JUDAS PRIEST Will 'Definitely' Throw 'Some Kind Of A Party' To Celebrate 30th Anniversary Of 'Painkiller', Says ROB HALFORD
November 11, 2020
In a new interview with the "Jeremy White Podcast", Rob Halford was asked if there are any plans for JUDAS PRIEST to release a special deluxe edition of the "Painkiller" album to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. The singer responded (see video below): "We're looking at all the opportunities. I'll tell you, these kind of things [album anniversaries] creep up on you… But 'Painkiller' is a very special album to PRIEST and to the metal world for everything that it stands for and still gives to people. And we're aware of that. So we as a band and management and the label, we're always looking at opportunities to celebrate these milestones. And so we just direct everybody to the main PRIEST account on Instagram and Facebook and whatever, Twitter, and that's where all the news is. But there's definitely gonna be some kind of a party."
Halford also talked about the classic drum into to the "Painkiller" title track, which opened the album and introduced PRIEST's then-new drummer Scott Travis. Asked if PRIEST made a conscious decision to come up with a way to spotlight Travis or if the intro happened organically, Rob replied: "It happened organically. We were writing all the songs for the record. We finished doing all the writing. And then back in the album world, making albums, like we still do as a band — we make records which are called albums which take you through the songs that we represent ourselves with at that time, whenever we do it — this 'Painkiller' track, which ended up being the title track… And sometimes the title track doesn't necessarily have to lead the record off. But it just felt such a potent statement. In all of the songs that we'd written, we felt that this had so much to say and that because it needed this kind of extraordinary opening — the drums instead of a screaming voice or wailing guitars — we thought, 'Let's go for it.' And what a great way to introduce Scott for the first time, as it was then, with PRIEST, with that particular record. It still lights up the room. Whenever we play 'Painkiller' live and Scott's there by myself on the stage doing that opening thing, fans go absolutely nuts. It's a bit of metal iconography right there. It's a glorious statement."
"Painkiller" was PRIEST's twelfth studio album and it marked Halford's last recording with the band for more than decade, as he left PRIEST in May 1992 to pursue a solo career. The album received a Grammy nomination for "Best Metal Performance" at the 33rd annual Grammy Awards, losing to METALLICA's cover of the QUEEN song "Stone Cold Crazy".
According to Wikipedia, "Painkiller" was recorded at Miraval Studios in Brignoles, France and mixed at Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, the Netherlands. It was produced by the band and Chris Tsangarides, marking the first time since 1978's "Killing Machine" that PRIEST had not worked with Tom Allom and the first time since 1976's "Sad Wings Of Destiny" that PRIEST and Tsangarides worked together.
"Painkiller" was certified gold by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) in January 1991. A remastered version of the album was released in May 2001, including a live recording of "Leather Rebel" and a previously unreleased song, "Living Bad Dreams".