Skip to main content

Ten albums that changed Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill's life

An original member Judas Priest, Ian Hill was influenced by the heavy blues sound that rocked through London in the ’60s. Here are the albums that changed his life.

By Pat Prince

While vocalist Rob Halford screamed for vengeance and Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing wailed their dual-axe attack, bassist Ian Hill provided the solid rhythm behind Judas Priest’s iconic sound.

An original member of the band, Hill was heavily influenced by the heavy blues sound that rocked through London in the ’60s. The truth is, nearly all the members of Judas Priest were influenced by the music of the 1960s. After reading Hill’s list of 10 records, it’s easy to see why Judas Priest chose to cover Peter Green’s “Green Manalishi” and make it their own, a heavy-metal staple in the band’s live repertoire to this day.

Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill

Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill. Photo courtesy Chipster PR.

1. Jimi Hendrix, "Are You Experienced?"
I saw him at the Isle of Wight in 1970.

2. Colosseum, "Colosseum Live"
No one remembers Colosseum. Jon Hiseman ... he’s one drummer that every single up-and-coming drummer should listen to. He was a phenomenal drummer. They were sort of a jazz/rock band. The best lineup, I think: Jon Hiseman on drums, “Clem” Clempson on guitar, Chris Farlowe on vocals and Dick Heckstall-Smith on saxophone, Mark Clarke on bass and Dave Greenslade on keyboards. And it was a f**king great band. They did the live album in the ’70s. It’s absolutely great. Check it out.

3. Cream, "Fresh Cream"
(See No. 5.)

4. Cream, "Wheels of Fire"
(See No. 5.)

5. John Mayall, "Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton"
Mayall had been going since the late ’50s. The amount of musicians that came through the Bluesbreakers was unbelievable. I mean, you’ve got all of Cream. Clapton, Bruce, Baker — all played with him at one time or another. Then Fleetwood Mac ... you’ve got Pete Green, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie ... all went through there. Mick Taylor went through before he ended up playing with the Stones. Even (Jon) Hiseman and Dick Heckstall-Smith [from Colosseum] went through there. It was a great breeding ground for talent. He used to find these people. I don’t know how the hell he did it. And they grow with the Bluesbreakers and move on.

6. Free, "Tons of Sobs"
Was a great album.

7. Fleetwood Mac, (Peter Green’s) "Fleetwood Mac"
Another great band. Their first one.

8. Fleetwood Mac, "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)"
And “The Green Manalishi” ... We were fans of Fleetwood Mac. They were way ahead of their time. People look back, and, “Oh yeah, they’re a blues band,” which I supposed they were — and some of the other stuff they did, you know, “Man of the World” and “Albatross” and stuff like that. It was pretty advanced really at the time, for the late ’60s, early ’70s.

9. Led Zeppelin, "Led Zeppelin"
Zeppelin’s first album was a big influence. I even played air guitar to that, I think (laughs).

10. The Beatles, "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band"
And of course The Beatles. You got to look at “Sgt. Pepper’s.” The early stuff ... they were a pop band, and then “Sgt. Pepper’s” came out, and it’s this big psychedelic album. That was way ahead of its time. And the amount of sh*t they got out of a little four-track recording machine is unbelievable.