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Painkiller is the opening track on British heavy metal band Judas Priest’s 1990 album, Painkiller, and was released as the first single off the album later that year.
The song tells the story of the Painkiller, the character featured on the cover of the album: a cyborg superhero who saves mankind from destruction.
The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance during the 33rd Grammy Awards (1991), the second year the award was presented.
During the tour for Painkiller in August 1991 at a show in Toronto, Rob Halford rode onstage on a large Harley-Davidson motorcycle, dressed in motorcycle leathers, as part of the show. He collided with a half-raised drum riser and fell off the motorcycle, breaking his nose. He probably needed a painkiller at that point.
Halford possesses a powerful voice with a wide vocal range which is marked by his high-pitched screams and strong vibrato. However, with age, his lower range has matured and become more powerful. Along with Ronnie James Dio and Bruce Dickinson, Halford is one of the pioneers of the pseudo-operatic vocal style later to be adopted by power metal vocalists and regularly appears near the top in lists of the greatest rock vocalists/front-men of all time.
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Watch this 30 second before and after video of a student who took the course for only one year:
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