Judas Priest and Iron Maiden are often considered two of the biggest classic heavy metal bands, as their rise in the late ’70s and early ’80s had a large impact on generations of metal groups to come. Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton has claimed that Maiden were influenced by them, though they did it their own way.
In the mid-’70s, Tipton was hired by Priest as their second guitarist to accompany K.K. Downing. Tipton discussed Priest’s dual guitar lineup during an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, noting that they were naturally able to tell which leads would be best performed by each guitarist.
Maiden were another group that utilized two lead guitarists — though they’ve now had three for over two decades.
“I think it was a natural progression, that’s the phrase I would use. [Iron Maiden] took what we had done and made it their own. It’s important to be very easily recognizable when you’re writing songs. You know that you’re successful, I think, when you hear yourself on the radio and it’s easily recognizable,” Tipton explained. “I think that Maiden did that. They’re very influenced by Priest, but they did it in their own way, and all credit to them for that.”
In 2018, Tipton decided to stop performing live with the band when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Producer Andy Sneap stepped in as his touring replacement, though Tipton has fortunately been able to make occasional appearances at the band’s shows, and he’s still a big part of the band’s next album.
“[He’s] still very much part of Judas Priest,” Sneap recently said on Robb Flynn‘s No Fuckin’ Regrets podcast. “Even if we have to piece bits together, he’s still gonna be a major part of it… It’s just the physical aspect of him going up there and doing it. And especially with what’s happening now in the world, it’s just not something you can consider at the moment.”
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