Gather round friends, for the last entry in the Judas Priest review series, as I look back on the whole experience. It was an eventful series, no doubt, and I certainly raised some eyebrows. Though there were definite ups and definite downs, I consider it a smashing success. I hypothesized that the best way to make me a Judas Priest fan was to brute force the entire discography into me in order. Some individuals might scoff at the thought of me being a fan given some of my reviews, but to them I’d say that I’m just a unique type of Judas Priest fan. I must also thank Holen MaGroin for accompanying me on this series and being the yin to my yang. It mustn’t have been easy reading what I had to say about certain albums (though I still stand 100% behind the hilarity of Stained Ass).
The long journey is now over, and my main thought is that about half of what I said is outdated to some degree. I have warmed up a little bit to a couple of albums, but all the albums I liked before I now like even more. I guess there’ll be a re-review series in a year or two. I’m not going to give you a Nigel Tufnel top 10 Priest albums list here though, because FORESHADOWING!
Anyway, what I will give you is a little exercise based on my first experiences of Judas Priest. If you want to read more about these fateful first experiences, I wrote a ramble on them right here. Anyway, I’m going to give you my version of The Essential Judas Priest. This exercise is based on the 2015 two-disc version, and even though Firepower wasn’t released at the time, “No Surrender” was just too good not to put on it. You can see the tracklist for the original below.
Oh, and also, I’m not bothering with getting the track times right. I’m just going to match the number of tracks on each disc. So, let us begin.
1- Rocka Rolla
4- Diamonds and Rust
5- Here Come the Tears
6- Beyond the Realms of Death
7- Starbreaker (live- Unleashed in the East)
8- Living After Midnight
9- The Hellion/Electric Eye
10- You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
12- The Sentinel
13- Turbo Lover
14- Desert Plains (live- Kansas 1986)
15- The Green Manalishi With The Two-Pronged Crown (live- Kansas 1986)
16- Ram it Down
17- Hell Patrol
18- Between the Hammer & The Anvil
19- A Touch of Evil
Just to jump in halfway through, I did initially have “Rock Forever” on here, but I omitted it so that this disc could end with Painkiller. It was too perfect to pass up. Anyway, on to disc 2.
1- Cathedral Spires
2- Grinder (live- ’98 Live Meltdown)
3- Rapid Fire (live- ’98 Live Meltdown)
4- Breaking the Law (live- ’98 Live Meltdown)
5- Hell Bent For Leather (live- ’98 Live Meltdown)
6- Jekyll and Hyde
7- Feed on Me
8- Deal With the Devil
10- Worth Fighting For
13- Cold Blooded
14- Battle Cry
15- No Surrender
Japanese Bonus Disc (For Lebrain)
2- Lochness (Extended Mix)
3- Lochness (live)
4- Lochness (Demo)
5- Lochness (Acoustic)
6- Lochness (Party Mix)
I wasn’t initially going to include “Cathedral Spires” due to it’s length (as I said I wasn’t counting the track lengths). But after I removed “Rock Forever” and needed another song on Disc 2, it became very apparent that “Cathedral Spires” was the one to pick (and I just hope the disc comes in at under 80 minutes). If not, then “Redeemer of Souls” would be a fine pick to replace it.
So, how does this disc stack up? Well, actually not too bad, in my opinion. Unlike the actual The Essential Judas Priest, my one actually includes (technically) all the studio albums. Only Point of Entry has no direct contribution to the disc, but had a live version to add later. A lot of albums only had one song though, though in those cases they are definitely my favorite song on that disc.
Angel of Retribution took top spot with four songs. This doesn’t surprise me too much. I love the album and it is one of the most varied in styles across songs across the whole Priest discography. While I prefer Turbo and Defenders of the Faith, they are far constant in their style, hence why less songs from them appear on these discs.
But, technically, British Steel also had four entries (along with ’98 Live Meltdown). I guess Ripper is just awesome. And on that note, how about his contributions. Seven songs with him singing. And kicking the disc off with “Cathedral Spires”. Hard to argue with that.
So that marks the end of the series for good. It’s been a hell of a journey and I’m happy with the result. And just if you were interested in reading outdlandish takes on Priest albums that I may have shat on just a tad too much, I’ve got the whole series linked below, and you can count on Holen to pick up the praise deficit in most cases.
Sad Wings of Destiny
Sin After Sin
Hell Bent For Leather
Unleashed in the East
Point of Entry
Screaming For Vengeance
Defenders of the Faith
Ram it Down
’98 Live Meltdown
Live in London
Angel of Retribution
Redeemer of Souls