Former JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim “Ripper” Owens, who recorded two studio albums with the band before PRIEST reunited with Rob Halford in 2003, was asked by the “Thunder Underground” podcast if he would like to hear Rob perform any of the songs from his era of the group live with PRIEST on the band’s upcoming 50th-anniversary tour. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, absolutely. I don’t see why they wouldn’t. I think songs like — oh, ‘Burn In Hell’ he would make sound so good. All these songs are tailor-made for him. There’s nothing that’s different. We’re both very similar-style singers. I may have a little more [Ronnie James] Dio in me or something. But, yeah, ‘Burn In Hell’ would be great. And even them doing ‘Bloodsuckers’ would be great, because it was about the court case. But I think ‘Burn In Hell’, because that’s the big one. I think it would be awesome to hear him sing it. I think it would be great.”
Last year, Halford told “The SDR Show” that he had not yet listened to the albums JUDAS PRIEST made with Owens. “Those two PRIEST records, it’s not just because it’s not my voice, because that would be a silly thing to say; Tim is a very good friend of mine,” he said. “I think it’s just that with connecting with music, particularly with PRIEST, I know my place and I know where I wanna be. And so there’s never really been a sense of [wanting to listen] to those records. Having said that, though, numerous times I’ve been asked would I ever do a song from ‘Jugulator’, would I ever do a song from ‘Demolition’. Well, absolutely, I would, because those two albums are just as valid as everything else in the PRIEST catalog. So who knows? That day may yet come.”
Owens joined PRIEST in 1996 after being discovered when the band’s drummer, Scott Travis, was given a videotape of him performing with the PRIEST cover act BRITISH STEEL. JUDAS PRIEST at the time was seeking a replacement for Halford.
In 2019, Owens told Ultimate Guitar that he believes his era of JUDAS PRIEST is largely overlooked. “Yeah, I think it definitely deserves more [attention],” he said. “I mean, they don’t do anything. [Laughs] It’s kind of amazing that they just totally erased it that they won’t play… I mean, ‘Burn In Hell’ [off ‘Jugulator’], the crowd would like to hear ‘Burn In Hell’.
“They don’t have to give me a tribute or anything, but it would be nice to play a song from… You know, that was a pretty big thing, I did two studio records, two live records, and a DVD, starting from ’96 to 2004. So it’s kind of crazy that it’s just been erased and they won’t even play a song from it live, because it is JUDAS PRIEST.”
In October 2019, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner said that “Hell Is Home” is one of his favorite songs from the Owens era. The PRIEST guitarist, who joined the band in 2011 as the replacement for K.K. Downing, offered his opinion during a live video chat. He said: “I was listening to the Ripper albums the other day, and ‘Hell Is Home’ is such a great track. It’s really heavy and the vocal melody is really great. I think Ripper sings it really well. It’s probably one of my favorite PRIEST songs of the Ripper era. ‘Hell Is Home’ — I really like that.”