Rob Halford Open to Singing Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens Era Judas Priest Songs
Judas Priest will be celebrating their 50th anniversary next year. It's expected that the trend of rarities entering the set list will continue in 2020 and now Rob Halford has even opened the door for tracks from the Tim 'Ripper' Owens era of the band to finally be played onstage for the first time since the Metal God rejoined Priest in 2003.
In recent years, Ripper has decried the lack of representation from the two Judas Priest records he sang on during his time fronting the band from 1996 through 2003. Since Halford's return, Priest have not played a single song off 1997's Jugulator and 2001's Demolition (per setlist.fm) and, at the time of this post, Jugulator is not available on Spotify either.
Still, it's possible choice cuts from the pair of Ripper records may meet the same fate as "Saints in Hell," "Killing Machine," "Out in the Cold," "All Guns Blazing" over the last two years as these tracks had either never been played before or hadn't been played in 25 years or more.
"Why not? Those records, Jugulator and Demolition, are both part of the great history of Judas Priest," Halford told Metal Hammer (via Blabbermouth) when asked if Judas Priest will consider performing songs from the Ripper era.
"And Tim is a good friend of mine," the Metal God added. "I've never done any of the songs that he sang on, but I'd definitely have a crack at them. I'm up for that."
Despite the willingness, it doesn't appear that there's an outright plan to rehearse any songs from that time in the band's history. When out on the road, Priest often share footage of backstage rehearsal jams on Instagram and that may be the catalyst to get these songs in motion.
"When? It could happen at any time; it wouldn't need to be an anniversary. Before we go onstage, we have a jam, and that's time when ideas from left field are thrown around. That's probably how we'll do it. It'll just happen and it'll be brilliant," explained the singer.
Priest will focus on their 50th anniversary in 2020, but will still carve out some time to work on new ideas for the follow-up to 2018's Firepower. The sessions are expected to begin early next year, but Halford cautioned fans that there may not be any new music released before 2021.
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