Judas Priest has been around since 1969, when childhood friends K. K. Downing and Ian Hill joined up with Al Atkins and John Ellis to form the English heavy metal group. They made their debut on 1974’s “Rocka Rolla.” This initial effort met with little success, as poor sound quality and issues with their management reportedly compromised the final result. Their first major success came in 1980, when their sixth album “British Steel” went platinum in the U.S. and reached #34 on the Billboard 200.

In total, the group has released 16 studio albums over the course of their career, plus several live and compilation albums. In the spring of 2009, Judas Priest announced an extensive summer tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “British Steel.” Whitesnake was scheduled to appear as a special guest for most of the tour but dropped out partway through due to their lead singer’s medical issues. A new live album, “Judas Priest: A Touch of Evil,” was released in July 2009.

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