First and Last LPs: Judas Priest from Music Galaxy to the last great hip hop record

I’ll never forget the first album I bought or where it was purchased. It was a used copy of Judas Priest’s “Unleashed in the East” at Music Galaxy in the Five-Points shopping center in Santa Barbara. Music Galaxy was operated by this wizened old woman who constantly smoked cigarettes. Her tastes tended towards what was popular among the declining hippy population like the Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mack. She sort of looked like the figure on the cover of “Blues for Allah”.

But she did carry some more contemporary music of the time like disco and hard rock, even heavy metal which was just starting to take off in our neck of the woods. When I saw the album cover, with vocalist Rob Halford dressed like a biker, it projected that sort of tough persona all of us wished we possessed.

It was only later that I realized there was a strong leather-homo vibe going on here. All seems so obvious now when I look at it. Sort of like all those tough guy fans of the band Queen who later discovered that Freddy Mercury was gay. Like no fucking kidding, right? But as a ten-year old kid, I missed that connotation.

I listened to this LP over and over. Many bong hits later I eventually moved on to other styles of music and generally disliked Priest’s material after “Defenders of the Faith”. I held on to my LPs and cassettes and eventually had an opportunity to see them with perform live with Slayer in 1988. That remains one of the best rock shows I have attended. Here is the track “Victim of Changes“.

I think the last LP I owned was MF Doom’s “Operation Doomsday“. My friend (name removed) was working at Amoeba Records on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley and was constantly hooking me up w/ stuff so it is hard to remember. One thing for certain, this was one of the last great hip-hop LPs of the 1990s. The musical form has never recovered from the dive it took at the end of the twentieth century. Am I wrong? If so, post some links.


About newcentrist

History, Politics, Society, Cognition.

4 comments on “First and Last LPs: Judas Priest from Music Galaxy to the last great hip hop record

  1. […] store and explains his daughter’s name, and TNC (who too infrequently blogs here) explores heavy metal’s homoerotic underbelly and hip hop’s late period. You have a couple of days to add your first and last CDs, and next week we move into the future […]

  2. What’s noticable about Rob Halford’s style is that it’s not only the ‘gay biker’ style that you correctly identify. I think that there’s a pretty obvious S&M leather culture influence there. To a point where, certainly considering the period we’re talking about, he had to have had at the least awareness of the scene, if not active involvement.

    I still remember when Rob Halford officially came out. I was in my 20’s. And, refreshingly, my metalhead friends all reacted with a collective shrug. Certainly in the UK, that seems to have been the general view of the metal community. I think it was a pretty important moment in the history of metal. Without it, I don’t think the metal scene would be anywhere near as gay friendly as it is now (although, obviously, there’s still idiots as there anywhere).

    In terms of decent Noughties hiphop, check out some of the following:

    That’s mostly in the ‘alternative hip-hop’ category, which is what I’ve always preferred. We’re seeing a resurgence at the moment- partly as a reaction to gangsta and other heavy commercialised forms of hip-hop. These things come in waves. I’d say we’re going to see some pretty good stuff out over the next few years.

    And that’s without touching on some of the more obscure subgenres like comedy hip-hop and steampunk hip-hop.

  3. […] independent record stores and buying CDs for their bonus tracks, TNC on Santa Barbara’s independent record stores and buying leather-homo metal, Jams on independent record (and model) stores in Elm Park and buying a glam […]

  4. […] and Last series, which will continue as an occassional feature. Some highlights of that series were TNC on camp metal, how Rusty Fruit Juice became a smack addict rent boy, the Poor Mouth’s journey fromglam […]

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