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This book is also available in FOREIGN EDITIONS
(UK: Omnibus Press, 2007; 322 pages, HB. ISBN: 978-1846096907)
(UK: Omnibus Press, 2010; 360 pages, PB. ISBN: 978-1847727077)
Now updated to include details of Judas Priest's first ever concept album, the hugely ambitious double-disc composition Nostradamus and its preceding 18 month world tour, their Grammy Award nominations in 2009 and their fifth officially released live album A Touch Of Evil: Live and the activities of various former members. Influenced by the legendary British blues-rock bands of the Sixties such as Cream and Led Zeppelin, the true story of Judas Priest reveals how a group of poor, working-class lads followed in their heroes footsteps. Judas Priest's entire history is explored from their deprived beginnings in 1960s West Bromwich as an entirely different band. This title includes over 50 interviews with prominent musicians, producers, record company personnel, journalists, childhood friends and ex-members. From their earliest obscure demos to their controversial contract with Gull Records and breakthrough success with CBS, every album and tour is examined. This is the story of constant line-up changes; sell out tours, battles with American Conservative Fundamentalists, the complete breakdown of the band, and their re-ignition with a new singer in 1996. Also their hugely successful reunion in 2003 with Rob Halford - the self-proclaimed Metal God - brought the band back to the attention of the world's greatest stages.
"From the multiple lineup changes to massive worldwide success to several internal and external problems within the band, this book does an excellent job chronicling the interesting history of one of the world's great metal bands. There's also an extensive appendix which includes a band chronology, lineup history, discography and list of every tour and live date the band has ever played. The Story Of Judas Priest: Defenders Of The Faith is a well-written and well-researched book."
Chad Bower – About.com (www.about.com)
"Neil Daniels has written a tantalizing book on the history of Metal Gods Judas Priest ... The author covers the suicide trial, the drummer's perversion and every other Priest era with historical data and in-depth interviews with all who were there at the time ... for not being granted current access to the band he did an amazing job ... Simply put, it is a good read. B."
"So this unofficial biography goes a long way to telling the ins and outs of the band's history. Factually, it really is spot on, detailing may things well, from the pre Priest days, the bands formation to the American court case and the more unfortunate case surrounding drummer Dave Holland's incarceration. 4/5"
"For the fan you can but marvel at the complete listing of tour dates – I had great fun tracking down the exact dates I have seen the band – coupled with a detailed discography. Until the band themselves, or individual members, do a 'tell all' book this is essential reading for fans of the band."
Jason Ritchie – Get Ready To Rock (www.getreadytorock.com)
"The formative years of Priest in the harsh reality of the '60's Black Country are dealt with in detail ... Daniels however has certainly done his research in bringing the book together ... Throughout his writing style and prose are clear and lucid, easy to follow and by no means simply pandering to the band. Where they made mistakes and errors he makes note, and where they succeeded he doesn't go overboard in his praise, simply explains the facts and moves on. Given the obvious limitations of the exercise, with Priest's lack of involvement, Daniels has pulled together a fair and relatively complete history of the Priest ..."
Steve Cummings – Hard Rock House (www.hardrockhouse.com)
"I'm really amazed at the amount of research that went into this book. Everything we ever wanted to know about the band's history is in here. It's incredible. And thank you Neil for not only the book, but for mentioning this very site in the appendix. I'm very grateful."
Devin Comiskey – The Judas Priest Shrine (www.judas-priest.com)
"I enjoyed every page of this book and I really got a boost pulling out my Priest albums again. That was the effect this read had on me."
Pim Blankenstein – Lords Of Metal (www.lordsofmetal.nl)
"Well written and containing countless photographs of various band members and moments of historical interest from their career, Judas Priest: Defenders Of The Faith should not be seen as merely an account of the highs and lows of a heavy metal band, but instead should be viewed as a historical account covering 30 years of one of the most influential and important bands in the world of heavy metal. Further to this, this shouldn't be seen as a book solely for the Judas Priest fan, it's a book which will appeal to fans of music, fans of biographies and quite simply, anyone who is interested in how metal came to be."
Dave Nicholls – Loud-Stuff (www.loud-stuff.com)
"...this 320-page scroll analyzes each Priest era with various points of interest...Props to Mr. Daniels; he's clearly exceeded duty's call. This well-illustrated JP history lesson is difficult to put down even at 3 am. Enter Damnation's arena."
S Brook Reed – Metal Maniacs (www.metalmaniacs.com)
"This is Neil Daniels first book and it's a good one ... Defenders Of The faith tells the story in chronological order and includes all the major events, such as the breakthrough with British Steel, the Nevada trial, Dave Holland' sentence, Rob Halford´s departure ... Neil Daniels has written a really good book about one of Britain's biggest and most respected metal bands and I doubt it will leave any Priest fan disappointed."
Niclas Müller-Hansen – Metal Shrine (www.metalshrine.se)
"If there was ever to be an officially sanctioned book on Priest it is probably fair to say that some of the more controversial moments in their history would be diluted but in the pages of Defenders Of The Faith these are tackled head-on... The Judas Priest story is arguably one of the more interesting in metal and as recent events have proven it is still far from over. Defenders Of The Faith does a great job of telling the story so far and is highly recommended."
Dean Pedley – Midlands Rocks (www.midlandsrocks.co.uk)
"Despite the lack of co-operation from the band members, he has put together a very thorough and detailed book about these legends of Heavy Metal ... One of the most interesting parts of the book for me were Daniels' informative album reviews ... If renewing the reader's interest is one of the main motives of a rock book, then this book has succeeded in it. Not to mention that it's altogether a very entertaining read ..."
Kimmo Toivonen – Rock United (www.rockunited.com)
"Author Neil Daniels has done a fine job here with his first book...putting together fine details of the history of one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time....It's a fun read from start to finish, and especially noteworthy for its extensive trip through the first few years of the band's existence."
Pete Pardo – Sea Of Tranquility (www.seaoftranquility.org)
"... this is a great book for metal fans, or indeed music fans, especially those with knowledge or experience of fucking about with bands and gigs, as by far the most enjoyable sections are the early days, struggling as a Sabbath/early Fleetwood Mac style heavy blues band, slugging around the harshlands of early/mid-seventies Britain. The photo section is also fabulous, with some colossally brilliant and ludicrous pictures."
Stu Gibson – Sleezegrinder (www.sleezegrinder.com)
"Defenders Of The Faith is a balanced, warts and all account of their history. It's also impressively exhaustive, with an amazingly complete list of appendices ... All in all, it's just about all the priest you can handle, and thanks to Daniels' impressive attention to detail, Defenders... stands favourable comparison with just about every rock biography of recent times."
Eddie Thomas – Subba Cultcha (www.subba-cultcha.com)
"It's all here, as is a detailed account of every album and tour making BC scribe Neil Daniels' first book an essential purchase for Halford and Priest fans. A comprehensive and informative read, this is true British steel! 4/5"
Ian Chaddock – Big Cheese
"Neil Daniels' biography is an insight into the many weird and wonderful events the band has been through ... With such content covered it is hard to believe that Daniels wrote everything with no access to any of the present band members ... Defenders Of The Faith is a detailed insight into the story behind Judas Priest and highly recommended to anyone looking to read further into the band. 4/5"
Ashley Morton – Black Velvet
"Neil Daniels is great on the early history of Brummie metal legends Judas Priest. He's quick to dispel the notion that Judas Priest were formed by guitarist KK Downing and bassist Ian Hill, pointing out that an incarnation of the band existed in 1969 before those two joined ... "
Geoff Barton – Classic Rock
"... heavyweight exploration of the life and times of Brum's finest. Author Daniels' insights into the highs and lows of the career of Rob Halford et al make for endlessly entertaining reading ... all here, in full grisly detail."
Joel McIver – Classic Rock: Heavy Metal Special
"Maybe because this is a totally independent account of Judas Priest's history, Neil can get away with bringing up the (admittedly few) controversial events that have happened in the last thirty-something years, and as such it takes the material away from merely being homage paid by a fan ... Defenders Of The Faith is easy to read and hard to put down – a must for all Judas Priest fans."
Phil Ashcroft – Fireworks
"The early years are particularly well covered, with many people I think I've never read any interviews with before. And as a die-hard Priest fan, there are a few things I didn't know, especially the Valen controversy during the Turbo Tour."
Baudelot Benji – France Rock Hard
"There's no faulting the author's painstaking research; indeed over 100 pages of this tome is an appendix ... The author does attempt to strike a balance with second hand quotes ... "
Caren Gibson – Metal Hammer
"... this is a thoroughly researched and well-written chronology of Priest's career ... Daniels even includes a letter from Dave Holland's jail cell. An even-handed Priestopedia ... handy for reference. 3/5"
Suzy West – Record Collector
"Featuring a foreword by founding member Al Atkins, this is the long-overdue and fascinating story of the Brummies ... Essential reading. 8/10"
Ronnie Kerswell – Rock Sound
"Daniels has done an extremely genuine work in terms of research. The documentation is, or at least appears to be, as solid as it possibly could have been ... Neil Daniels' book constitutes some of the best, most well-written, and absolutely fabulously entertaining reading that any fan of the band could possibly ask for. 8/10"
Erik Thompson – Sweden Rock
"Nevertheless, it covers priceless stuff: did you know that there is not a single original member in the current line-up? Or that at one point they had a black drummer with a huge afro called Chris 'Congo' Campbell? And of course, Dave Holland's alleged sex crimes? It's tempting to go on. Flawed, yet definitive. 7/10"
Avi Pitchon - Terrorizer
"Neil Daniels has taken his best shot at documenting the long and convoluted history of the Priest, and, in many respects, has done a good job ... There's an array of comprehensive lists at the story's conclusion, and all in all, this is a stirling first effort from Mr. Daniels. 3/6"
CK – Zero Tolerance
" ... I was really impressed by the early years chapters, the first 50 pages or so are superb indeed. After that, with the band not participating, it was clear that the primary interview sources would dry up ... still most enjoyable ...it is a well-written and well-presented band biography."
Matthias Mader – Author of Der Stahlerne Weg Von Judas Priest
"This is a well written and enlightening account of the Judas Priest story; it made me want to go back a re-visit their back catalogue. A must for Priest fans!"
Brian Tatler - Diamond Head
I'm a Spanish Judas Priest and I've just seen there's an updated reissue of this book. I've got no opportunity to look inside of the book cause I live very far from UK. I've tried to do it online on amazon.co.uk, but it didn't work. Please, could you send me just 1 page to see something different from the cover? If it likes me, I promise you to buy the book
Thanks in advance
I've just finished reading Defenders of the Faith and I'd like to thank you for undertaking the project in the first place – it's an absolutely massive undertaking and you've delivered a really great piece of work. Congratulations!
Just a few notes about the band from a fan's perspective...my first ever gig of any band was Judas Priest on December 20th 1983 at Leicester De Montfort Hall. A few of us went up on the reain from Wellingborough (near Northampton) and my abiding memory was the sheer volume of the thing – I was 16 at the time and my ear drums had never had such an assault. My Dad came to pick us up...it didn't do much for him but now I'm of a similar age I want more!
Since then I think I've seen them another 8 or 9 times, the highlights being Forest National in Brussels in 1986, the Brixton Academy show in 2001, Manchester Apollo on the Angel of Retribution Tour in 2005 where Rob conclusively proved that he has still "got it", Royal Albert Hall in 2006 and this year on my 41st birthday I took my whole family to Prague so I could go and see them at Liberec Arena on July 3rd. Wow! Those Czech lads really rock.
My aim is to acquire all the cds, dvds from Priest and Rob's bands. I've got all the obvious stuff – about 50 cds in total but your comprehensive discography has set me a new challenge, especially the Al Atkins catalogue.
Anyway, thanks again for your contribution to the history of the greatest of all bands. I'll be looking out for more of your output in future.
Hello, Neil- I googled you after a friend sent an online blurb to me concerning Dave Holland. I read it with great interest. Dave (as well as Mel and Glenn) is an old friend of mine. I was stunned and shocked when I read the news reports about his situation. Glenn has remained tight-lipped about Dave - at least publicly. Mel is dealing with his own mortality at the moment, so I surely didn't want to bring up and bad or sad news at this point in his life. I get updated on a semi-regular basis on Mel from his wife and son, but don't want to bring up Dave at all. I have always found it difficult to imagine Dave as the press have painted him. I've known his since the 70′s, through Trapeze mostly, and then crossed paths with him occasionally when he was doing his stint with Rob and the boyz. Of course I have no way to actually "get to" Dave at present, and wondered how much contact you have with him currently. If you do I would greatly appreciate it if you'd pass along my best wishes to him, so he knows somebody out here" is thinking about him. I don't know how much technology they allow him access to as well, but if he DOES have access he can email me if he wishes. I've thought of him a lot in recent years, mostly due to the tragic nature of his current situation. I have always maintained his innocence to others who ask about him, knowing that we once were buddies. Do you know when he is scheduled to be released? It's difficult to follow the situation solely from cruising the Internet. I've run across other people who have speculated on his plight, and consider all of it to be fodder for the rumor mill at best. I would like nothing more than for him to be found innocent of charges. I appreciate your time to read this, and hope that if you have the opportunity to tell Dave I've asked about him, you will do so. If I were him – in jail – I'd appreciate any comments from friends who are concerned about me and my situation. Thanks in advance,
I have a couple of small press cuttings which appeared in the Wolverhampton Express & Star back in November/December ... mainly about Al Atkins.
Would you still like any such future material passed on to you for reference purposes.
If not I will throw these out.
I am about half way through your book on Judas Priest and have found it interesting and informative.
Due to home pressures it takes me ages to read any book as I can only manage to snatch time to read a chapter at time.
Just finished reading Defenders of the Faith & enjoyed every minute of it. Looking through the tour dates on pp 236 I can confirm that Priest played Bournemouth Winter Gardens on 15th November. It wwas the first time I saw them – I would have gone to see them in Southampton on the previous tour but I got snowed in where I lived. You dont have Southampton listed for the Stained Class tour, but I did have a ticket & would presume it would have been the day before Portsmouth
My name is Jerry and I'm a big Swedish fan of Judas Priest. Today I've just finished your book "The story of Judas Priest" and I want to thank you for filling up some gaps. *laughing* It was an remarkable job you've done putting all these information together, and I liked the last pages where you've put all the albums, people and so on in biographical order.
I'm used to be called "The biggest Priest-fan in the world" by my friends and "He's the one who's defending Priest when we're not around" by Mr K.K. Downing himself and due to that I want to send you a present.
A copy of a Priest-tribute CD that you've missed in your book – Just as Priest "Released at least" from 1998. The most serious tribute band the is...eh, was.
Please send me your address and I'll post a copy of it asap.
Jerry Orrebacken Stockholm, Sweden
Merry xmas to you neil! Last week i ordered never surrender, biffs book and defenders of the faith... from amazon, then went to llangollen, north wales for a few days. I so, so enjoyed your book!! I have followed the priest since '79, it was such a joy to read the priest history, so much of it I remember. '81 at the front at Birmngham odeon aged 14, with accept as support, wata support band! etc etc! Your book was a tremendous read. I cite Ian Hill as one of my all time bass heroes, uncomplicated, but totally in time . AS is cliff williams. I was born in sutton coldfield as was Rob and I still live there to this day. Check out my band Agincourt, on myspace, Gary Bushell likes us and we did a session for radio 1 a few years ago QUESTION:>>>When Rob left, we heard a rumour that the 'vocal vacancy was first given to Tony Mills, EX SHY, SIAM?? Apparently, due to him going to the press to soon, this was revoked?? Your priest book was wonderfull! Really enjoyed it, Ian still lives in Fradley, Staffs I believe, a place I know well. He was guest of honour at Neon studios opening in Burntwood a few years ago, top rehersal studios. Priest rehearsed at Neon during the owens'Ripper' era'. Mike Newey runs the place. Nice guy.
Have a great Xmas, Best wishes,