Rush Vs. Judas Priest – Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame, Round One
Every month, our readers decide which of eight legendary artists or bands will be honored for their contributions to the genre. Lynyrd Skynyrd defeated Aerosmith in the most recent competition, before readers helped us select Heart as the grand champions of the first-ever March Riff Madness poll.
Rush earned their fanbase -- and the possibility of accolades like this one -- the old-fashioned way: Working up from the bottom. After a few tries, the power trio of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart finally found the perfect mixture of song structure, storytelling and musical virtuosity on 1976's '2112.' A string of bonafide classics followed, including 1981's 'Moving Pictures,' among others. Every album from 1976 through 1993's 'Counterparts' went at least platinum in their native Canada, too. 2012's 'Clockwork Angels' continues a string of five gold-selling albums since '93.
Judas Priest, meanwhile, formed in the late '60s but didn't hit its stride until a decade later. Four of their six albums from that period, beginning with 'British Steel,' would sell a million or more copies in the U.S. -- highlighted by their signature 1982 project 'Screaming for Vengeance.' Frontman Rob Halford departed for a time in the '90s, but has since returned to continue with fellow 'Vengeance'-era members Glenn Tipton and Ian Hill. K.K. Downing has more recently been replaced by Richie Faulkner. The new guitarist and songwriting partner has seemingly breathed new life into the the group, who are preparing to release their first album in more than five years this summer.
So who moves onto the semi-finals? You can vote once a day between now and May 11 at 11:59 PM EST. The next inductee into the Ultimate Classic Rock Hall of Fame will be announced on June 2. Be sure to read our official rules.