Which Band Is More Important: DEEP PURPLE Or BLACK SABBATH? ROB HALFORD Weighs In

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In a recent interview with Spain’s Mariskal Rock, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford was asked which fellow British band was more important to him personally while he was coming up in the music scene in Birmingham, England in the late 1960s and early 1970s, DEEP PURPLE or BLACK SABBATH. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “They’re all important to me for all of the styles and variety of music that they presented. I was naturally drawn to SABBATH because of the heaviness. If you put PURPLE on and then you put SABBATH on, or SABBATH on then PURPLE, they’re both really strong, powerful bands, depending on which album you’re listening to.

PURPLE are hard rock; to me, they’re not metal,” he continued. “I’ll probably be killed for saying that, but that’s just the way I feel. SABBATH are exclusively metal, although Tony [Iommi, SABBATH guitarist] has always said SABBATH isn’t metal. I don’t know what’s going on, but that’s the world we live in, when musicians talk about each other.

“There’s a certain speed, there’s a certain intensity in PURPLE that is also in SABBATH, but it’s in a different texture. When you listen to what [DEEP PURPLE drummer] Ian Paice was doing, for example, pushing those songs, I was as excited by that as I was by ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ or ‘Iron Man’ or any of these super-heavy tracks from SABBATH.

“So they were all important to me, as bands are to all musicians,” Rob added. “All musicians are inspired and influenced by other musicians, so they all are very valuable to me. I wouldn’t put one above the rest in terms of a list. The whole representation of the work that they make is important.”

JUDAS PRIEST recently announced the rescheduled “50 Heavy Metal Years” North American tour dates for March-April 2022. Support on the trek will come from QUEENSRŸCHE.

JUDAS PRIEST was forced to postpone around two dozen North American shows on its rescheduled 50th-anniversary tour in late September after the band’s guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during a performance at the Louder Than Life festival. He ended up undergoing a 10-hour life-saving surgery a short distance away at Rudd Heart and Lung Center at UofL Health – Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003. Founding guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Faulkner.

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