During a recent Book Soup virtual event hosted by Rolling Stone‘s Kory Grow, JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford elaborated on his comment in his autobiography “Confess” where he referred to “British Steel” and “Painkiller” as PRIEST‘s “masterpieces.” Asked what makes a “perfect” PRIEST album, Halford said (see video below): “It’s the same as like the ‘Avengers’. What was the best ‘Avenger’? Which was the best ‘Iron Man’? They’re all good, they’re all great, but some of them push forward a little bit more more than the others. And that’s the case with PRIEST. I could equally include ‘Sad Wings Of Destiny’, or even ‘Rocka Rolla’, the first album we ever made. But there are times that you get to as a band, as musicians, where all the pieces fit and everything connects in a very special way, like they did with ‘British Steel’, which is a standalone kind of PRIEST album, and ‘Painkiller’. And now, most recently, ‘Firepower’, equally. ‘Screaming For Vengeance’. I mean, every one has its worth. It’s just that some of ’em push ahead a little bit more than the rest.”
Released in March 2018, “Firepower” was the second PRIEST LP to feature Richie Faulkner, who was selected to fill the void left by founding guitarist K.K. Downing following his exit in 2011.
“Firepower” entered the Billboard 200 chart at position No. 5, making it PRIEST‘s highest-charting album ever. “Redeemer Of Souls” debuted and peaked at No. 6, while 2008’s “Nostradamus” landed at No. 11 and 2005’s “Angel Of Retribution” came in at No. 13.
“Firepower” moved 49,000 equivalent album units in first week of release. Of that sum, 48,000 were in traditional album sales, just shy of the 54,000 copies sold by “Angel Of Retribution” in that album’s first week. The “Firepower” chart position was bolstered by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer in association with the band’s spring 2018 North American tour.
Across the pond, “Firepower” landed at position No. 5 on the U.K. album chart. It marked the band’s highest ranking, and first time in the Top 10, since “British Steel” reached No. 4 in 1980. Elsewhere, “Firepower” also became PRIEST‘s first-ever No. 1 in Sweden.
Last month, JUDAS PRIEST and Rufus Publications announced the publication of the first-ever official JUDAS PRIEST book documenting the band’s extensive history over the last 50 years. Titled “Judas Priest – 50 Heavy Metal Years”, the book has been put together by David Silver, Ross Halfin and Jayne Andrews.
“Judas Priest – 50 Heavy Metal Years” can be exclusively pre-ordered at www.rufuspublications.com.
“Confess” arrived on September 29 via Hachette Books.