Judas Priest release Stained Class

Stained Class is the fourth album by British heavy metal group Judas Priest, released in February 1978.

A popular album in the band's catalogue, Stained Class showcased a more streamlined songwriting style. The production is crisper, clearer, and cleaner than any of their preceding albums. This is the only Judas Priest album to feature songwriting by all five members (one of Ian Hill's few contributions to the songwriting process for the band, and the sole contribution thereof by then-drummer Les Binks – the guitar riff for "Beyond the Realms of Death"). Following this album the band broke its songwriting team down to Rob Halford, K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, with occasional contributions solely by Tipton.

The sleeve artwork, by Roslav Szaybo at CBS Records, introduced their classic logo, replacing the Gothic Script logo of earlier releases. Stained Class was highly influential in the development of the speed metal subgenre and was the first Judas Priest album to dent the Billboard 200. The album was remastered in 2001, with two bonus tracks added. In 2004, UK magazine Metal Hammer named Stained Class the heaviest metal album of all time.