JUDAS PRIEST — Ram It Down

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JUDAS PRIEST - Ram It Down cover
3.25 | 73 ratings | 8 reviews
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Album · 1988

Filed under Heavy Metal
By JUDAS PRIEST

Tracklist

1. Ram It Down (4:49)
2. Heavy Metal (5:58)
3. Love Zone (3:58)
4. Come And Get It (4:07)
5. Hard As Iron (4:08)
6. Blood Red Skies (7:51)
7. I'm A Rocker (3:58)
8. Johnny B. Goode (4:39)
9. Love You To Death (4:36)
10. Monsters Of Rock (5:31)

Total Time 49:32

Line-up/Musicians

- Rob Halford / vocals
- K.K. Downing / guitar
- Glenn Tipton / guitar
- Ian Hill / bass
- Dave Holland / drums

About this release

Released by Columbia, May 17th, 1988.

Reissued in 2001 with the following bonus tracks:

11. Night Comes Down (live at Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, May 5, 1984) (4:33)
12. Bloodstone (live at Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, December 12, 1982) (4:05)

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JUDAS PRIEST RAM IT DOWN reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

666sharon666
Originally conceived as the heavy half of the Twin Turbos concept, Ram It Down is Judas Priest's eleventh album and final 1980's record. It also brings to an end a period of line-up stability, with drummer Dave Holland experiencing health problems that led to his exit from the band. It's for this reason that some of Ram It Down uses a drum machine rather than a real drummer. There's definite resistance to the idea of a drum machine being used in metal (and not without good reason) which may go some way to explain why Ram It Down isn't exactly a well regarded Judas Priest album. Personally though I think it's quite overlooked within their discography.

But then again, that may be in part because I don't think the previous album Turbo is all that good, being one of my least favourite records from the band. Ram It Down on the other hand really injects the metal back into Judas Priest's sound, and to my ears is their most metal album up until that point, though it would be quickly superseded by Painkiller a couple of years later. Okay, so it's not the best bunch of songs Judas Priest ever put together on record by a long shot, but it's pretty far ahead of being a bad album. The title track and Hard as Iron (a power metal song) are two of the best here. I also really like their cover of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode even if it is an unusual choice for a metal band. It would unfair not to at least give a mention to Blood Red Skies too. Overall not the best album Judas Priest ever did, but far from the worst too. Faulted yet underrated at the same time.

Attribution: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/judas-priest-ram-it-down-t3833.html
aglasshouse
After the blemishing album 'Turbo' was released in 1986, the members of JUDAS PRIEST, instead of scrapping the idea of traditional heavy metal, continued with it and released a second one of the genre set in 1988, titled 'Ram It Down'. It is obvious that they tried it in the past, with albums such as 'Sad Wings Of Destiny', 'Sin After Sin', 'Stained Class' and 'Killing Machine'. All of these albums reached some sort of success, and some of them even reached huge popularity, like 'Sad Wings of Destiny' and 'Stained Class'. However, PRIEST stopped making the heavy metal sound and instead moved toward a sound of NWoBHM.

After the 1984 release of 'Defenders of the Faith', they came back with the old trad. heavy metal sound once again. However, being not used to it for awhile, didn't do as well in the beginning (in the case of 'Turbo'.) They continued the trend even in the face of their failure, and released 'Ram It Down' as a followup album.

The album features some great tracks, such as the title track, "Heavy Metal", and my favorite JUDAS PRIEST song, "Blood Red Skies". These tracks, although not being the typical JUDAS PRIEST sound many people know as of today, are amazing 5 star tracks.

'Ram It Down' does also have some strange and overall weak tracks, like "Love Zone", "Love You to Death", and the cover that I'd never think would come from JP, "Johnny B. Goode" (I love the original song by the way).

Mixed ratings came out of this album, most people liked it, yet many wanted either a different sound or a new sound, and that side one in the end, and this was their last trad. heavy metal album until 'Demolition' in 2001. This definitely has more pros than cons, however, and I suggest that whoever likes the Trad. Heavy Metal that JP came out with back in the 70's, would like this album as well.

Go give it a listen.
Kingcrimsonprog
Judas Priest’s eleventh studio album Ram It Down is hugely underrated in my opinion. It contains some very strong material and performances from the band.

I understand fully why this album is harshly overlooked. The band’s previous album Turbo soured a lot of people towards the band in the mid to late eighties with its commercial leanings. Ram It Down and Turbo were originally intended to be a double album together. Consequently, many people put that together and choose to ignore Ram It Down.

Ram It Down is actually a great album, much heavier than Turbo with far less of the synths or the glam/hair tinges. Some of the songs on Ram It Down are almost Thrash Metal in places, with double kicks going off, heavy palm muted riffs and it seems unfair to lump this in with Turbo as ‘that pair of sellout albums.’ Ram It Down to me, sounds closer to Screaming For Vengeance or even Painkiller on a few tracks than Turbo, and I actually like Turbo in any case.

Ignoring the style and direction of the album for a minute, the actual music is top notch. Tracks like ‘Hard As Iron,’ ‘Come And Get It,’ and the furious title track are all excellent and deliver everything you could want from Judas Priest in terms of energy, performance and vocal range and all that before you even talk about the guitar solos on the album.

Special mention too is deserved for ‘Blood Red Skies,’ which is a dynamic and interesting song with an absolutely amazing vocal performance from Rob.

Overall, Ram It Down is a great Judas Priest album and I’d urge you not to overlook it just because of its origins, if you try it you may just be surprised.
rushfan4
Kind of like Turbo, this album is not up to the standards of the best of Priest, but this was released in my senior year in high school and the memories of head banging to this while hanging out with my high school buddies bring a smile to my face. Highlights are Ram It Down, Heavy Metal, Blood Red Skies, and Monsters of Rock. They also do a good cover of Johnny B. Goode which got plenty of MTV air play back in the day. Although I've never seen Judas Priest live, the first concert that I did see live was the Monsters Of Rock festival with Van Halen, Metallica, the Scorpions, Dokken, and Kingdom Come and the songs Monsters of Rock always brings a smile to my face for that reason alone. An album that I enjoy more than the average Judas Priest or metal fan would, this albums came and got a 3 star rating from me for being good, but not essential.

Time Signature
Hard as iron...

Genre: heavy metal

I am a bit ambivalent about this album. On the one had, it contains great stuff like the fierce opener "Ram It Down", the heavy yet commercial "Heavy Metal", the oddly titled "Love Zone" (the title is odd, because the tempo would call for a name like "Rock Zone", "Speed Zone" or whatever), the power metal song "Hard as Iron", and the epic ballad "Blood Red Skies".

On the other hand there are tracks that strike me as being very generic and uninspired, such as "Come and Get It" which is the sort of song that Priest has written a million times and "I'm a Rocker", "Monsters of Rock", and "Love You to Death", which I think are somewhat boring.

I also have a problem with the production. I do not really like the reverb-ladden yet hollow sound of the drums, and the bass is almost inaudible, except in "Heavy Metal" is which it sounds very artificial (I still haven't decided whether I like the bass sound on that track), and there is too much reverb on the guitars which I think also lack substance.

I'll give it three stars, because there are a lot of songs on it that I enjoy listening to, and I am sure that fans of various commercial type of 80s metal will appreciate this album.
Stephen
After the commercial success of "Turbo" but swarmed with negative critics of their loyal fans, Judas Priest tried a balance approach by returning to their primal sound yet still maintaining a friendly sound, and the result is somewhat quite confusing, like they're in the middle of a bridge, can't decide whether to back down or move forward. In this album, Judas Priest played the classic heavy metal and occasionally thrown some glam harmonic elements in their songs which some worked out fine while some didn't.

I remember buying an old tape of "Ram It Down" when I was around 14 and I first thought "damn, this is so loud", and later I found out that "Painkiller" is way beyond this. I still love couple of tracks such as "Ram It Down", "Heavy Metal", "Hard As Iron", and the Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Goode", but I can't stand the godawful cheesy "Love Zone", "Blood Red Skies", or bored-me-to-death "Monsters of Rock". While Downing/Tipton still delivered a lethal twin solos and Halford still got a great range, the uneven songwriting is the weak point of the whole album. Overall, this is an average album some of you might enjoy.

Members reviews

SouthSideoftheSky
Hard as iron

After the mostly misguided Turbo, Judas Priest returned to their earlier style with Ram It Down. Indeed, it is hard to believe that this was the follow up to Turbo when it sounds very much like a follow up to Defenders Of The Faith. The title track is up to par with anything from Defenders Of The Faith or Screaming For Vengeance, but the rest is rather uneven ranging from very good to downright awful. The worst mistake is the inclusion of a cover of the Rock 'N' Roll classic Johnny B. Goode! It is a total embarrassment! I'm A Rocker is a similarly misguided song which also is in the traditional Rock 'N' Roll style.

Heavy Metal, Love Zone and Come And Get It are decent songs I suppose, but they add nothing of value to Judas Priest's by this point already vast output of similar songs. These songs sound like bleak copies of those from Defenders Of The Faith. Love You To Death would fit better on an Alice Cooper album!

The best songs come in the middle this time with Hard As Iron and Blood Red Skies being the highlights of the album together with the title track. Hard As Iron has a propulsive rhythm and some very good guitar solos while Blood Red Skies is something of a semi-ballad very much in the style of Out In The Cold from the previous album.

The album closes with Monsters Of Rock, a slow and heavy song. Not bad!

Even though a definitive improvement over Turbo and despite a couple of strong tracks, this album is (like most of Judas Priest's 80's albums) primarily for collectors and fans.
NJCat_11
"We've found the place where the decibels race; this army of rock will be there!" This album will raze you to the ground.

There are many incredible Judas Priest albums that recieve worthy recognition, however, I feel that this album is very underrated. If you love "Painkiller", the sequel to this album, you will love "Ram It Down." There isn't a single song on this album that doesn't get my blood pumping fast; it's a thrill ride and it will make any JP fanatic proud. My personal favorites on the album are: "Ram It Down", "Heavy Metal", "Blood Red Skies", and "Monsters of Rock"; the latter of which tells the story of the Metal Gods who were impossible to stop.

This album is intense! It's a must have for any metalhead.

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