Rob Halford is a man of taste and a man of culture. The Judas Priest frontman has been making the rounds, promoting his new memoir, Confess, and recently offered a list to Rolling Stone of his ten favorite albums of all time. While there are obviously metal choices on there, Halford's list has a bit of variety.
It should come as no surprise that Halford's favorite album of all time is the debut Black Sabbath release. Here's what he had to say about it.
"They were local guys from the same neighborhood, the same neck of the woods as Priest. We literally grew up together, inventing this great music that we love and cherish so much called heavy-metal music. I chose the Black Sabbath album just because, like so many bands, your first one or two records really establish who you are as a band. It’s a bit like Priest with Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings of Destiny; Sad Wings of Destiny becomes the one we love so much because it becomes defining. With Black Sabbath, here was the first example of what heavy-metal music should sound like, just the texture, the tone, the structure of all of the material, Ozzy’s very unique voice. It’s just become a very important record in the discography of Black Sabbath."
Halford's full list is:
- Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath (1970)
- Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin (1969)
- Queen, Queen II (1974)
- The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
- The Rolling Stones, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! (1970)
- Deep Purple, Machine Head (1971)
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Axis: Bold as Love (1967)
- David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)
- Cream, Disraeli Gears (1967)
- Pantera, Cowboys From Hell (1990)
It seems like most of the releases come from either the late 60s or early 70s, and the Pantera album sticks out a bit coming out twenty years later.
Halford clearly was a big Pantera fan, as his side project Fight almost comes off like a Pantera tribute band, in many ways.
Of Cowboys From Hell, Halford told Rolling Stone "Pantera came about around the early Nineties. They were together before then, but they suddenly started to crush with the impact of Cowboys From Hell. If you know your music and your rock & roll, great things happen at the start of every decade. So when I got an earful of Cowboys From Hell, I knew that this was going to be a shifter. This actual display of the style of music that these guys were playing was literally going to shake up the world, which it did. We all know so many beautiful things about the band, especially Dimebag [Darrell, guitar], who I think was the driving force behind that band. What everybody was doing was just a full-on assault and attack, which got even stronger and more potent as they moved on to Far Beyond Driven, Great Southern Trendkill, and all of those other great records later on. But this one, this first one, really does the business for me."
Read his write ups of the other albums on Rolling Stone.