White Heat, Red Hot is a track from the Stained Class album by Judas Priest, released on 10 February 1978.
White Heat, Red Hot was written by Glen Tipton.
The album features a cover version of “Better by You, Better than Me” by Spooky Tooth, which garnered the band a great deal of negative attention several years after its release when a pair of fans were allegedly influenced by the song to make a suicide pact. Nonetheless, Stained Class is regarded by some as one of Judas Priest’s best albums.
Twelve years after its release, Stained Class was the subject of a 1990 civil action brought against the band by the family of a teenager, James Vance, who entered into a suicide pact with his friend Ray Belknap after allegedly listening to “Better by You, Better than Me” on 23 December 1985. Belknap succeeded in killing himself, and Vance was left critically injured after surviving a self-inflicted gunshot to the facial area, eventually dying of a methadone overdose three years later. The suit alleged that Judas Priest recorded subliminal messages on the song that said “do it”. The suit was eventually dismissed. The song was originally written and performed by the band Spooky Tooth.
Three weeks after the lawsuit wrapped up, the band kicked off their Painkiller Tour by playing “Better by You, Better than Me” on the first concert in Burbank, California on 13 September. It constitutes Judas Priest’s only live performance of the song since 1979.
Comedian Bill Hicks ridiculed the lawsuit as part of his act, pointing out (as many others have also done) the absurdity of the notion that a successful band would wish to kill off their purchasing fanbase.
Stained Class is the only Judas Priest album to feature songwriting by all five members of the band. Newly added drummer Les Binks earned a songwriting credit for “Beyond The Realms Of Death”, and bassist Ian Hill received his first songwriting credit for co-writing “Invader” with vocalist Rob Halford and lead guitarist Glenn Tipton.
Artist Rosław Szaybo’s cover artwork introduced the now-classic Judas Priest logo, replacing the Gothic Script logo which appeared on all of the band’s previous albums. Stained Class was the first Judas Priest album to crack the Billboard 200 chart and was eventually certified gold in the US.
Glen Tipton Tablature:Judas Priest - White Heat Red Hot - Glen Tipton
KK Downing Tablature:Judas Priest - White Heat Red Hot - KK Downing