This is Judas Priest’s 1974 debut album, when they still had kind of a hippie/prog rock thing going on. It isn’t a particularly good album, but it isn’t bad. Rocka Rolla is a must for completists and an interesting record of a band trying to find their sound. Check out the title cut and you’ll here hints of what was to come:
So that’s kind of fun, but what makes this one cool for some collectors is the alternate artwork. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, the cover art was changed for the US re-release of Rocka Rolla during the ’80s. Some reports claim that the band was threatened with a lawsuit from Coca-Cola; others state that the band threatened to sue…someone because they hated the original cover.
But the most likely possibility is that by the eighties Priest were metal gods, and the second cover, Mel Grant’s “The Steel Tsar,” was more in keeping with their image.
If you’re looking to get into collecting alternate covers, this is a great place to start. Expect to pay 20-25 bucks for the original cover and five bones for the reissue. Happy hunting.