February 1981: Judas Priest Releases "Point of Entry"

Judas Priest Point of Entry US cover art

Judas Priest had a breakthrough moment with the band's sixth studio album, British Steel. Featuring hits "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight," the record put the group at the forefront of the new wave of UK metal hoping to crash US shores.

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With the band on the verge of being heavily taxed for their new financial windfall, they relocated to the Spanish party island of Ibiza to record what would become Judas Priest's seventh studio effort, Point of Entry.

Album opener "Heading Out to the Highway" marked another first for the band, as it crashed the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts to peak at #10 in late April 1981.

Point of Entry would also feature the single "Hot Rockin'," a blistering track that arrived with one of the most unusual music videos the band has ever made. Directed by Julian Temple, the clip features scenes of the with the band working out together before showering and getting prepped to rock out on a sound stage to an audience of what appears to be less than a dozen headbangers.

The group slowed things down and even got dare we say a tad funky on "Don't Go," which finds singer Rob Halford (rocking a sweet porn mustache) and company grinding it out in full leather and spikes regalia while contemplating a "point of entry." In the video, it's a mysterious door that opens to a bevy of different worlds throughout the clip.

 While it;s home to such deep-cut fan favorites as "Desert Plains," Point of Entry stands as one of the most divisive albums in the Judas Priest discography. For the band's bassist, Ian Hill, it's gotten a bad rap.

"From all the times… probably, Point Of Entry,"  Hill said in 2018 interview when asked his opinion on the band's most underrated album. " It came across… people think it’s just a commercial album. And it’s not, there are some good songs in there. And I think it’s overlooked."

Released on February 26, 1981, Point of Entry was a big seller for the band, peaking at #39 on the Billboard 200 for the week of May 23, 1981. The sales were enough to finance a bombastic and elaborate stage show for the subsequent tour.

“Some of the shows we put on during those years must have been second only to KISS,” guitarist K.K. Downing told Louder in 2007. “We may never see anything like those gigantic moving robots again.”

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The album climbed all the way to #3 on the Billboard 200.

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