The Essential Judas Priest
6/10/2006 - Review by: Frank Hill
The Essential Judas Priest - Judas Priest - 2006 - Sony
"The Essential Judas Priest" does more than confirm my thought, it enhances it, it reinforces it; it makes it real as a red hot piercing in my flesh.
Prior to JP, the world of metal was only ruled by a handful of bands: the strutting Led Zeppelin, the darkness of Black Sabbath and the organblues of Deep Purple. None of them really played the pure power chords of Priest and none of them had a vocalist with the primal scream of Rob Halford. From them, one could argue that the New Wave of British Heavy Metal descended along with the great speed metal bands of the 80s.
It's a shame to me that JP, along with Metallica, seem to have largely been co-opted by white trash and classic rock fossils. They seem unable to shake the legacy of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" and the cheesinees of their earlier videos. Those things are more of a detriment to the band's ongoing image than Halford's self-outing.
Everything is in here--the radio-friendly staples of "Breaking the Law", "You've Got Another Thing Coming", "Heading Out to the Highway"; the early epics "Diamonds and Rust", "Beyond the Realms of Death", "The Green Manalishi"; the vicious speeds of "Painkiller", "Ram It Down"; the power strains of "Love Bites; the new crunch of "Judas Rising" and "Revolition". In 30 years, they've covered more territory than all but a small number of equally giant metal bands. Bands have named themselves after Priest songs and lyrics. To see them as dinosaurs from a lost era would be tragic.
Other than a touch of Disco-ness to a few tracks, the vast majority of the songs aren't dated sounding and of unfortunate note there is no Ripper Owens, no live stuff and no extra songs.
Judas Priest has a commanding grip on the history of metal and if you want to feel the full weight of their iron fists, without buying 15 CDs, this is the collection to get.
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