Judas Priest – Sin After Sin [Remastered] (2001, Sony Music/Legacy Recordings)
Original Release: 1977, Columbia Records
1. “Sinner” … 6:45
2. “Diamonds and Rust” … 3:27
3. “Starbreaker” … 4:49
4. “Last Rose of Summer” … 5:38
5. “Let Us Prey/Call For The Priest” … 6:12
6. “Raw Deal” … 6:00
7. “Here Come the Tears” … 4:37
8. “Dissident Aggressor” … 3:06
9. “Race With The Devil” … 3:06
10. “Jawbreaker” (Live) … 4:02
Rob Halford – Vocals
K.K. Downing – Guitar
Glenn Tipton – Guitar, Piano
Ian Hill – Bass
Simon Phillips – Drums
Producer: Roger Glover and Judas Priest
Sin After Sin is Priest’s first major-label album. It is also one of the first Priest albums I had in my collection so I’ve always had a soft spot for it. I remember listening to this one a lot while I was on my own in Virginia attending a community college. Heck, I remember “Last Rose of Summer” playing in my car during that winter while I pulled into a Wendy’s drive-thru. Funny how the most random stuff sticks with you through the years, isn’t it?
By this point, the band was already starting to perfect their sound. “Sinner” and “Starbreaker” (what a cool title) are early Priest classics and I’ve always loved their cover of Joan Baez’s “Diamonds and Rust”. It wasn’t until many years later that I heard the original and I think it’s a pretty awful song. It’s amazing that Priest was able to work their magic with it. They totally made it their own.
The rest of the album is very good featuring Priest straddling the line between the early stages of heavy metal and what we would now call classic rock. The only stinker is “Last Rose of Summer”. Looking back at all the things the band has done since then, it just seems like a really weird song for them to record. They are no strangers to tossing a ballad or two our way even to this day, but this one is a very strange ’70s trippy number. “Here Come the Tears” is much more in line with the standard Priest ballad format but also features some great sorrowful wailing from Halford. I love his performance on this song. Then you’ve got fan favorite and early metal classic “Dissident Aggressor” which is pretty heavy even in this day and age, so I cannot even begin to imagine what this song must have sounded like to virgin ears!
All told, this is a classic release and essential for any fan of Priest and heavy metal in general. The seeds were being sown for the future and this album doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
Highlights: “Sinner”, “Diamonds and Rust”, “Starbreaker”, “Here Come the Tears”, “Dissident Aggressor”