Killing Machine / Hell Bent For Leather, 1978




Released September  1978 by CBS Records

Released as Hell Bent For Leather February 1979 by Columbia Records


1. “Delivering the Goods” Rob Halford, K.K. Downing, Glenn Tipton 4:16
2. “Rock Forever” Halford, Downing, Tipton 3:19
3. “Evening Star” Halford, Tipton 4:06
4. “Hell Bent for Leather” Tipton 2:41
5. “Take On the World” Halford, Tipton 3:00
6. “Burnin’ Up” Downing, Tipton 4:07
7. “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)” (Fleetwood Mac cover; exclusive to Hell Bent for Leather) Peter Green 3:23
8. “Killing Machine” Tipton 3:01
9. “Running Wild” Tipton 2:58
10. “Before the Dawn” Halford, Downing, Tipton 3:23
11. “Evil Fantasies” Halford, Downing, Tipton 4:15


  • Robert Halford, vocals
  • K.K. Downing, guitar
  • Glenn Tipton, guitar, piano
  • Ian Hill, bass
  • Les Binks, drums

Produced and engineered by James Guthrie, co-produced by Judas Priest

Recorded August 1978 at Utopia Studios, Basing Street, London

The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) recorded later at CBS Studios and added to the Hell Bent For Leather version of the album

Mixed at Utopia Studios

Assistant engineers: Damian Korner, Andrew Jackson, Kevin Dallimore and Andrew Clark

Art director Roslav Szaybo

Album information in Wikipedia

Lead Break Credits:

Lead break credits:

Delivering The Goods, lead Glenn

Rock Forever, lead: both harmonizing

Evening Star, split lead Glenn/K.K., slow echo Glenn

Hell Bent For Leather, lead Glenn

Take On The World, no specific lead breaks

Burnin’ Up, lead K.K.

The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown), split lead K.K./Glenn/K.K./Glenn

Killing Machine, lead Glenn

Running Wild, middle lead Glenn, end lead K.K.

Before The Dawn, lead K.K.

Evil Fantasies, licks K.K., slide lead Glenn, end lead K.K.


K.K.’s comment, 2018:


There is no doubt about it, Killing Machine was the album that set us up for the big change that was about to come, helped enormously by the success of the song Take On The World, which was exactly what we were about to do, launching the Priest on an international scale was our prerogative. And this pre preparation album for the timely British Steel played a very crucial part in what was to be the unique consolidation of Judas Priest and Heavy Metal.


Les Binks comment, 2017:

Glenn was impressed with the percussive simplicity of Queen’s ”We Will Rock You” which doesn’t actually have any drums on it. The rhythm is just multi tracked foot stomps and hand slapped on thighs for the back beat, but it worked so brilliantly. Glenn wanted to write an anthem using a similar approach but this time with multi tracked drums. I came up with a simple rhythm part which is basically sixteenth notes on double bass drums, eighth notes on the floor toms and the snare on two and four for the first bar then two, three and four for the second bar repeated. I think we double tracked that four times so it’s the equivalent of four drum kits. That of course became the foundation of ”Take On The World”. There’s no bass on that track, just guitars and drums. It was the band’s first hit single in the UK and debut appearance on ”Top of the Pops”, the UK’s all important weekly chart show.


Single covers (click for more information):

Evening Star / Beyond The Realms Of Death; plain sleeve 7inch, September 1978

Before The Dawn / Rock Forever; plain sleeve 7inch, October 1978

Take On The World / Starbreaker; plain sleeve 7inch, January 1979

Take On The World / White Heat, Red Hot / Starbreaker; maxi single, January 1979

Evening Star / Beyond The Realms Of Death / The Green Manalishi; maxi single, April 1979

Take On The World / Starbreaker; picture sleeve, Holland / Germany

Hell Bent For Leather / Evil Fantasies; picture sleeve, Japan

From K.K.’s personal scrapbook:



Steel Mill Before The Dawn video


Rock Forever, ZDF Studios Munich, December 30, 1978


Take On The World, Top of the Pops, January 25, 1979


Evening Star, Top of the Pops, May 17, 1979

Read original tourbooks: