Evening Star

Album: Hell Bent For Leather (1978)
Charted: 53
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Songfacts®:

  • This one sounds like a heavy metal Christmas carol, describing the journey of the Magi from a first-person perspective, the "evening star" being the Star of Bethlehem. But in a Songfacts interview with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, he said that wasn't what he had in mind when he wrote the lyric. The title came from the Express & Star, his local newspaper in West Midlands, England.

    "In those days, you'd get the news guys selling the newspapers on the corners on the street," he said. "he guy used to shout out, 'Express & Star!' And that was kind of catalyst for me for 'Evening Star.'"

    Halford welcomes the Christmas interpretation, but the song was not marketed that way. Released as a single in the UK, it charted in May 1979 - not exactly Christmas season.

    Judas Priest never released a Christmas album, but Halford did, issuing Halford III: The Winter Years in 2009 and Celestial in 2019.
  • The album, Judas Priest's fifth, was called Killing Machine in the UK and Hell Bent For Leather in America. It was a very productive time for the band, which was going through a growth spurt and developing the leather-studded image that later became standard wardrobe in heavy metal. In a sign of how they were bringing metal to the masses, they performed "Evening Star" on Top Of The Pops, May 17, 1979, on an episode that also featured Donna Summer, Abba, and Peaches & Herb.
  • Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton wrote the music on this one, with Halford handling lyrics.

Comments: 6

  • Dan Gillespy from Courtenay BcA very nice radio friendly metal classic.
  • Kieran from Brisbane, AustraliaThe intro sounds like Boston's More than a feeling. Priest were always good at mirroring what was round them at the time.
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandHa haha sorry "the British pop music showcase program" ..... I apologise bt I've never geard it called that before... So concise and "proper"
  • Steve from Perth, AustraliaI always thought it had satanic overtones. 'Evening Star' being a reference to Lucifer.
  • Lee from Ottawa, CanadaEvening star is almost a pop song.In fact Priest permormed it on the British pop music showcase program called Top of the Pops,a very popular television program in England.The Hell Bent for leather album stood out from all their others,I think,because it had several different types of songs and overall just had a different feel than the rest.But I still enjoy this one.
  • Jeff from Haltom City, TxIf one plays this song backward one can clearly hear singer Rob Halford saying, "Blorg straftus panno guganic retsinlous." Just thought you should know.
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