When Rob Halford was growing up there were few if any heavy rock bands, and certainly no heavy metal. But that doesn't mean there wasn't music that helped shape what became "The Metal God." Halford says there were 10 albums that "changed his life" and chief among them is The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Electric Ladyland.
He says, "Listening to this music at the time it was being made is something I’ll never forget. Simply because of the sheer audacity of this extraordinary guitar player and artist. He made the room light up so vividly. To listen to the sounds that he made with the electric guitar was unbelievably special. Things were changing at this time. The music in general was getting louder. Marshall amps were being made, speaker cabinets were being used -- everything was getting bigger, louder, more impactful. I think Jimi had something to do with that."
Halford is also a fan of Led Zeppelin 2, saying it contains the "roots of heavy metal. When I heard the riffs that Jimmy Page was doing, I got a real sense of where things were going. Even though Led Zeppelin never expressed, 'We’ve got some heavy metal in us,' it’s quite apparent that it was there all along."
The rest of Halford's favorites are:
Cream – Disraeli Gears
The Beatles – Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars
King Crimson – In The Court of the Crimson King
The Rolling Stones – Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out
John Mayall – Blues From Laurel Canyon
Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
Queen – Queen