Living After Midnight

"Living After Midnight" is a song by English heavy metal band Judas Priest.[3] It was originally featured on their 1980 album British Steel,[4] which was their first gold album in the United States selling more than 500,000 copies (and eventually went platinum for selling at least one million).[5] The song speaks to the hedonistic, rebellious spirit of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and is among the band's most popular songs.

"Living After Midnight"
Living After Midnight.jpg
Single by Judas Priest
from the album British Steel
Released21 March 1980
Producer(s)Tom Allom
Judas Priest singles chronology
"Evening Star"
"Living After Midnight"
"Breaking the Law"

The song title came about when Glenn Tipton awakened Rob Halford with his loud guitar playing at 4 AM, during the band's stay at Tittenhurst Park to record British Steel. Halford commented to Tipton that he was "really living after midnight", and Tipton replied that Halford's comment was a great title for the song he was working on.[6]

On live performances, the line, "I took the city 'bout one a.m.", is sometimes changed to the particular city or venue the band is performing. For example, on the DVD Rising in the East, lead vocalist Rob Halford sings, "I took the Budokan 'bout one a.m.", in reference to the stadium in Tokyo, Japan, that hosted the concert. On the Westwood One recordings from the 1983 US Festival Halford recites, "I took some acid about 1 a.m ..."

The music video, directed by Julien Temple and shot live at the Sheffield City Hall, begins with drummer Dave Holland playing an invisible drum kit. During the guitar solo, fans on the front row play along with their cardboard guitars (which were the prominent fan symbols of the new wave of British heavy metal movement).

This song has been covered by The Donnas on their album The Donnas Turn 21 (2001), by Saul Blanch on the tribute album Acero Argentino: Tributo a Judas Priest (2006), by L.A. Guns on Hell Bent Forever: A Tribute to Judas Priest (2008) and by Iron Savior as a bonus track on the Japanese release of their Condition Red (2002) album.

It was covered by Disturbed on the Tribute to British Steel (2010) CD by Metal Hammer UK music magazine, incorporating the opening drum salvo from "Painkiller". It also appears as one of the bonus songs available with some distributions of Asylum (2010), and also features on their B-sides compilation album The Lost Children (2011).


Chart (1980) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 91



  1. ^ Grow, Kory (25 September 2018). "Ex–Judas Priest Guitarist K.K. Downing on Helping to Define Heavy Metal". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (2003). The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs of All Time. ECW Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-55022-530-3.
  3. ^ Bayer, Gerd, ed. (2009). Heavy metal music in Britain. Farnham, England: Ashgate. pp. 23. ISBN 9780754664239.
  4. ^ Vladimir Bogdanov, ed. (2002). All music guide to rock : the definitive guide to rock, pop, and soul (3. ed.). San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books. p. 605. ISBN 978-0879306533.
  5. ^ Bowe, Brian J. (2009). Judas Priest: metal gods. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow. ISBN 978-0766036215.
  6. ^ Prato, Greg (12 June 2012). "Living After Midnight". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 162. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

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