8 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Judas Priest’s debut only hints at the metal juggernaut the band would soon become. “Winter” and “Run of the Mill” present an odd, but intriguing, cross between the sludge-rock riffage of Black Sabbath (Priest’s Birmingham brethren) and the moody atmospherics of Pink Floyd. Though it was live in the studio, Rocka Rolla features unusually subdued production from Black Sabbath collaborator Rodger Bain, and rockers like “One For the Road” end up feeling strangely deflated. Against the band’s wishes, the 14-minute epic “Caviar and Meths” was edited down until all that remained was the intro, but even in its truncated state the song establishes a model for baroque instrumentals that metal bands would draw from for years to come. Just when it begins to seem that the affable jam band of Rocka Rolla bears no relation to the leather-bound hellions of British Steel, the dueling guitars of “Rocka Rolla” and the operatic wail on “Never Satisfy” are there to remind the listener that the blueprint for Judas Priest’s best work begins here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Judas Priest’s debut only hints at the metal juggernaut the band would soon become. “Winter” and “Run of the Mill” present an odd, but intriguing, cross between the sludge-rock riffage of Black Sabbath (Priest’s Birmingham brethren) and the moody atmospherics of Pink Floyd. Though it was live in the studio, Rocka Rolla features unusually subdued production from Black Sabbath collaborator Rodger Bain, and rockers like “One For the Road” end up feeling strangely deflated. Against the band’s wishes, the 14-minute epic “Caviar and Meths” was edited down until all that remained was the intro, but even in its truncated state the song establishes a model for baroque instrumentals that metal bands would draw from for years to come. Just when it begins to seem that the affable jam band of Rocka Rolla bears no relation to the leather-bound hellions of British Steel, the dueling guitars of “Rocka Rolla” and the operatic wail on “Never Satisfy” are there to remind the listener that the blueprint for Judas Priest’s best work begins here.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
98 Ratings
98 Ratings
ohmega ,

A Masterpiece

This album is a veritable masterpiece. I'm a huge fan of the subsequent three Priest albums ("Sad...", "Sin...", "Stained...") but "Rocka Rolla" is at the top of my Priest collection for its sheer musicality and lyrical quality (highlight: "Run of the Mill"). But beware: I am a Pink Floyd fan (and not an 80s metal fan) so take my review with the appropriate grains of salt.
Having said that: grab this album.

Reills ,

So Few Quite Understand...

There are so many bands that put out simply amazing music early in their career only to break the hearts of their dearest fans but a few years later. Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Queen and yes, Judas Priest is certainly one of those bands. Rocka Rolla is amazing. The album has so much substance but it's not for the weak at heart or the short of attention. This is not environment music...this is the stuff that demands your attention...Turn it up, turn out the lights and focus. Trust me, if you invest your time and attention this album will talk to you. One of the most solid debuts...."Run of the Mill' is my favorite if I must choose. For those of you who understand (Ken, Steve, I'm lookin right at you) - salute.

devil dog ron ,

rocka rolla is an all time classic

I listened to Rocka Rolla with my friends while partying in the early 80's. We were all Priest Maniacs and songs like never satisfied and one for the road were staples to our quarters parties. Long live the Priest!@

More By Judas Priest

You May Also Like