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On a recent summer afternoon, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Judas Priest's debut album, Rocka Rolla, and ahead of an upcoming US tour to coincide with the band's just-issused 17th studio album, Redeemer Of Souls, singer Rob Halford sat down with MusicRadar to reflect on the music of his youth.
“It’s interesting to consider all the different kinds of music that really connected with you during your life," Halford says. "When you’re growing up, each record can be a new discovery – 'epiphanies' would be the right word – and bit by bit, they combine and work together to help shape parts of your personality. And, of course, if you’re a musician, every record can play a huge role in your development."
He pauses thoughtfully, then adds, “The music that touches you in your youth is magnified as you get older. Each record can be a virtual time machine – all you need is to hear a second or two and you go back to that place and time when you first heard it. It’s a brilliant feeling when music touches you so profoundly and stays with you through time."
On the following pages, Halford talks about 10 albums that were life-changers for him, ranked in no particular order – "They're just the way they kind of popped into my head, but that can be the best way, right? You're just remembering and reacting. And some of these bands and artists I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen in concert at the time, and that makes the connection, for me, even stronger.”