Defenders of the Faith

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This article is about the Judas Priest album. For other uses, see Defender of the Faith (disambiguation).
Defenders of the Faith
Studio album by Judas Priest
Released 4 January 1984
Recorded September–November 1983, Ibiza Sound Studios, Ibiza, Spain
Genre Heavy metal
Length 39:43
Label Columbia
Producer Tom Allom
Judas Priest chronology
Screaming for Vengeance
Defenders of the Faith
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Sputnikmusic 4.0/5[2]

Defenders of the Faith is the ninth studio album by British heavy metal band Judas Priest. Three tracks were released as singles, "Freewheel Burning", "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" and "Love Bites". The album is certified Platinum by the RIAA.


Defenders of the Faith was recorded at Ibiza Sound Studios, Ibiza, Spain and mixed from September to November 1983 at DB Recording Studios and Bayshore Recording Studios in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida. The LP and cassette tape were released on 4 January 1984 and the album appeared on CD in July. A remastered CD was released in May 2001. Simultaneous with the album's release, the band kicked off their tour in Europe, with the bulk of concerts taking place in North America during the spring and summer.

Stylistically, Defenders of the Faith did not greatly depart from its predecessor and contained the same mix of short, up-tempo metal anthems with stadium shoutalong choruses, although progressive elements returned on some tracks such as "The Sentinel".

The album was an immediate success, only going one spot below Screaming for Vengeance on the US Billboard 100 Albums Chart, and would mark the apex of Judas Priest's commercial success. Some critics nonetheless objected to the lack of a standout single comparable to "Breaking the Law" or "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" and the album's general similarity to Screaming for Vengeance.

The 30th anniversary release of the album (released in March, 2015) came with a double CD of a live show recorded on 5 May 1984 at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California on their Defenders Of the Faith Tour and was originally recorded for a radio broadcast.


The cover art by Doug Johnson (who also designed the Hellion in Screaming for Vengeance) depicts the Metallian, a ram-horned, tiger-like land assault creature with Gatling guns and tank tracks conceptualized by the band.

The back cover contains a message:

"Rising from darkness where Hell hath no mercy and the screams for vengeance echo on forever. Only those who keep the faith shall escape the wrath of the Metallian... Master of all metal."


"Eat Me Alive" was listed at number 3 on the Parents Music Resource Center's "Filthy Fifteen", a list of 15 songs the organization found most objectionable. PMRC co-founder Tipper Gore stated the song was about oral sex at gunpoint. In response to the allegations, Priest recorded the song "Parental Guidance" on the follow-up album Turbo.


On the tour for this album, the band played every song live, with the exception of "Eat Me Alive". On the tour for the Nostradamus album, in 2008, they played many songs which had never been played live before, one of them being "Eat Me Alive". This made Defenders of the Faith the second Judas Priest album from which every song had been played live (the first being Rocka Rolla).


Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford and K.K. Downing, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Freewheel Burning"   4:22
2. "Jawbreaker"   3:25
3. "Rock Hard Ride Free"   5:34
4. "The Sentinel"   5:04
5. "Love Bites"   4:47
6. "Eat Me Alive"   3:34
7. "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" (Robert Halligan, Jr.) 4:05
8. "Night Comes Down"   3:58
9. "Heavy Duty"   2:25
10. "Defenders of the Faith"   1:30

30th Anniversary Edition - bonus live CDs[edit]

All songs written and composed by Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford and K.K. Downing, except where noted. 

Disc one
No. Title Length
1. "Love Bites"   5:16
2. "Jawbreaker"   3:57
3. "Grinder"   4:30
4. "Metal Gods"   4:20
5. "Breaking the Law"   2:57
6. "Sinner"   8:11
7. "Desert Plains"   5:04
8. "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" (Bob Halligan Jr) 4:30
9. "The Sentinel"   6:07
10. "Rock Hard Ride Free"   6:04
Disc two
No. Title Length
1. "Night Comes Down"   4:28
2. "The Hellion"   0:39
3. "Electric Eye"   3:33
4. "Heavy Duty"   2:33
5. "Defenders of the Faith"   2:37
6. "Freewheel Burning"   4:39
7. "Victim of Changes" (Al Atkins, Downing, Halford, Tipton) 9:43
8. "The Green Manalishi" (Peter Green) 5:46
9. "Living After Midnight"   4:50
10. "Hell Bent For Leather" (Tipton) 5:55
11. "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"   8:51


Judas Priest
  • Produced by Tom Allom
  • Engineered by Mark Dodson, assisted by Christian Eser, Bruce Hensal, David Roeder, Ben King, and Buddy Thornton
  • Cover design by Doug Johnson, based on a concept by Judas Priest


Chart (1984–2015) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[3] 90
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[4] 51
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[5] 85
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[6] 138
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[7] 27
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[8] 46
French Albums (SNEP)[9] 142
German Albums (Official Top 100)[10] 21
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[11] 17
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 12
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 19
US Billboard 200[15] 18

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[16] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Defenders of the Faith - Judas Priest". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Stagno, Mike (14 December 2006). "Judas Priest - Defenders of the Faith". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Ryan, Gavin (March 21, 2015). "ARIA Albums: Kendrick Lamar Soars, Madonna Stiffs". Noise11. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Judas Priest: Defenders of the Faith" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith". Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Judas Priest | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Judas Priest Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Judas Priest. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]