Judas Priest - 'Defenders Of The Faith' (Re-Mastered)
Disc I: 'Defenders of the Faith' Re-Mastered
1.) "Freewheel Burning"
3.) "Rock Hard Ride Free"
4.) "The Sentinel"
5.) "Love Bites"
6.) "Eat Me Alive"
7.) "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll"
8.) "Night Comes Down"
9.) "Heavy Duty"
10.) "Defenders of the Faith"
Disc II: Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984:
1.) "Love Bites"
4.) "Metal Gods"
5.) "Breaking the Law"
7.) "Desert Plains"
8.) "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll"
9.) "The Sentinel"
10.) "Rock Hard Ride Free"
Disc III: Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984:
1.) "Night Comes Down"
2.) "The Hellion"
3.) "Electric Eye"
4.) "Heavy Duty"
5.) "Defenders of the Faith"
6.) "Freewheel Burning"
7.) "Victim of Changes"
8.) "The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)"
9.) "Living After Midnight"
10.) "Hell Bent For Leather"
11.) "You’ve Got Another Thing Coming"
Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1969. Known for twin lead guitars, a wide operatic vocal style, and for introducing the S&M leather-and-studs look into heavy metal, they have sold over 45 million albums worldwide. The band is widely recognised as one of the finest and most original heavy metal bands of all time, with many artists within the genre having cited them as a major influence. MTV ranked them the second "Greatest Metal Band" of all time.
Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the late 1970s, the band struggled with indifferently-produced records, repeated changes of drummer and a lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980 when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status. In 1989, they were named as defendants in an unsuccessful lawsuit alleging that subliminal messages on their albums had caused the suicide attempts of two young men.
The band's membership has seen much turnover, including a revolving cast of drummers in the 1970s, and the temporary departure of singer Rob Halford in the early 1990s. The current line-up consists of lead vocalist Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis. The band's best-selling album is 1982's 'Screaming for Vengeance' featuring their most commercially successful line-up, featuring Halford, Tipton, Hill, K. K. Downing (guitar), and Dave Holland (drums).
Their influence, while mainly Rob Halford's operatic vocal style (widely considered as one of the most unique vocalists in the genre) and the twin guitar sound of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, has been adopted by many bands. Their image of leather, spikes, and other taboo articles of clothing were widely influential during the glam metal era of the 1980s. Their 1980 album, British Steel, has been referred to as the "record that, more than any other, codified what we mean by "heavy metal". Despite a decline in exposure during the mid 1990s, the band has once again seen a resurgence, including worldwide tours, being inaugural inductees into the VH1 Rock Honors in 2005, receiving a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2010, and their songs featured in video games such as Guitar Hero and the Rock Band series.
K. K. Downing, Ian Hill, and John Ellis had known each other since early childhood growing up on the Yew Tree estate in West Bromwich. They attended Churchfields School at All Saints in West Bromwich. Downing and Hill became close friends in their early teens, when they shared similar musical interests (Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Cream, The Yardbirds) and learned to play instruments. The band was founded in October 1970 in Birmingham, West Midlands, England, after a local ensemble named Judas Priest (from Bob Dylan's song "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest") disbanded.
The original Judas Priest had been formed in 1969 by Al Atkins (lead vocals), Bruno Stapenhill (bass, born Brian Stapenhill, in 1948, Stone Cross, W. Bromwich), John Partridge (drums, born c. 1948, W. Bromwich), and John Perry (guitar). Stappenhill came up with the name Judas Priest and they rehearsed at his house in Stone Cross. Perry died in a car accident shortly after the band's formation, and was subsequently replaced by Ernie Chataway (born Ernest Chataway, in 1952, in Winson Green, Birmingham, Warwickshire; died 13 May 2014).
The band played their first gig on 25 November 1969 at The George Hotel in Walsall, Staffordshire and then toured Scotland in December 1969 and January 1970. This band split in April 1970 after their last gig on 20 April at The Youth Centre in Cannock, Staffordshire. Atkins met the next line-up of Judas Priest at a church called St. James in Wednesbury, near W. Bromwich. This place was called Holy Joe's by the locals and here Atkins met lead guitarist Kenny Downing, bassist Ian 'Skull' Hill, and drummer John Ellis (born 19 September 1951, Yew Tree Estate, West Bromwich, Staffordshire). They had a band called Freight (April–October 1970) and were looking for a singer; they agreed to join with Atkins, who suggested using his old band's name Judas Priest. They rehearsed at Atkins' mother-in-law's house in Stone Cross. The new line-up of Atkins, Downing, Hill, and Ellis played their first gig on 16 March 1971 at St John's Hall, Essington, S. Staffordshire.
With Downing as acting leader, the band moved away from their original blues influences to play hard rock. This quartet played around Birmingham and the surrounding areas with various drummers until 1974, sometimes opening for bands such as Budgie, Thin Lizzy, and Trapeze. Eventually, financial difficulties and problems with their management, Tony Iommi's company, IMA, led to the departure of Alan Atkins and drummer Alan Moore in May 1973.
At the time, Ian Hill was dating a woman from the nearby town of Walsall who suggested her brother, Rob Halford, be considered as a singer. Halford joined the band, bringing drummer John Hinch from his previous band, Hiroshima. This line-up toured the UK, often supporting Budgie, and even headlining some shows in Norway and Germany.
Before the band entered the studio to record their first album, their record company suggested they add another musician to the line-up. As Downing was reluctant to incorporate a keyboard or horn player into the band, he chose another lead guitarist, Glenn Tipton in April 1974, from the Stafford-based Flying Hat Band as their new member. The two guitarists worked together to adapt the existing material and Tipton also received credits as a songwriter. In August 1974, the band released their debut single "Rocka Rolla" and followed this a month later with an album of the same name.
Technical problems during the recording contributed to the poor sound quality of the record. Producer Rodger Bain, whose resume included Black Sabbath's first three albums as well as Budgie's first album, dominated the production of the album and made decisions with which the band did not agree. Bain also chose to leave fan favourites from the band's live set, such as "Tyrant", "Genocide" and "The Ripper", off the album and he cut the song "Caviar and Meths" from a 10-minute song down to a 2-minute instrumental.
The tour for 'Rocka Rolla' was Judas Priest's first international tour with dates in Germany, Holland, Norway and Denmark including one show at Hotel Klubben in Tönsberg, one hour from Oslo, Norway which scored them a somewhat negative review in the local press. The album flopped upon release, leaving Priest in dire financial straits. Priest attempted to secure a deal with Gull Records to get a monthly pay of 50 pounds, however, because Gull Records were struggling as well, they declined. 'Rocka Rolla' (1974) has been for the most part dismissed by the band and none of its songs were played live after 1976 except for "Never Satisfied", which was revived during the Epitaph Tour in 2011.
The band participated more in the production of their next album, recorded during November and December 1975, and chose the producers themselves. The result, 'Sad Wings of Destiny' (1976), included a variety of old material, including the aforementioned stage favourites and immediately shifted the band from a psychedelic sound to straight gritty metal with the opening track, the progressive epic "Victim of Changes". This song was a combination of "Whiskey Woman", a stage classic from the Al Atkins' era of Judas Priest, and "Red Light Lady", a song that Halford had written with his previous group, Hiroshima. This album and a strong performance at the 1975 Reading Festival helped to raise wider interest in the band and expand their fanbase.
Their next album, 1977's 'Sin After Sin', was the first Priest record under a major label, CBS and the first of the band's eleven consecutive albums to be certified Gold or higher by the RIAA. With the termination of their contract with their previous label Gull, the band lost the rights to their first two albums. 'Sin After Sin' was produced by ex-Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover. The band chose to use session drummer Simon Phillips for the recordings. He declined to become a permanent member of Judas Priest, so instead Les (James Leslie) Binks played with the band, who were impressed with his performance and asked him to stay. Together they recorded 1978's Stained Class and Killing Machine (released in America as Hell Bent for Leather). Binks, credited with writing the very powerful "Beyond the Realms of Death", was an accomplished and technically skilled drummer and his addition added a dexterous edge to the band's sound. Binks also played on 'Unleashed in the East' (1979), which was recorded live in Japan during the Killing Machine tour. While the first three Judas Priest albums had considerable traces of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple in them, as well as ballads, Stained Class did not contain any ballads aside from the very dark "Beyond the Realms of Death." 'Killing Machine' (released as 'Hell Bent For Leather' in the US) was the first nod to a more commercial sound, with simpler songs that brought back some blues influences. At about the same time, the band members adopted their now-famous "leather-and-studs" image.
Following the release of 'Killing Machine' (1978) was the live release from the supporting tour, entitled 'Unleashed in the East' (1979). It was the first of many Judas Priest albums to go Platinum. At the time, there was some criticism of the band's use of studio-enhancements and overdubbing in what was marketed as a live album. By this point the playing style of the band had grown progressively heavier, with live versions of songs such as "Exciter" and "Beyond the Realms of Death" sounding much heavier than their studio counterparts.
Les Binks quit in late 1979 as he was unhappy with the band's desire to move towards a simplified radio rock sound, so they replaced him with Dave Holland, formerly from the band Trapeze. With this line-up, Judas Priest recorded six studio and one live album which garnered different degrees of critical and financial success.
In 1980, the band released 'British Steel'. The songs were shorter and had more mainstream radio hooks, but retained the familiar heavy metal feel. Tracks such as "United", "Breaking the Law", and "Living After Midnight" were frequently played on the radio. The next release, 1981's Point of Entry, followed the same formula, and the tour in support of the album featured new songs such as "Solar Angels" and "Heading Out to the Highway".
The 1982 album 'Screaming for Vengeance' featured the song "You've Got Another Thing Comin'", which became a major radio hit in the US. Songs such as "Electric Eye" and "Riding on the Wind" also appeared on this album, and proved to be popular live tracks. "(Take These) Chains" (by Bob Halligan, Jr) was released as a single and received heavy airplay. This album went Double Platinum.
Downing and Tipton performing in San Sebastián, Spain, during their World Conqueror Tour of 1984.
Priest continued their success through the mid-1980s. "Freewheel Burning", released in 1983, was a regular on rock radio. Its album 'Defenders of the Faith' was released the following year. Some critics dubbed it as "Screaming for Vengeance II", due to its musical similarity to the previous album.
If you want to get technical and nitpick about facts, which, there are already a few out there who has. Saying that last year was the actual 30th Anniversary of 'Defenders Of The Faith'. However, 'Defenders Of The Faith' was recorded September through November 1983 and was released on January 4, 1984. Therefore, the release of this Anniversary CD set is one month off. If I am not mistaking I believe Priest was just a little busy last year on tour. In fact, I know they were because I covered one of their shows! Speaking of the Priest tour last year the band added several songs from 'Defenders Of The Faith' to the setlist to celebrate the anniversary of 'Defenders Of The Faith'. Some of which I do not believe the band has performed live since the Defenders Tour.
Finally finding their stride within the United States with a string of three successful releases, 'British Steel' (1980), 'Point Of Entry' (1981) and 'Screaming For Vengeance' (1982). In 1983 when Judas Priest hit the studio to begin work on 'Defenders Of The Faith' there was a huge amount of pressure upon the band to deliver the goods. (no pun intended) This was due to two factors; 1.) The huge spotlight Quiet Riot had put on the heavy metal genre. 2.) Continuing the Judas Priest evolution of success. Musically, 'Defenders of The Faith' was not a great departure from its three predecessors and contained the same mix of short, up-tempo metal anthems with stadium shout along choruses. Spawning three singles, "Freewheel's Burning", "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" and "Love Bites". Solidifying Judas Priest atop the metal throne and crowning Rob Halford as The Metal God! The song "Eat Me Alive" was listed at #3 on the Parents Music Resource Center's "Filthy Fifteen", a list of 15 songs the organization found most objectionable. PMRC co-founder Tipper Gore stated the song was about oral sex at gunpoint. Which just boasted record sells with young teens.
For this Special 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Judas Priest enlisted the original producer, Tom Allom (who has produced nine of Judas Priest's albums) to return to re-master the ten tracks. I had forgotten until I saw Priest live last year and went back to listen to 'Defenders Of The Faith' just how great of a CD this was then and is now. Along with the re-mastered version of 'Defenders Of The Faith' you get a double live CD concert recorded on May 5, 1984 at Long Beach Arena in Long Beach California. This re-mastered concert consisted of a twenty-one song setlist includes the band’s then catalog of hits from their seminal works, 'British Steel', 'Point of Entry' and 'Screaming for Vengeance', as well as vintage 70’s masterpieces. This three CD package cost just $21.98 plus tax. Considering the quality of music you are getting that's pretty cheap! This is a must have for all heavy metal fans!!!!