JUDAS PRIEST — Point Of Entry

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JUDAS PRIEST - Point Of Entry cover
2.92 | 82 ratings | 8 reviews
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Album · 1981

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Heading Out To The Highway (3:45)
2. Don't Go (3:17)
3. Hot Rockin' (3:15)
4. Turning Circles (3:38)
5. Desert Plains (4:30)
6. Solar Angels (4:01)
7. You Say Yes (3:24)
8. All The Way (3:37)
9. Troubleshooter (3:56)
10. On The Run (3:41)

Total Time 37:10


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

About this release

Released by Columbia, February 17th, 1981.

Reissued in 2001 with the following bonus tracks:

11. Thunder Road (recorded during the 1988 Ram It Down sessions) (5:12)
12. Desert Plains (live at Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, 23 May 1986) (5:03)

US version includes alternate album artwork.

Thanks to Pekka, Lynx33, adg211288, Time Signature, 666sharon666, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"From desert plains I bring you love"

With Judas Priest finding worldwide success with 1980's legendary British Steel, it only makes sense that the band wouldn't fix what's not broken and follow it up with another heavy metal masterpiece. But what's this?

"this album is commercial hard rock"

Yes, for some bizarre reason, this album from the heavy metal legends themselves has been trashed and looked down upon as just a commercial hard rock album by the general consensus. Obviously everyone will have different tastes, and I don't care if someone doesn't like one of my favorite albums. However, what I do care about, is if someone is just objectively wrong about it. Point of Entry is one of those albums, as somehow this album got to be looked at in the same way as Load and ReLoad. A rant about "anything I don't like is commercial hard rock" can wait for another day, but Point of Entry is no more commercial hard rock and no less metal than the previous two albums.

When you listen to Point of Entry side by side with the likes of Killing Machine and British Steel, it really does not sound that much different at all. Downing and Tipton's signature twin guitar attack is there. Holland's drums are absolutely massive, and Halford's vocals and melodies are as powerful and beautiful as ever. Tom Allom's production sounds just as great as their other 80's classics. Perhaps the only real difference is that I think Ian Hill's thumping and driving basslines are at their most audible on this record.

Now that all that's out of the way, let's talk more in depth about how much this album kicks ass. The album opens right up with "Heading Out to the Highway", and there couldn't be a better opening. It gets the listener pumped and ready for the ride. This album is meant to be a driving album, nothing else sounds better while cruising in the car or even walking down the street. The whole album follows suit, everything is so fun yet also majestic and beautiful at the same time. No song reflects all of this better than the masterpiece that is "Desert Plains". Not only is this the best song on the album, but I would rank this as one of Priest's very best tunes. It's impossible to not singalong to Halford's soaring melodies and the drums are so colossal that it makes you feel like you're right in front of a stage.

There's not a single dud on this album (though that can be said for most of Priest's albums), but there are a few more apart from the ones mentioned that stand out from the rest. "Solar Angels" starts out with a driving riff that has almost a spacey-tone to it. "Hot Rockin'" is just pure 80's heavy metal at its most fun. It's impossible to not chant along with the shouts of 'I wanna go, I wanna go, HOT ROCKIN'. "Turning Circles" has always drawn me in with the beautiful bridge when the guitars quiet down giving the stage for a simple yet powerful vocal performance. "On the Run" is heavy metal with swagger. Hill's thumping basslines and the main riff give the song such an awesome groove.

Now, there are a couple songs on the album that do fit a more hard rock sound, such as the somewhat Kiss-esque "Troubleshooter". However, Killing Machine and British Steel have their share of more hard rock-oriented songs as well such as "Living After Midnight". Also, if the music is good, who really cares if it's metal or hard rock? Good music is good music, and this album is all good music.

While I love almost all of Priest's albums, I would rank Point of Entry up there with the best of the best. I'm pretty sure Screaming for Vengeance will always remain their best album if I'm having to choose, but this album is certainly in my head when I am thinking about which is their best. If you've dismissed this album as just a commercial hard rock album like so many others, I recommend another listen. Go for a drive, and crank this classic up.

So Metallica releases “Load” and everyone’s like, “What?” and then they release “Reload” and everyone’s like, “Oh!”

In 1981, Judas Priest released “Point of Entry” and looking back on it now, it’s like, “What?” Had they followed up with “Point of Re-entry”, well, it would have sounded like going through customs, but maybe people might have just gone along with it. Thankfully, they followed up with “Screaming for Vengeance” and everyone was like, “Yeah, now that’s what I’m talking ‘bout!”

“British Steel”, “Point of Entry”, “Screaming for Vengeance”. One of these is not like the other. After establishing themselves as metal gods in 1980, something they had been working on ever since 1976’s “Sad Wings of Destiny”, Judas Priest released a mostly fun, party rock, hard rock album with catchy choruses, hand clapping beats, and guitar riffs to rival Helix. Was there a plan? Who was responsible?

The book “The Story of Judas Priest: Defenders of the Faith” by Neil Daniels sheds a little light on the matter:

“After the success of ‘British Steel’, it was argued that Priest compromised their sound in order to make a more radio-friendly album with such songs as ‘Heading Out To The Highway’. No doubt CBS thought a softening of the band’s edges could be a potential money-spinner… it could be said that the AOR-cum-melodic-hard-rock approach served the band well in the long run.”

Daniels points out that the first singles to be released in support of the album did not help much. “Don’t Go” only made it to 51 on UK charts and “Hot Rockin’” struggled to reach 60. “Heading Out To The Highway” and “Desert Plains” would have been better representations of the album, argues Daniels.

At the time of its release, K.K. Downing was quoted as saying it was the band’s best album yet. However, strangely enough, the original album jacket did not include the band’s logo and there was no band photo. Was someone trying to distance themselves from this new direction?

When considered among the giants of the Priest cannon, “Point of Entry” looks like a decision that sounded good at the time but brought unfavourable results. Rock history is full of similar stories: The Yardbirds with “Little Games”, Warrant and “Cherry Pie”, Dream Theater and “Falling Into Infinity”. Make your own list. However, listening to this album as a hard rock album in the early eighties, it is actually not so bad. Instead of placing this among other Priest albums, play it alongside other fun, party rock albums of the day and it fits right in. “All the Way” almost could be a contender for an Aerosmith album. “Don’t Go” conjures up images of long-haired dudes in red leather pants. And “Hot Rockin’” seems to have picked up a thing or two from the likes of seventies KISS. “Heading Out To The Highway” is good enough to be listed among Priest’s better tracks anyway. The two songs that truly stand apart from the rest are “Desert Plains” and “Solar Angels” which have that more serious and somewhat majestic side that aim to tell a story or create an atmosphere.

Missing of course are any of Priest’s cast of fantastic characters like “Exciter”, “Grinder”, “The Hellion” or “Painkiller”. “Point of Entry” is about highways, relationships, and lust. Rock ‘n’ roll, dude!
When I started writing my series of reviews on the Judas Priest discography I mentioned right at the start, in my Rocka Rolla review, that despite most of their work fitting the traditional heavy metal genre that there are also a few oddities present. Albums that are a bit different (or very different in some cases) than most of their stuff. Their seventh album Point of Entry from 1981 is one of them. This is not a good thing in this album's case.

Point of Entry is the most hard rock orientated Judas Priest release since their debut and one of their most commercial sounding albums. I wouldn't go as far to say that it is my least favourite record by the group but it's certainly in the bottom three along with Turbo and Demolition. It's not that it's actually a bad record based on its own merits, in fact I really like the song Desert Plains, but it's not really a record that I really expected to hear from Judas Priest. And it certainly doesn't sit too well between British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance, both of which are stronger efforts although not top tier Judas Priest by any means for me. I suppose this one is worth hearing if you enjoy hearing the different sides that Judas Priest sometimes display but it's not a record I stick on too much and one of the reasons that I consider 1980's Judas Priest to be so inconsistent. Fortunately this one marks the end of the declining quality heard on the few records before it.

Attribution: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/judas-priest-point-of-entry-t3809.html
After the success of Living After Midnight and Breaking the Law singles from British Steel, Priest went for an album in a similarly radio-friendly style, taking those two songs as their inspiration. And, to give full credit to them, some of the songs on here are pretty good - Heading Out to the Highway and Hot Rockin', in particular, are decent up-tempo pop-metal pieces which wouldn't have seemed out of place on the previous album or as B-sides to the preceding singles.

However, that's not to say the album doesn't have issues. Fact is, the third single - Don't Go - is a plodding clunker, a stab at precisely the sort of classic rock delivery the band had otherwise left behind after Rocka Rolla. A similarly retrogressive approach can be heard on Turning Circles, Desert Plains - and, for that matter, most of the rest of the album. This is a disappointment considering that even on the commercially-leaning Killing Machine and British Steel the band had still managed to forge ahead and continue to expand the boundaries of metal, whereas this time around they seem happy to simply retread old ground and mimic more typical classic rock styles.

This difference is probably why this album gets a bad rap from Judas Priest fans, because going from British Steel to this is admittedly a bit of a shock, but I wouldn't say it's the absolute failure that it's often painted as. The fact is that even though it's a classic rock-influenced pop-metal album, it's a classic rock-influenced pop-metal album performed by Judas Priest, and even though they were giving their creativity a rest this time around, the musicianship on display is still second to none - and Heading Out to the Highway is a catchy song. But even though I would say that Point of Entry is a notch better than Rocka Rolla, I'd still rather listen to any of the albums between them rather than this one or the debut.
Judas Priest’s Point Of Entry was released just one year after their classic British Steel album, and the band sought to further the radio success of ‘Living After Midnight’ et al with a more commercial sound, but failed to break big critically or commercially. The album is seen as something of a disappointment for a lot of Priest fans.

Stylistically, the album isn’t the fastest or the heaviest Judas Priest album you’re likely to hear, the music is actually much closer to classic rock than to the heavy metal sound of the most loved Judas Priest albums.

Regardless of their musical directions, all albums stand or fall on the quality of the music within. For the most part; Point Of Entry is hit and miss, a mixture of good songs and songs that are unobjectionable but just kind of forgettable, had the ratio been better then the world would have been kinder to Point Of Entry, but unfortunately the album doesn’t have enough classic material to really make it a must have.

The album isn’t devoid of good moments, tracks like ‘Hot Rockin,’ ‘Heading Out To The Highway,’ and ‘Desert Plains,’ are all enjoyable. ‘All The Way,’ is perfectly good too if you don’t mind the obvious inspiration from about five famous Kiss songs.

If you like Judas Priest, you may want to check Point Of Entry out; after all you still have the guitar and vocal talent as with any Priest album, in addition to a few genuinely good songs here and there. If you are new to the band I’d advise not trying this album until you are already familiar with all the classics first.

Overall, Point Of Entry is neither good nor terrible. It certainly doesn’t deserve its awful reputation, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was criminally underrated either. In summary; a decent, if somewhat forgettable album.
The 7th release from Rob Halford and company is a good metal album but not as good as its predecessor or its follow ups. I'm not sure if this makes much sense but even though it is a good metal album it is merely an OK Judas Priest album. Highlights include Heading Out to the Highway and Hot Rockin'. Being the Priest it is hard to complain with the product but it just isn't quite as good as its surroundings might indicate. Fortunately, great things would appear just around the corner. This one only garnishes a 2 1/2 start rating from me. It is probably worth checking out for the Judas Priest junkie like me, but if there is a Judas Priest album to be avoided this is probably the one.

Time Signature
I say no...

Genre: heavy metal / hard rock

I love Judas Priest. To me, they are metal gods. But even gods are not perfect. And "Point of Entry" is, for my money, one of their least interesting albums. While the preceding and following albums were full of magnificent metal tunes, "Point of Entry" is more of a hard rock release (not that there is anything wrong with hard rock at all) containing sub par songs mostly.

Apart from "You Say Yes", "Point of Entry" does not really contain any interesting tunes that capture my attention. And I think that most of the songs on the album become trivial and monotonous after a couple of listens. It is still an okay album, I guess, but by Priest standards, it is somewhat of a lackluster.

Not my favorite Priest album, and I think that it will be of interest to hard core fans only.

Members reviews

Hot Rockin’

British Steel gave Judas Priest a taste of commercial success and they even had a couple of ‘hits’ in Breaking The Law and Living After Midnight. This probably inspired them to make some similarly catchy songs for this album. The music videos for songs like Don’t Go and Hot Rockin’ are really hilarious. You can almost judge from the very song titles that these are not good songs. Unfortunately, that is true of most of this album’s songs with You Say Yes, All The Way, Troubleshooter and On The Run being similar Pop Metal tunes. Turning Circles stands out as being not Pop Metal but pure Pop Rock!

However, this uneven and inconsistent album also holds some good songs, most notably Desert Plains and Solar Angels. But we are still a very long way from past glories. Heading Out To The Highway is also a decent song, but again nothing to be too excited about.

I think it is fair to say that this is Judas Priest’s low point and coming from a band that had such fantastic albums as Sad Wings Of Destiny and Stained Class under their belts, this is nothing short of embarrassing. The signs were there already on Killing Machine, but how could they sink as low as this?

This one is best avoided!

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