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"A Touch of Evil"
Judas priest touch single.jpg
Single by Judas Priest
from the album Painkiller
B-side"Between the Hammer & the Anvil"
Released11 March 1991 [1]
Genre Heavy metal [2]
Label Columbia
Producer(s) Chris Tsangarides
Judas Priest singles chronology
" Painkiller"
"A Touch of Evil"
"Night Crawler"
Music video
"A Touch of Evil" on YouTube

"A Touch of Evil" is a song by the English heavy metal band Judas Priest, from their 1990 album Painkiller. The record was released as the second single from the album via Columbia Records label.


It is the only song on the album that was co-written by producer Chris Tsangarides, who wrote the song's guitar riff, while the rest of the song was written by the main songwriting team of Rob Halford, K. K. Downing, and Glenn Tipton. Tsangarides would team up again with Tipton for songwriting eleven years later, for Judas Priest's album Demolition, released in 2001, on which the two of them wrote the songs "Subterfuge" and "Metal Messiah".

It is one of the few songs on the album on which the synthesizers (which had originally been featured on several songs, but had been removed from some) remained part of the song. These synthesizers were played by rock veteran keyboardist Don Airey. Between the slow drums and the eerie keyboards, the song was given a chilling sound, making it a sort of pseudo-ballad. However, when played live, the keyboard intro is replaced by a guitar riff.

The song's lyrics deal with demonic possession, black magic, and temptation to commit acts of evil. However, according to Halford himself, as cited in Metal Hammer in January 2004, the lyrics deal with a love-related theme, although metaphorically. [3]

The song features a classically-inspired guitar solo by Glenn Tipton.



Music video

A music video was made for the song, vividly depicting each element of the song's lyrics. The video shows a young boy having various visions of things, while flashing images of the band playing the song in between, similar to the way the band are seen in the "Painkiller" video. The song was edited for the music video, and was cut from 5:42 to 4:54, and—among other things—a notable amount of Tipton's guitar solo was cut out from the song.


Chart (1991) Peak
UK Singles ( OCC) [5] 58
US Mainstream Rock ( Billboard) [6] 29


  1. ^ "Judas Priest singles".
  2. ^ Steve Huey. "Painkiller - Judas Priest | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 8 June 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 28 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Kennelty, Greg (7 November 2020). "DEEP PURPLE's Keyboardist Reveals He Played Bass On JUDAS PRIEST's Painkiller". Metal Injection. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  5. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Judas Priest Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 September 2022.