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Sin After Sin
Studio album by
Released8 April 1977 (1977-04-08) [1]
RecordedJanuary 1977 [2]
Studio Ramport (London)
Genre Heavy metal
Label Columbia
Judas Priest chronology
Sad Wings of Destiny
Sin After Sin
Stained Class
Singles from Sin After Sin
  1. " Diamonds & Rust"
    Released: 29 April 1977 [3]

Sin After Sin is the third studio album by English heavy metal band Judas Priest, released on 8 April 1977 by Columbia Records. [1] Produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, it was the band's major label debut, their first album for the label, and their only album to feature drummer Simon Phillips, a studio musician who replaced original drummer Alan Moore for the recording sessions.


After releasing their first two albums on the small Gull label, Judas Priest grew dissatisfied with what they saw as a lack of financial support from their record company. [4] Their previous album, Sad Wings of Destiny, caught the attention of CBS Records, and with the help of new manager David Hemmings, the band signed with CBS and received a £60,000 budget for the follow-up album, [4] which was to draw its title phrase "sin after sin" from the lyrics to the song "Genocide" from the Sad Wings album. [5] The move to CBS required breaking their contract with Gull, and once the legal dust had settled the band had forfeited the rights to those first two albums and all related recordings to Gull. [4]


Rehearsals for the Sin After Sin sessions took place at Pinewood Studios in London, with recording commencing in January 1977 at the Who's Ramport Studios in the Battersea district of London. Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover was hired to produce the album with Mark Dodson as engineer. [6] The band's studio experiences while with Gull were less than satisfying, particularly during the mixing of Rocka Rolla, and they were initially quite keen to produce Sin After Sin themselves. CBS, however, insisted on an experienced producer. Roger Glover was suggested and the band agreed, [7] but after one session the band fired Glover, informing him that they would continue on their own. [8] After a few weeks of struggling with unsatisfactory recordings, the band recalled Glover and the sessions began anew, with only six allotted days remaining. It was also during this period that the band parted ways with drummer Alan Moore, feeling that his technique was too limited for their evolving sound. Session drummer Simon Phillips ( who in 1976 had played for Brian Eno's supergroup 801 on their album 801 Live ) was brought in to finish the sessions. [9]

The album includes a cover of the Joan Baez song " Diamonds & Rust", a decision which was encouraged by Glover in the interest of adding a track with commercial potential. Indeed, "Diamonds & Rust" was the first song by Judas Priest to receive radio play, and Baez herself reportedly enjoyed the cover. This was the band's second attempt to cover the track, and the earlier version from the Gull Records era was only released in 1978 on the compilation album The Best of Judas Priest [10] and as a bonus track on the 1987 reissue of Rocka Rolla.

The "brazenly homoerotic" [1] song "Raw Deal" has been described as vocalist Rob Halford's coming-out song, and a "heavy metal gay rights song". [11] Halford came out as a gay man in 1998.


As session drummer Simon Phillips had commitments to another band, he declined to join Judas Priest as a permanent member. As a result, former Fancy drummer Les Binks was hired for the subsequent tour. An acquaintance of producer Glover, Binks was able to play double bass, and was one of the few drummers who could replicate Phillips' drum parts live.

A live tape from their headlining show in Croydon on 1 May 1977 shows that all the album's songs except one, "Last Rose of Summer", were played on the 1977 tour. "Raw Deal" and "Here Come the Tears" were only played at headlining shows and permanently retired after this tour, "Let Us Prey/Call for the Priest" was also played a few times in 1978, "Sinner" and "Diamonds and Rust" became regulars on future setlists while "Starbreaker" and "Dissident Aggressor" returned to the band's setlists after a lengthy absence, in 2011 and 2008 respectively.[ citation needed]

With major label support, Sin After Sin marked Judas Priest's first-ever opportunity to tour the United States, where they served as the opening act for REO Speedwagon and Foreigner.


Sin After Sin was Judas Priest's most commercially successful release to date, reaching number 23 in the UK Albums Chart. That success was difficult to duplicate in the US where Sin After Sin failed to chart. At home, they also faced a somewhat hostile reception or were outright ignored by a music press which was at that time heavily focused on the new genre of punk rock which swept Britain in the late 1970s. [12] Though it would take several years, Sin After Sin is the first of eleven consecutive Judas Priest albums to be certified gold or higher by the RIAA. [13]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic [14]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music [15]
Record Collector [16]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [17]

Sin After Sin introduced the combination of the double bass drumming and rapid sixteenth-note bass rhythms combined with rapid sixteenth-note guitar rhythms that would come to define heavy metal in later years, particularly the thrash metal sub-genre which emerged in the 1980s. [18] The track " Dissident Aggressor" was an early example of the tempo and aggression which would soon become synonymous with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. [18] Author Andrew L. Cope has described Sin After Sin as a key album in the development of heavy metal technique, in particular for its use of double kick drumming. [19]

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has been quoted as saying that Mark Dodson's engineering work on this album (and later on 1984's Defenders of the Faith) inspired the band to hire him to produce their 1988 album State of Euphoria. [20]

Packaging and artwork

Sin After Sin would be the final Judas Priest album prior to the band adopting its new, now well known logo (pictured)

Sin After Sin was the final Judas Priest studio album to feature their original "gothic cursive font" logo, though it would be used on later Gull Records reissues of their pre–Sin After Sin material.

The mausoleum depicted on the Sin After Sin album cover is based on a photograph of the Egyptianate mausoleum built in 1910 for Colonel Alexander Gordon, located on the grounds of Putney Vale Cemetery in London. The artwork is by Rosław Szaybo. [21]

This was the first (in order of release) of Judas Priest's main albums to be remastered in 2001, which included all of the albums between this and their 1990 Painkiller album. The remaster corrected an error in the track listing; "Call for the Priest", which forms one track with "Let Us Prey", had erroneously been listed as forming one track with "Raw Deal" until then.

Inspired band names

The band Starbreaker, formed in 2005 and led by TNT vocalist Tony Harnell, whose singing style was heavily influenced by Rob Halford in his formative years, named themselves after the song "Starbreaker". Germany's Sinner and its vocalist/bassist Mat Sinner, born Matthias Lasch, both derive their names from the song "Sinner". In 1997, Mat Sinner formed Judas Priest soundalikes Primal Fear whose lead vocalist Ralf Scheepers had been on a list of singers under consideration as the replacement for Rob Halford. [22]

Track listing

Side one
1."Sinner" Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton6:45
2." Diamonds and Rust" Joan Baez3:27
3."Starbreaker"Halford, K. K. Downing, Tipton4:49
4."Last Rose of Summer"Halford, Tipton5:37
Side two
5."Let Us Prey/Call for the Priest"Halford, Downing, Tipton6:12
6."Raw Deal"Halford, Tipton6:00
7."Here Come the Tears"Halford, Tipton4:36
8." Dissident Aggressor"Halford, Downing, Tipton3:07
Total length:40:36
2001 bonus tracks
9."Race with the Devil" ( The Gun cover, recorded during the Stained Class sessions) Adrian Gurvitz3:06
10."Jawbreaker" (Live at Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California; 5 May 1984)Halford, Downing, Tipton4:02
Total length:47:44


Judas Priest

Additional musicians



Chart (1977) Peak
Swedish Albums ( Sverigetopplistan) [24] 49
UK Albums ( OCC) [25] 23


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States ( RIAA) [26] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo (8 April 2017). "How Judas Priest Began Their March to Stardom on Sin After Sin". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (2018). Decade of Domination (2nd ed.). Wymer Publishing. p. 80. ISBN  978-1-912782-63-5.
  3. ^ "Judas Priest singles".
  4. ^ a b c Popoff 2007, pp. 41–42.
  5. ^ Popoff 2007, p. 37.
  6. ^ Popoff 2007, p. 49.
  7. ^ Popoff 2007, pp. 42–43.
  8. ^ Popoff 2007, pp. 43–44.
  9. ^ Popoff 2007, p. 44.
  10. ^ Popoff 2007, p. 377.
  11. ^ Street Jammer, Richard (8 November 2011). "Rob Halford's Raw Deal". Invisible Oranges. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 291. ISBN  1-904994-10-5.
  13. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database – May 19, 2014". Recording Industry Association of America$3. Archived from the original on 30 August 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Sin After Sin review". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  15. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. ISBN  9780857125958. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  16. ^ Davenport, Rich. "Sin After Sin – Record Collector Magazine". Record Collector. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  17. ^ The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Random House. 1992. p. 384.
  18. ^ a b Cope 2013.
  19. ^ Cope 2013, p. 114.
  20. ^ Scott Ian and Jon Weiderhorn (2014). I'm the Man: The Story of that Guy from Anthrax. Da Capo Press, p. 136
  21. ^ "Gordon Mausoleum, Putney Vale". The Mausolea & Monuments Trust.
  22. ^ "Primal Fear Vocalist Ralf Scheepers – "I Was Never Invited To Rehearse With Judas Priest"". 6 February 2012.
  23. ^ Sin After Sin (liner notes). Judas Priest. Columbia Records. 1977. PC 34787.{{ cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) ( link)
  24. ^ " – Judas Priest – Sin After Sin". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  25. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  26. ^ "American album certifications – Judas Priest – Sin After Sin". Recording Industry Association of America.

Works cited