50 years of Judas Priest, heavy metal's unsung heroes: only in the new Classic Rock

Classic Rock 291
(Image credit: Future)

It's been more than a year, but the new issue of Classic Rock celebrates the return of something special: proper, bang-to-rights live music. Download Festival successfully ran a government-sanctioned pilot event, while Orange Goblin were finally able to celebrate their 25th (26th now) anniversary in socially distanced gig style. We were there, and it was epic. 

You can read about both shows in Classic Rock 291. And all things being well, our cover stars Judas Priest – the metal gods themselves – are readying themselves for a triumphant headline set at Bloodstock in August. Things are looking up. We’ll see you (safely) down the front! 

The new issue of Classic Rock is on sale now (opens in new tab).

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Features

Judas Priest
There’ve been ups, there’ve been downs, and after 50-plus years they’re still very much around. We spoke to all current members about life in, and out of, one of the greatest metal bands of them all.

Features: Styx
For 50 years they’ve cruised through heavenly highs and weathered hellish lows. Now, with their latest album, they continue to enjoy their latest creative and popular high.

Jim Capaldi
With Traffic he made some wonderful and classic music of the 60s and 70s, and his solo records reflected his talents as a songwriter as well as a musician.

The Who
A Pop Art album of great music interspersed with radio-style ads and jingles and released in a now iconic sleeve, The Who Sell Out is arguably the best album they ever made. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey spill the beans.

Ian McNabb
He’s collaborated with Crazy Horse, Ringo Starr and even auditioned for Brookside. Now The Icicle Works founder and current solo artist is ready to conclude his latest trilogy.

Stone Temple Pilots
Despite its title, Tiny Music was a huge album for the band. A quarter-century on, we talk to Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz about the triumphs and agonies behind it.

The Cold Stares
Chris Tapp’s life has had plenty of ups, but the downs were way down there. And while he could have happily done without them, they’ve fuelled the incendiary blues of his band.

Elton John
In August 1970, totally unknown in the US, he played his first gig there, at the 300-capacity Troubadour. That audience-flooring show was a major turning point in his career.

Earl Slick
Plucked from obscurity at 22 to replace Mick Ronson as Bowie’s sideman guitarist, his life was never going to be quite the same again. Nor was his lifestyle.

Classic Rock 291

(Image credit: Future)

The Stories Behind The Songs: Don McLean
Half a century on, American Pie, his folk-rock anthem about the souring of the American Dream continues to confound and inspire.

Q&A: Imelda May
The singer-songwriter on spirituality, the number 11:11, her new album, activism and sticking it to music industry ageism.

Reviews
New albums from David Crosby, Dee Snider, Big Big Train, Marillion, Yngwie Malmsteen, The Cold Stares, Night Ranger, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Neighborhood Brats, Man, Burning Witches, Lee Aaron… Reissues from Queen, Muse, Stone Temple Pilots, Geezer Butler, Ian Gillan Band, Opeth, Mötley Crüe, Deep Purple, Tom Petty… DVDs, films and books on Sparks, Ian Anderson, Marc Bolan/T.Rex/Tyrannosaurus Rex, Will Sergeant, the Sex Pistols and punk rock, Idles, Bay Area metal… Live (yes, live!) reviews of Orange Goblin, Download Pilot: Massive Wagons, Skindred, Wildhearts, Bullet For My Valentine, Saint Agnes…

Buyer’s Guide: Motorhead live albums
Rock’n’roll’s finest in their natural habitat. The band never sounded better than when playing to sweaty audiences.

Back To Live
With restrictions on gigs and festivals likely to have been lifted by the time you read this issue, we talk to Download promoter Andy Copping, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, and Noel Nevin, boss of London music venue The Cavern. Plus full gig listings – find out who’s playing where and when.

The Soundtrack Of My Life: Perry Farrell
The Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros main man on the records, artists and gigs that are of lasting significance to him.

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Classic Rock is the online home of the world's best rock'n'roll magazine. We bring you breaking news, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features, as well as unrivalled access to the biggest names in rock music; from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, AC/DC to the Sex Pistols, and everything in between. Our expert writers bring you the very best on established and emerging bands plus everything you need to know about the mightiest new music releases.