It’s been 30 years since JUDAS PRIEST unleashed “Screaming For Vengeance”
— the album that solidified their position as world’s greatest heavy metal band! To celebrate the event, former PRIEST guitarist Kenneth “K.K.” Downing’s official web site, Steel Mill, has posted a new blog from K.K. on the recording, impact and legacy of “Screaming For Vengeance”. It follows in its entirety below.
“‘Screaming For Vengeance’ is still the band’s biggest-ever-selling record. This may come as a surprise to many, but if you ask me why this might be, I would give you quite a few reasons:
“Firstly, I would say that ‘Screaming’ has an undeniable completeness about it. By that, I mean a good and varied selection of songs, a cool cover and an overall uplifting feel that was perfect for the time when it was released.
“Timing! Now there is a very interesting topic when it comes to releases. I have a theory that timing plays a very crucial role in a bands career. In fact, I am convinced that even some PRIEST albums have been released before their time. Typically, a lot of bands have released albums that did not have a particular impact at the time of release but went on to be revered as classic albums for me! Although one could argue ‘Painkiller’ was just such an album for PRIEST and I am optimistic that ‘Nostradamus’ will follow.
“Back to ‘Screaming’; there is no doubt that without ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Comin”, the album may not have been the success that it was, but I guess we will never really know.
“As it happened, I seem to remember that we were quite happy with the album but decided late on that we could add one more song. I know we had some of the parts but we set about completing ‘Another Thing Comin” during the mixing sessions at Bee Jay studios. It came together quite quickly, and I seem to remember that we all had a good feeling about it as it did sound like a good driving song and possibly a good radio track.
“There is no particular secret as to how a band puts its sound together. Quite simply, each player does his best to achieve his own individual sound and then when everyone plays together there you have it: the bands unique sound. Then, if you are lucky, the studio that you choose to use will have some good-sounding rooms with acoustics that will complement the sounds from each instrument, including vocals. There is no doubt that you will see artists recording in the bathrooms, kitchen, offices, etc., or in fact anywhere that they can to achieve the right acoustics, reverb and so forth that is to their liking. It’s no wonder that there is such a wide variety in the sound of bands’ albums. Not only are they changing their instruments and equipment throughout time, but they are also using different studios around the world and I can honestly say that no two kitchens sound the same.
“For sure the band was enjoying life at the time. Personally, I felt that we were on a roll and nothing could stop us and it didn’t. We also got to make the record in Florida, which, for us English lads, was a real treat. The atmosphere and weather was definitely rock and roll. Although the material was written back home, there is nothing better than recording in a warm sunny climate. It certainly helped to be able to spend a little down time at the pool.
“Sadly, it is too long ago for me to remember the exact details and events that surrounded the making of this record. I can only sum it up by saying that I sincerely wish that I could turn back time and experience the whole thing again as it certainly was the year that JUDAS PRIEST was Screaming for Vengeance!”