The year is 1982. Reagan, Thatcher and Duran Duran are ascendant. Blade Runner hits theaters to crickets in the seats and two thumbs down from Siskel & Ebert. But there’s another, more instantly flammable debut in the cards for that neon-streaked year: The Hellion, a sleek, metallic war bird rendered by airbrush kingpin Doug Johnson. Screaming For Vengeance – that was the ear-splitting herald of 1982’s New Wave of Metal, ushered in by Birmingham, England’s own Judas Priest.

The band’s twin guitar, outlaw biker ethos had been building a passionate touring audience for almost a decade with no help from commercial radio. No help, that is, until the 1980 album British Steel beamed metal standards like “Breaking The Law” and “Living After Midnight” through U.S. rock radio airwaves. With Screaming, at last there was no holding back the commercial breakthrough. The album instantly conquered the mullet underground, broke wide and went multi-platinum. “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” became the metal generation’s rebuttal to the Pod People Solution advocated by the family values-touting B-actor who at that moment was busy giving aid and comfort to the right wing death squads of Central America. Teen-age paranoia was never better serviced than in the lead track “Electric Eye,” marking singer Rob Halford as one of rock’s canniest lyricists. Riding a massive new album and tour with all their underground mystique fully intact, The Golden Age of Priest had fully arrived.

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