Victim of Changes (song)

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For the album by Al Atkins, see Victim of Changes (album).
"Victim of Changes"
Song by Judas Priest from the album Sad Wings of Destiny
Released 23 March 1976
Recorded March - July 1975
Rockfield Studios, Wales
Genre Heavy metal[1]
Length 7:47
Label Gull
Writer(s) Al Atkins
Rob Halford
K.K. Downing
Glenn Tipton
Producer(s) Jeffery Calvert
Max West
Judas Priest
Sad Wings of Destiny track listing
  1. "Victim of Changes"
  2. "The Ripper"
  3. "Dreamer Deceiver"
  4. "Deceiver"
  5. "Prelude"
  6. "Tyrant"
  7. "Genocide"
  8. "Epitaph"
  9. "Island of Domination"

"Victim of Changes" is a song by British heavy metal band Judas Priest, featured on their 1976 studio album Sad Wings of Destiny. Adrien Begrand, writing for PopMatters, claimed the song changed the course of metal history.[2] The guitar work is noted as well,[3] Bob Gendron praising the song's "landslide riffs" in the Chicago Tribune.[4] The song has come to be regarded as one of the band's classics,[5] and Martin Popoff listed it at #17 in his "Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs of All Time".[1]

The song is a combination of two songs by two Judas Priest singers: "Whiskey Woman,"[2] by Priest founder Al Atkins, and "Red Light Lady" by later singer Rob Halford.[6] Live versions of the song appear on several of the band's live albums, such as Unleashed in the East, '98 Live Meltdown and Live in London.


The song opens with a fade-in dual guitar passage that flows into the song's main riffs. A linear pattern is followed until the staccato section in the bridge. The song's first main guitar solo follows afterward, played by K. K. Downing. The bridge section finishes and goes into a lighter, more mellow section that soon intensifies. The second solo, played by Glenn Tipton, comes during the heavy section. The song returns to the main riff and finishes with Rob Halford's banshee-like screams. The lyrics are about a failing relationship due to a woman's alcoholism. The song is written in the key of E Minor.

Notable covers[edit]

In movies[edit]

Victim of Changes appeared in the 2013 movie Metalhead. It was inspiration to the protagonist, a grieving, loner, metal misfit in Iceland.


  1. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (2003). Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs of All Time. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-530-3. 
  2. ^ a b Begrand, Adrien (9 August 2004). "Born to Lead, At Breakneck Speed". PopMatters. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Prown, Pete; Harvey P. Newquist; H. P. Newquist; Jon F. Eiche (1997). Legends of rock guitar: the essential reference of rock's greatest guitarists. Hal Leonard. p. 186. ISBN 9780793540426. 
  4. ^ Gendron, Bob (25 April 2004). "New boxed sets link Black Sabbath, Judas Priest once again". Chicago Tribune. p. 12. 
  5. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir; Chris Woodstra; Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2002). All music guide to rock: the definitive guide to rock, pop, and soul. Hal Leonard. pp. 606, 605. ISBN 978-0-87930-653-3. 
  6. ^ "Rev. of Dawn of the Metal Gods". AltSounds. Retrieved 13 October 2010.