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
Studio Ibiza Sound Studio, Ibiza, Spain,
Puk Recording Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark
Genre Heavy metal[1]
Length 58:12
Label Columbia
Producer Tom Allom, Glenn Tipton, Rob Halford, K. K. Downing
Judas Priest chronology
Ram It Down
Singles from Ram It Down
  1. "Ram It Down" / "Heavy Metal"
    Released: 1988
  2. "Johnny B. Goode" / "Rock You All Around the World (live)"
    Released: 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[2]
PopMatters (poor)[3]
Martin Popoff 6/10 stars[4]

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.


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 objected 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.

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 longtime 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", during the Retribution Tour; and "Blood Red Skies", during the Epitaph World Tour.

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". The original was placed on 2001 remaster of Point of Entry.

Although Judas Priest's fanbase was big enough to push the album to gold status in North America,[5] critical reaction was fairly negative, arguing that the band failed to produce any new creative ideas, and the songwriting was inferior to their past efforts.

Halford said that Ram It Down was harmed by the inclusion of the "Johnny B. Goode" cover, which he called "silly". His take on the rest of the album is that it was "a very heavy record", with Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing "really rip[ping] it up on a lot of those riffs". Halford said the band recorded a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Play with Fire"; he said it was "a shame" that the song did not make the album.[6]

Track listing[edit]

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

Side one
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
Side two
No. Title Length
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


Judas Priest
  • 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


Chart (1988) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[7] 43
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[8] 14
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[9] 25
German Albums (Official Top 100)[10] 9
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[11] 5
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 5
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 8
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 24
US Billboard 200[15] 31


Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1988 Gold (+ 500,000)[5]
Canada CRIA 1988 Gold (+ 50,000)[16]

Other information[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.[17]
  • The band recorded three tracks with pop producers Stock-Aitken-Waterman – two originals "Runaround"[18] and "I Will Return"[19] 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."[20] 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".


  1. ^ Daniels, Neil (2007). The story of Judas Priest: Defenders of the Faith. Omnibus Press. pp. 193–4. ISBN 9780857122391. 
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Judas Priest - Ram It Down review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Begrand, Adrien (11 July 2002). "Judas Priest: Ram It Down / Painkiller". PopMatters. Retrieved 2015-06-24. 
  4. ^ Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5. 
  5. ^ a b "RIAA Searchable Database: search for Judas Priest". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  6. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry (2007). Metal: The Definitive Guide: Heavy, NWOBHM, Progressive, Thrash, Death, Black, Gothic, Doom, Nu. Jawbone Press. p. 36. ISBN 9781906002015. 
  7. ^ "Judas Priest – Ram It Down". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Judas Priest – Ram It Down" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Judas Priest – Ram It Down" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Judas Priest – Ram It Down". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Judas Priest – Ram It Down". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Judas Priest – Ram It Down". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Judas Priest – Ram It Down". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Judas Priest | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Judas Priest – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Judas Priest. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Music Canada Gold/Platinum: search for Judas Priest". Music Canada. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  17. ^ "Rare! Judas Priest MCD BLOOD RED SKIES 3 Versions !!!". Worthpoint.com. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  18. ^ http://www.mikestockmusic.com/songDisplay.php?id=49
  19. ^ http://www.mikestockmusic.com/songDisplay.php?id=48
  20. ^ [1][dead link]