This is not a Judas Priest
original - it was first recorded by the British rock band Spooky Tooth on their 1969 album Spooky Two
and written by their keyboard player/vocalist Gary Wright, famous for his solo hit "Dream Weaver
On December 23, 1985, this relatively obscure cover song became part of a music censorship controversy when 18-year old Raymond Belknap of Nevada killed himself with a shotgun after listening to the Stained Class
album while smoking pot and drinking beer. His friend James Vance was with him and also shot himself (apparently they made a suicide pact), but survived another three years. After Vance died, the families of the men filed suit against Judas Priest and their record company, claiming the words "Do It" were subliminally embedded in the song, and encouraged their children to kill themselves.
Earlier in the 1988, a similar lawsuit against Ozzy Osbourne over his song "Suicide Solution
" was dismissed on the grounds that music was protected under the first amendment, so the plaintiffs in the Nevada case took a different approach: Instead of claiming that the lyrics compelled the teenagers to kill themselves, they claimed the subliminal messages did, and the Judas Priest was negligent for putting them in. The case was dismissed after a 17-day trial, with the judge ruling the messages were not put there on purpose. The 1990 ruling stated: "The plaintiffs did not lose this case because defendants proved that subliminal stimuli have no effect on human behavior. Rather, plaintiffs lost this case because they failed to prove that defendants intentionally placed subliminal messages on the album and that those messages were a cause of the suicide."