How the hell did Judas Priest get nominated to the Rock Hall before Iron Maiden?

By Steve Newton

Earlier today I posted a blog about how incredibly lame the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is for not yet inducting Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher.

But now that I’ve had a few more hours to seriously consider how bogus the Rock Hall is, I’ve got another bone to pick with the high-and-mighty types who keep disrespecting the greatest rock ‘n’ rollers of all time.

How the hell did Judas Priest get nominated before Iron Maiden?

Don’t get me wrong, I like Priest a lot. Since 1982 I’ve interviewed the band seven times. But are they really more worthy of induction than the mighty Maiden?

I think not.

That’s why I inducted Iron Maiden into Newt’s Rock Hall back in 2015.

The true measure of a rock ‘n’ roll band–or in this case, heavy metal act–is its live performance. I’ve seen both Priest and Maiden several times, and it’s pretty clear to me that Maiden is the stronger act in concert.

I’m talking about during each band’s ’80s heyday.

I’ll admit that it’s hard to pick a clear winner between the guitar teams of Adrian Smith/Dave Murray and Glenn Tipton/K.K. Downing, but Bruce Dickinson had way more energy than Rob Halford, and was more entertaining overall.

Clive Burr and Nicko McBrain blew Dave Holland away behind the drumkit, and I think it’s pretty obvious which group had the better bass player.

Recording-wise, Maiden have released 16 studio albums, Priest 17. (Apparently Maiden has sold several million more copies, but who cares.) But I don’t think you can decide which band is more deserving of Rock Hall recognition by comparing the albums, because for every Number of the Beast there’s the same year’s Screaming For Vengeance; for every Powerslave there’s the same year’s Defenders of the Faith; for every Somewhere in Time there’s the same year’s Turbo.

You get the idea.

So I’ve gotta judge the two great British metal bands by what I’ve witnessed on stage over the years, and to me that puts Maiden on top.

What say you?

4 thoughts on “How the hell did Judas Priest get nominated to the Rock Hall before Iron Maiden?

  1. You are wrong to say it simply. Judas Priest provides the template and coattails for Iron Maiden’s reason to be. The Priest came out when rock was going pop or disco J.P. kept heavy metal alive in lean times of the mid 70’s. Iron Maiden adopted all the schlock of latter day Alice Cooper and even copping Spinal Tap’s horned skull in the form of Eddie as a stage prop. No reason to take these guys seriously other than a modified hair band. Night Ranger was a more entertaining band for their time as I had moved on from ear splitting metal like Iron Maiden.

    1. Night Ranger more entertaining than Iron Maiden ??! The bulk of Priest’s work is “party-metal” with their songs focusing on hell-raising, sex, and rock m’ roll. Nothing wrong with that, but Maiden ran ahead of the NWOBHM pack, elevated the heavy metal genre, and produced really interesting stuff. In contrast to Priest, probably 90% of Maiden songs are about history, religion, politics, and psychological musings. Although I think their best years are behind them in terms of creativity in the studio, they are still the best live heavy metal act and one of the best live rock bands of all time. Maiden never relied on radio or “sold out” and lost their core fans over the decades. In fact they are unique in that they’ve grown considerably more popular without changing their identity (looking at you, Metallica). Long Live The Mighty Iron Maiden !

  2. This article makes little or no self other than sounding like a bit of a fanboy rant. If nothing else, Judas Priest are more formative to heavy metal than Iron Maiden are. They are directly under Black Sabbath in the metal family tree (with Maiden some way down).

    And technically, the members of Priest are better than everyone in Maiden, except on bass. Non-technical comparisons are subjective.

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