This is gonna be an exceedingly simple post. Just a tribute really. A quick shout-out to a one-of-a-kind legendary figure on the day of his 70th birthday (which was actually yesterday, but that’s alright. Some people are simply too epic to be contained to one day).
Mr. Rob Halford.
Lead singer of Judas Priest since 1973, and one of the most influential and important vocalists in the history of rock and metal. I am a huge Judas Priest fan. They are my second favourite band of all time, just after the one and only Iron Maiden, and a huge part of that is down to Rob Halford. Judas Priest feature—and have featured—some of the most impressive musicians in all of metal. Lead guitarist Glenn Tipton, now sadly mostly sidelined from band duties due to Parkinson’s, remains a strong contender for my single favourite guitarist of all time. But even in a line-up as strong as Priest’s, Rob Halford has stood out for the half-century that the band has been going strong.
With a 4 octave range and the ability to change the character of his vocal expression seamlessly from a gravelly menace to ear-splitting banshee’s scream to mournful balladeer, Rob Halford set a very high bar for metal vocalists a long time ago, and it’s a standard that many still struggle to meet. Part of that standard is the stage presence that Halford has exhibited for decades. Presence and charisma are mystical forces. You can be a dynamite singer technically and at the same time a lousy performer—or vice versa (isn’t that right, Dave?). Rob Halford has always been at the very peak of both: A voice that has rocked the socks off every single person in the thousands of stadiums that Priest have played over the years, and a stage presence that has held the masses in the palm of his hand. They call him the Metal God for a reason.
Enough rambling though. Words don’t do it justice anyway. So here, as tribute for his 70th birthday, is the greatest stage entrance of all time, from the official video for the Judas Priest song ‘Electric Eye’ from the band’s seminal 1982 album Screaming for Vengeance:
‘I’m made of metal.’
You are indeed, Rob. You fu**ing well are indeed.
As the top comment beneath the video from user Scott Wilson says: ‘Halford is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.’
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