In a new interview with Classic Rock magazine, former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing was asked to name the best record he ever made. He responded: "[Laughs] No apologies, I must pick my albums by KK'S PRIEST: 'Sermons Of The Sinner'  and the new one, 'Sinner Rides Again'. They’re both very, very kick-ass and I'm proud of them both. They epitomize everything about me and who I am. They continue my legacy [with JUDAS PRIEST] and carry the hallmarks of the past."
As for the worst record he ever made, Downing said: "Jesus, I'll have to go with [JUDAS PRIEST's 1981 album] 'Point Of Entry'. But then again there are some great songs on that one. That's so, so hard to answer."
JUDAS PRIEST's seventh album, "Point of Entry" was released on February 26, 1981.
Three singles were released from the effort — "Heading Out to the Highway", "Don't Go" and "Hot Rockin'" — all of which had accompanying music videos. The band performed "Heading Out To The Highway" up until the release of the "Priest... Live!" album, and "Hot Rockin'" was still occasionally performed through early 2000s. On the 2005 "Re-united" tour JUDAS PRIEST also played "Solar Angels" on rare occasions: on the "Point Of Entry" tour, this was the opening song on every show.
"Point of Entry" was remastered and re-released in 2001, with two bonus tracks added — a live version of "Desert Plains" and a track from the "Ram It Down" sessions.
The U.S. cover of "Point of Entry" differed to that in the rest of the world, this being repeated with the remaster. The U.S. artwork became notorious for its use of printer paper to simulate the line in the middle of the road, and white cardboard boxes on the back.
Back in February 2011, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of "Point Of Entry", Downing offered the following comment on the LP's the classic track "Desert Plains": "'Desert Plains', to me, is just one of those songs that you can get into instantly because of the tempo and where the accents are in the riff. Additionally, and particularly in the States, the lyrical content making reference to the desert has that extra appeal for the fans in places like Arizona and New Mexico.
"Having mentioned the tempo, it was often difficult for us to keep it as per the studio version live because it seemed to work virtually at any tempo," he continued. "That's as long as it was faster of course, as is typical of bands when playing live. I guess it's because of that nervous energy and adrenalin that drives us that bit bit harder and faster when the lights go down.
"'Desert Plains' was also a song that none of us really wanted to leave out of the set, and if we did, it was only because we did not want fans to say that we kept on playing the same old songs. The song has that unique quality and feel about it and is hard to replace in the set.
"It would be great to think that songs like this are easy to keep writing, but believe me, I have tried. So unless we come up with something soon, there will be — and maybe quite rightfully — only one 'Desert Plains'."
Photo credit: Mind Art Visual