincible Shield’, Judas Priest have been building the hype with a string of superb singles, most recently Crown Of Horns. This tour will give the track its live debut and there's no doubt that it'll slot in seamlessly as the band prove that old dogs don’t always need to learn new tricks — this is just another reminder of everything they do well.

The Ripper 

Although the track recounts the grisly tale of Jack The Ripper, this is probably the most flamboyant song in the Priest repertoire. Channelling peak Queen, there’s a theatricality and elasticity that makes The Ripper utterly magnetic, not least for Rob Halford’s wide-ranging performance, which dishes out high pitched shrieks and gravelly lows with ease.

Electric Eye

There’s something distinctly Orwellian about the opening track from ‘Screaming For Vengeance’. “Up here in space / I'm looking down on you / My lasers trace / Everything you do,” Halford sings in a prescient indictment of today’s surveillance state. The track has also become the staple opener of a Priest concert, so we’ve mostly got this one here because it means the show is about to begin and that’s cool.  


The title track for their 12th album, released in 1990, Painkiller is all about the cyborg superhero that screams ferociously across the cover. Fittingly, then, the song is an iron-clad, flamethrowing monster, which was exactly what heavy metal needed in the early ‘90s. Not to be wiped out by the rising grunge tide, Halford and new drummer Scott Travis delivered a maniacal performance that showed there was plenty of life left in legacy metal.

Turbo Lover

Bands that branch out and try new things should be celebrated, but in the case of 1986’s ‘Turbo’, the added synths and drive towards arena-oriented rock fell flat for a lot of Judas Priest fans. Except for Turbo Lover, which has become a Judas Priest staple, one of their most beloved tracks and a great example of experimentation done right. The band once described it as “a fun bit of escapism more than anything else”, so feel free to lose yourself in this one.

Metal Gods

‘British Steel’ is probably Judas Priest’s best known album and while Breaking The Law was the standout track of the record (and let’s face it, maybe their whole career), Metal Gods is a swaggering, hard-edged cut that stacks up just as well. The call and response between vocals and guitars in the chorus is infectious and this is truly the sound of a band at the top of their game.

Beyond The Realms Of Death

Opening as a sensitive and vulnerable ballad, Beyond The Realms Of Death gives the band a chance to show off their skills at a far more moderate pace. Gentle guitar melodies underpin Halford’s vocals, which echo out over a chasm before burly choruses and sizzling guitar solos bring it back to the Priest you’ve come to know and love. Well-rounded and epic. 

Desert Plains

By the early ‘80s, major labels had started to take a grip of NWOBHM bands and that made 1981’s ‘Point Of Entry’ something of an over-engineered and insincere blip in the Priest catalogue. That’s not to say it was a complete dud, though, as Desert Plains paired restraint and rawness to stand out as one of the album’s best tracks. From the ominous vocal stylings to the pulsing rhythm section, the song feels like a dangerous highway chase that you want to be a part of.

Freewheel Burning

It didn’t take too long for Judas Priest to break free of the shackles imposed on them by the suits of the music industry, and they were apparently making up for lost time with Freewheel Burning. The thrashing number from 'Defenders of the Faith' has Halford sounding absolutely unhinged and the twin guitar solo is simply superb. As lead singles go, this must be up there as one of the most exciting in metal history and it absolutely pops live.

Hell Bent For Leather

Before Judas Priest, leather was rarely seen in heavy metal. But the band set the tone and set a new fashion precedent. This may be one of their best known songs, and it’s a fantastic reminder of how the band influenced the entirety of the heavy metal genre both musically and fashion-wise. Don’t believe us? Get to the show and see for yourself. 

Judas Priest Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon March 11 2024 - GLASGOW OVO Hydro
Wed March 13 2024 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Fri March 15 2024 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Sun March 17 2024 - BOURNEMOUTH BIC
Tue March 19 2024 - BIRMINGHAM Resorts World Arena
Thu March 21 2024 - LONDON OVO Arena Wembley

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