Ram It Down

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I'm A Rocker redirects here. For the song, see The River or The Raspberries

Ram it Down
Studio album by Judas Priest
Released 17 May 1988
Recorded December 1987– March 1988 at Ibiza Sound Studio in Ibiza; Puk Recording Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark
Genre Heavy metal, speed metal
Length 58:12
Label Columbia
Producer Tom Allom, Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford, K. K. Downing
Judas Priest chronology
Priest...Live!
(1987)
Ram It Down
(1988)
Painkiller
(1990)
Singles from Ram It Down
  1. "Johnny Be Good"
  2. "Ram It Down/Heavy Metal"
  3. "Blood Red Skies"
  4. "I'm a Rocker"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

Ram It Down is the eleventh studio album by Judas Priest, released in 1988 through Columbia Records; a remastered edition containing two bonus tracks was reissued in 2001. The album earned gold certification (500,000 sales) on 18 July 1988. The band toured in Europe and North America to support the release of the album. This is the last album to feature long time drummer Dave Holland and the last studio album produced by long-time collaborator Tom Allom – who returned to produce the 2009 live album A Touch of Evil: Live.

Background[edit]

In 1986, Judas Priest intended to release a double album entitled Twin Turbos of which half would consist of melodic, more commercial hard rock, and the other half would be heavier and less synth-driven. Columbia Records was resistant to the double album concept, and the project was ultimately split into two separate releases, 1986's platinum selling Turbo, and Ram It Down. At least three songs – "Hard As Iron", "Love you to Death" and "Monsters of Rock" were written for the Twin Turbos project. The title track "Ram It Down" can be traced even further back. As Rob Halford noted, "'Ram It Down' is a harder song, from the British Steel time."[2] It also could have roots as far back as the demo version of "On the Run" from Point of Entry which had "different lyrics, speed-metal pace, and spit-fire fast vocals"[3]

Drummer Dave Holland experienced health problems during recording, and the band elected to utilise a drum machine on much of the album rather than bring in another drummer. Ram It Down would be the final Judas Priest album recorded with long-time drummer Holland, as well as producer Tom Allom. Allom would later return as co-producer to the 2009 live release A Touch of Evil: Live.

The band recorded a rendition of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode", intended for inclusion on the soundtrack for the 1988 Anthony Michael Hall comedy film Johnny Be Good; the song found its way onto Ram It Down and was the album's first single. It was also played during the first few concerts of the band´s 1988 tour along with the title track and three other songs from the album. The only "Ram it Down" songs to have been played on later tours are "I´m a Rocker" in 2005 and "Blood Red Skies" in 2012.

Originally, the song "Thunder Road" was to be put on the album. However, after the album producers were asked to do the cover of "Johnny B. Goode", "Thunder Road" was replaced. Some of the parts from the song made it into the cover of "Johnny B. Goode", and one of the lyric lines appeared in "I'm a Rocker".[4] The original was placed on 2001 remaster of Point of Entry.

Track listing[edit]

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

No. Title Length
1. "Ram It Down"   4:48
2. "Heavy Metal"   5:58
3. "Love Zone"   3:58
4. "Come and Get It"   4:07
5. "Hard as Iron"   4:09
6. "Blood Red Skies"   7:50
7. "I'm a Rocker"   3:58
8. "Johnny B. Goode" (Chuck Berry) 4:39
9. "Love You to Death"   4:36
10. "Monsters of Rock"   5:30

Personnel[edit]

Judas Priest
Production
  • Produced by Tom Allom
  • "Johnny B. Goode" co-produced by Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford, and K. K. Downing
  • Engineered by Henrik Nilsson
  • Additional recording by Bill Dooley
  • Equipment supervision by Tom Calcaterra
  • Artwork by Mark Wilkinson

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[6] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[7] Gold 500,000^
Worldwide sales: 1,500,000

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Trivia[edit]

  • An unknown song was recorded for inclusion on the album but the tape was lost during a chaotic period which resulted from Halford's decision to leave the band following the group's next album, Painkiller, and Tim "Ripper" Owens' hiring as his replacement. For this reason Ram It Down is the only remastered Judas Priest disc with no added bonus studio tracks, just two added live tracks.
  • The song "Blood Red Skies" was released as a promo only single with a 4.51 radio edit, the album version and a 10.33 extended remix.[8]
  • The band recorded three tracks with pop producers Stock-Aitken-Waterman – two originals "Runaround" and "I Will Return" and a cover of The Stylistics hit "You Are Everything". However, they were ultimately not included on this album due to a management decision. Pete Waterman calls them "probably the best tracks we ever did" and admits that "I occasionally dig the record out and play it to people, and they’re amazed that we made heavy metal.”.[9] Around this time, Glenn Tipton also recorded guitar solos for songs by another Stock-Aitken-Waterman produced artist, Samantha Fox, and was officially credited on the track "Spirit of America".

References[edit]