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|Studio album by Judas Priest|
|Released||February 10, 1978|
|Recorded||October–November 1977, Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Oxfordshire and Utopia Studios, London (track 3)|
|Label||CBS, Inc. (UK)
Columbia Records (US)
|Producer||Dennis Mackay, Judas Priest, James Guthrie(track 3)|
|Judas Priest chronology|
Stained Class is the only Judas Priest album to feature songwriting by all five members of the band.
The sleeve artwork, by Rosław Szaybo at CBS Records, introduced the now-classic Judas Priest logo, replacing the Gothic Script logo which appeared on all of the band's prior albums. Stained Class was the first Judas Priest album to dent the Billboard 200 chart and was eventually certified gold in the U.S.
Beyond The Realms Of Death was the only song from Stained Class to become a live staple, with 472 performances through 2012. The title track has been played just twice, in 1978 and 2005, and Exciter disappeared from 1981 until 2005. Invader, Saints In Hell, and Heroes' End have never been played live. The notorious (see below) Better By You, Better Than Me was played only 11 times.
The album was remastered in 2001, with two bonus tracks added.
Controversy surrounding "Better by You, Better Than Me"
Several years after its release Stained Class was the subject of negative attention due to the infamous 1990 civil action brought against the band by the family of a teenager, James Vance, who entered into a suicide pact with his friend Ray Belknap after allegedly listening to "Better by You, Better Than Me" on December 23, 1985. Belknap succeeded in killing himself, and Vance was left critically injured after surviving a self-inflicted gunshot to the facial area.
The suit alleged that Judas Priest recorded subliminal messages on the song that said "do it." The suit was eventually dismissed. The song was originally written and performed by the band Spooky Tooth.
Three weeks after the lawsuit wrapped up, the band kicked off their Painkiller Tour by playing Better By You, Better Than Me on the first concert in Burbank, California on September 13. It is Judas Priest's only live performance of the song after 1979.
|1.||"Exciter"||Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton||5:34|
|2.||"White Heat, Red Hot"||Tipton||4:20|
|3.||"Better by You, Better Than Me" (cover of Spooky Tooth's song)||Gary Wright||3:24|
|4.||"Stained Class"||Halford, Tipton||5:19|
|5.||"Invader"||Halford, Tipton, Ian Hill||4:12|
|6.||"Saints in Hell"||Halford, K.K. Downing, Tipton||5:30|
|8.||"Beyond the Realms of Death"||Halford, Les Binks||6:53|
|2001 bonus tracks|
|10.||"Fire Burns Below" (Recorded during the 1988 Ram It Down sessions)||Halford, Tipton||6:58|
|11.||"Better by You, Better Than Me" (Live at Foundations Forum, Los Angeles, California; September 13, 1990)||Wright||3:40|
"Invader" is the latest songwriting credit given to bassist Ian Hill within Judas Priest's catalogue. It also features the only songwriting credit attributed to a Judas Priest drummer, with Les Binks being credited for "Beyond the Realms of Death". That same song would become a live staple for the band.
- Judas Priest
- Rob Halford – vocals
- K. K. Downing – guitar
- Glenn Tipton – guitar, vocals
- Ian Hill – bass guitar
- Les Binks – drums
- Produced by Dennis MacKay and Judas Priest, and engineered by Neil Ross, except "Better By You, Better Than Me", produced by James Guthrie and Judas Priest, and engineered by Ken Thomas and Paul Northfield
- Art design by Rosław Szaybo
- Photography by Ronald Kass
Billboard 200 (U.S.)
- Stained Class at CD Universe. Accessed November 29, 2011.
- Stained Class at Allmusic. Accessed November 29, 2011.
- [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 89. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.
- Stained Class at the Judas Priest Info Pages site. Accessed July 10, 2005.