Judas Priest Producer Says Guitarists' Rivalry Made The Band Great

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

July 19, 2022

Photo: Getty Images North America

The man who produced Judas Priest's 1982 breakthrough album, Screaming for Vengeance, believes the sense of competition between guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing is what lead to that band's success that decade.

Looking back at the watershed heavy metal album with Grammy.com for its 40th anniversary, producer Tom Allom recalled how Tipton and Downing were constantly pushing to be better than their counterpart.

"I felt like it was a great rivalry between them to outdo each other," Allom said. "They both were trying to play thing that they couldn't play, and they went on working on them until they could. It was that rivalry that made the guitars so bloody brilliant. I can particularly remember Glenn starting to come up with a solo and he was struggling with it. He would work on it for days, if necessary, until he could play it."

He said Tipton and Downing's hard work in the studio paid off live. By the time Judas Priest toured on Screaming for Vengeance the guitarists' chops were razor sharp, and they could perform extraordinarily complex parts with ease.

Downing and Tipton have plenty of tension between them these days, even though the pair have not been in the band together for over a decade.

But as Judas Priest prepares for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this year, it's hard to argue that their dynamic worked famously.

Earlier this spring, frontman Rob Halford downplayed the narrative that there's "bitterness" between Downing and the current band, saying everyone is welcome to celebrate at the Hall of Fame ceremony.

He said any misgivings have to be set aside, at least for that evening.

"You have to push it to the side and just understand and accept and respect this wonderful opportunity and what it represents in terms of recognition and a celebration," Halford said.

Judas Priest will launch another U.S. tour this October. Go here for the tour dates.

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