Judas-Priest-Live-Diamond-Rust-Tipton-Halford-Joan-Baez

“Diamonds And Rust” Best Heavy Metal Folk Song

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In the early ’60s, folk music icon Joan Baez often campaigned for peace and civil rights alongside her then-boyfriend – the obscure folksinger named Bob Dylan. Whom she introduced to the world at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. Ever since, she has balanced art and activism, using her name and fame to oppose war and capital punishment while fighting for human rights and the environment.

In an interview with Darryl Sterdan of QMI Group, she was asked about Judas Priest’s amazing classic cover of her song “Diamonds And Rust” that masterpiece can be found on their 1977 album, Sin After Sin.Diamond-Rust-Judas-Priest-Joan-Baez-Bob-Dylan

So, what did Baez think when she heard Priest’s version of the song?

“I love that! 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.” – Joan Baez

I’ll be damned, here comes your ghost again
But that’s not unusual
It’s just that the moon is full
And you decided to call

Joan Baez “Diamonds and Rust” 1975

Joan Baez, Diamonds and Rust - Live, 1975Joan Baez, Diamonds and Rust - Live, 1975

And, where was Rob Halford’s head when the idea was brought to him?

Judas Priest – Diamonds and Rust – Lyrics

I’ll be damned, here comes your ghost again
But that’s not unusual
It’s just that the moon is full
And you decided to call

And here I sit, hand on the telephone
Hearing the voice I’d known
A couple of light years ago
Headed straight for a fall

But we both know what memories can bring
They bring Diamonds and Rust
Yes we both know what memories can bring
They bring Diamonds and Rust

Now I see you standing with brown leaves all around and snow in your hair
Now we’re smiling out the window of the crummy hotel over Washington Square
Our breath comes in white clouds, mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me we both could’ve died then and there

Now you’re telling me you’re not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You were so good with words
And at keeping things vague

Cause I need some of that vagueness now
It’s all come back too clearly, yes, I love you dearly
And if you’re offering me diamonds and rust, I’ve already paid

But we both know what memories can bring
They bring Diamonds and Rust
Yes we both know what memories can bring
They bring Diamonds and Rust

Diamonds, Diamonds and Rust
Diamonds, Diamonds and Rust
Diamonds, Diamonds and Rust
Diamonds, Diamonds and Rust

“It was 1978 and I remember we were all together and someone from the label or the management came in 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 her guitar, and your knee-jerk reaction is…Judas-Priest-Sin-After-Sin-Diamonds-Rust-Joan-Baez

‘Are you fucking crazy?”

“We’re 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, we decided it was a good song. And a good song will take any kind of interpretation. 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.” – Rob Halford

Judas Priest ‘Diamonds and Rust’ 1982

Judas Priest - Diamonds and Rust (Live Vengeance '82)Judas Priest - Diamonds and Rust (Live Vengeance '82)