Sad Wings of Destiny is the second album by the British heavy metal group Judas Priest, released in 1976.
The cover art for the album, titled Fallen Angels, was illustrated by Patrick Woodroffe. It is best known for introducing the pitchfork-like symbol known as "the Devil's tuning fork", as worn by the angel.
Sad Wings of Destiny was Judas Priest's second and final studio record made while under contract with Gull Records, an independent UK company. Despite critical acclaim, the band was struggling financially due to lack of support from the label. Shortly after changing management, the band severed their ties with Gull and signed with Columbia Records. Consequently, Judas Priest lost all rights to the recordings on their first two albums and to all demo recordings made during the sessions while under contract with Gull. Sad Wings of Destiny was initially published and distributed by Janus Records in the United States.
Whilst the band lost the rights to recording royalties, they obtained copyright ownership of the songs themselves, many of which became staples for their live shows. "Victim of Changes", "The Ripper", "Tyrant" and "Genocide" appear on Judas Priest Unleashed in the East, a live album released by CBS in 1979. "Diamonds and Rust", a Joan Baez song originally recorded for Sad Wings, but omitted from the final album, was re-recorded for Sin After Sin, their first CBS release, and also on Unleashed. Gull later released the band's original recording of "Diamonds and Rust" on a 'best of' album and their rerelease of Rocka Rolla.
The track "Genocide" mentions the title of the next album, Sin After Sin, in the middle of the song. Glenn Tipton's piano playing features prominently on Sad Wings of Destiny, especially on "Epitaph," a song that features no guitar.
The tracks "Victim of Changes" and "Dreamer Deceiver" were co-written by vocalist Al Atkins, who fronted the band in the early 1970s before being replaced by Rob Halford.
In 2012, "Sad Wings of Destiny" and "Rocka Rolla" were remastered for the first time.
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