Judas Priest – Metalogy - Columbia Legacy - 2004 Reviewed by: Ken Pierce
The boxed set for Judas Priest has finally arrived and it is worth looking into. It is 4 music CDs and one DVD. How does one best judge a comprehensive boxed set by a band who’s work is a testament to heavy metal music other than with the simple words of “BUY THIS PRODUCT”?! The release of this box does come at a good time, for Rob Halford is reunited with his mates (Tipton, Downing, Hill and Travis) and they are embarking as the pre-headliner for this year’s Ozzfest opening for Black Sabbath. While many agree that Black Sabbath began the heavy metal music sound, there are many who contend that Judas Priest was the first heavy metal band, taking what Sabbath created and introducing it to a larger variety of sounds and styles; refining it into so many memorable songs that we still find sounding fresh today.
As you can see by the listed tracks, there are only 8 bonus or unreleased tracks among the CD’s. The rest are a composite of classics from the bands extensive catalog. Purists probably already have the re-mastered CD’s that were released a couple of years ago, or might even have downloaded these “new” never released tracks and might hesitate on buying the Box. However, there is a 60 page color booklet with many pictures and some detailed liner notes (several pages outline the track lists of the CD’s). I liked the book since it was something to peruse while listening to the CD’s. Of course I did stop to play air-guitar as I usually do when Priest is playing. Come on, you know you all do it. I am not the only one I am sure.
Some of the tracks did make it hard for me to rate this box as high as I ended up doing. While it is nice to see some live tracks that we never heard before, we did not need to have them be of “Breaking The Law”, or “Electric Eye” since these are featured on the included live DVD. Also, tunes like “Private Property” and “Parental Guidance” from Turbo could have been left off or replaced with the studio version of “Hot Rockin’” or “Love Bites” instead of the live releases we got and perhaps another tune or two. I have long felt that those songs represented a bad phase for Priest. Turbo had few good moments, but let’s focus more on “Screaming For Vengeance” or “Defenders Of The Faith”. Of course the bonus DVD that is my favorite part of this package. It was taken from a 1982 "Screaming For Vengeance" tour show that actually aired on MTV. That's right, I said MTV!!! It was even before The Headbangers Ball was airing. Anyway, this has been unseen since its VHS release of almost 20 years ago and it is great to see it once again.
I did have some criticisms on the packaging. It looks cool when you see it all in black surrounded by the trademark "metalhead" studs, I found it rather cheap after the cover was taken off. There are no jewel cases or even slim packs to protect the CD's and DVD. Instead there are merely carbboard black sleeves. They are held in by a plastic piece that without being careful can bend these cardboard sleeves. This is important to mention for those who maintain their collections with the utmost care.
CD1: Never Satisfied, Deceiver, Tyrant, Victim Of Changes – Live, Diamonds And Rust (Live)*, Starbreaker (Live)*, Sinner, Let Us Prey/Call For The Priest, Dissident Aggressor, Exciter, Beyond The Realms Of Death, Better By You Better Than Me, Invader, Stained Class, The Green Manalishi With The Two Pronged Crown (Live)*
CD2: Killing Machine, Evening Star, Take On The World, Delivering The Goods, Evil Fantasies, Hell Bent For Leather, Breaking The Law (Live)*, Living After Midnight, Rapid Fire, Metal Gods, Grinder (Live)*, The Rage, Heading Out To The Highway, Hot Rockin’ (Live)*, Troubleshooter, Solar Angels, Desert Plains, The Hellion/Electric Eye (Live)*, Screaming For Vengeance
CD3: Riding On The Wind, Bloodstone, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’, Devil’s Child, Freewheel Burning, Jawbreaker, The Sentinel, Love Bites (Live)*, Eat Me Alive, Some Heads Are Gonna Roll, Rock Hard Ride Free, Night Comes Down, Turbo Lover, Private Property, Parental Guidance, Out In The Cold, Heart Of A Lion *
CD4: Ram It Down, Heavy Metal, Come And Get It, Blood Red Skies, Painkiller, Between The Hammer And The Anvil, A Touch Of Evil, Metal Meltdown, Night Crawler, All Guns Blazing, Jugulator, Blood Stained, Machine Man, Feed On Me
DVD: The Hellion/Electric Eye, Riding On The Wind, Heading Out To The Highway, Metal Gods, Bloodstone, Breaking The Law, Sinner, Desert Plains, The Ripper, Diamonds And Rust, Screaming For Vengeance, You’ve Got Another Thing Coming, Victim Of Changes, Living After Midnight, Green Manalishi With The Two-Pronged Crown, Hell Bent For Leather.
Pricing on this product has been vastly different. The best I have seen so far is on www.deepdiscountcd.com for about $39 dollars. Clearly the five disc collection is worth that. Go check it out.
--Ken Pierce 07.09.04