JOAN BAEZ Was 'Stunned' To Hear JUDAS PRIEST's Version Of Her 'Diamonds And Rust' Classic

In a recent interview with QMI Agency, folk icon Joan Baez was asked what she thought of JUDAS PRIEST's classic cover of her song "Diamonds And Rust", which can be found on the band's 1977 album "Sin After Sin". "I love that!" she replied. "I was so stunned when I first heard it. I thought it was wonderful. It's very rare for people to cover my songs. I think there are a couple of reasons. One is they're personal — they don't have a universal quality to them. And I think maybe it's because I've already sung them, and who wants to compete with that? But it's always flattering when somebody does."

Speaking to KNAC.COM in June 2010, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford explained how the band came to record its version of the Joan Baez track. "Well, the simple story is that our label could see that there was a buzz happening here in America and we were looking for an opportunity to get some kind of radio play," he said. "Radio in 1978, when we released that, was a different hybrid, it was before all of the beat things started to happen and I think the label sensed that we've got something in us and that there was a chance, and I think they thought, well if we go this route and the radio stations hear that PRIEST is covering a Joan Baez song, then at least it gets you through the door. The big challenge even now is to get you through the door to get you played on the radio. I think the label believed that we could write radio songs, but they probably thought that this would be a little bit of a way to make a possibly, slightly faster connection. I don't know. We were actually making the backend of the 'Sin After Sin' sessions when it was suggested to us that we cover this track. And I remember we were all together and whoever it was came in, whether it was from the label or the management and said, 'Listen to this song. The label would like you to consider covering it.' And when we put it on, all we heard was Joan Baez singing this song with the guitar, and your knee-jerk reaction is, 'Are you fucking crazy? We are a heavy metal band.' But again, typical of PRIEST, we're like, 'What's the logic behind this?' And then after a couple of listens, 'This is a great song.' And a good song will take any kind of interpretation. So, it was just a case of, 'Well, we're PRIEST, and if the label wants us to rock it up then this is what we're going to try and do.' So that's how it came together and it turned out really well. It opened the door for us in radio in a lot of ways, and I think that for the first time, a metal band was able to get the kind of accessibility."

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