The influential Heavy Metal guitarist was essential on the development of Judas Priest’s signature sound
Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton turns 72
Glenn Tipton was born Glenn Raymond Tipton on October 25th, 1947 in Blackheath, England and came to prominence as one of the lead guitarists of Judas Priest during the 1970’s. Tipton joined Judas Priest in 1974 during the recording sessions of their first album “Rocka Rolla”, his guitar playing hugely influenced the band’s sound into becoming Heavy Metal as the songs on the album were consisting mainly of Psychedelic and Blues Rock songs. Quickly Tipton and Rob Halford became the band’s main composers. With K.K Downing, he formed the lead guitar duo in Judas Priest, memorable for many Heavy Metal solos during the 1970’s and 1980’s. “British Steel” released in 1980 was Judas Priest’s commercial breakthrough. This album combined the band’s trademark heavy metal sound with pop-style song structures and hooks. “United” and “Breaking the Law” were some of Judas Priest’s first guitar-driven songs not to include any solo sections. Despite line up changing over the years, Tipton and K.K Downing remained the leading guitar duo in Judas Priest until 2011 when Downing left the band, replaced by Richie Faulkner. Glenn Tipton has been regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in Heavy Metal and aside of Judas Priest he has released two solo albums “Baptism Of Fire” in 1997 and “Edge Of The World” in 2006. On 12 February 2018, Tipton revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The guitarist decided to quit touring but not leaving the band, a decision taken by all the members. He occasionally still goes on stage with Judas Priest and performs at least one song with the band. In June 2018, Judas Priest launched the Glenn Tipton Parkinson’s Foundation in Tipton’s honor, in which they would sell specially designed t-shirts of Tipton playing guitar on the front and with the slogan “No Surrender” on the back. Tipton explains that the foundation would help raise money in hopes of finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. He also says that a new “pioneering treatment”, from his personal specialist, would also help treat other sufferers of the disease. Today Glenn Tipton turns 72.
Watch Judas Priest performing “Painkiller” live in London, 2011 featuring Glenn Tipton’s memorable solo
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