“Hell Bent For Leather” (remaster) by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “Hell Bent For Leather” (remaster)
Label: Sony Music
Release Date: 11/6/2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

“Hell Bent For Leather” is one of the most interesting albums in the Judas Priest catalog. It’s more a blend of solid Hard Rock with a quasi-Metal vibe yet when it needs to rock it surely is able to do so. Cementing the bands look of leather and spikes, the record was originally called “Killing Machine” and was renamed “Hell Bent For Leather” in order to be released in the US. It was an album that drew a lot of press for the group and until the blockbuster “British Steel” would be the biggest converter of followers to the Judas Priest cause. Reviewing the albums tracks the listener will find a large number of slower, more trudging numbers (“Delivering The Goods”, & “Take On The World” among them) which showed that being heavy was as much an attitude as a format of music. While the album also featured several commercially viable songs with “Evening Star” and “Rock Forever”, the most enduring of the tracks would be the title track “HBFL” and the Peter Green cover “Green Manalishi With The Two-Pronged Crown”. To this day I don’t know what a “green manalishi” is, but according to some net research, Green had stated it was about money representing the devil. Despite it not being as heavy as its predecessor “Stained Class”, it’s still an excellent release and a must have edition to the Priest catalog in your collection. For this album the lineup roster would be the same as “Stained Class” and would be the record toured that gives fans the incredible live recording of “Unleashed In The East”.

Halford is totally in command across the album and while he does not shriek as he is well known for doing, the recording shows just how good his voice is all around. The guitar work of Tipton and Downing would be fine and tasty and be the inspiration for bands listening to them to begin forming Metal acts that also featured not only two such players, but two lead players. It was an influential formula that would prove to work incredibly well for the genre.

The Judas Priest remasters come with enhanced artwork and photographs along with two bonus tracks (one live and one unreleased studio).

Track Listing:
1. Delivering The Goods
2. Rock Forever
3. Evening Star
4. Hell Bent For Leather
5. Take On The World
6. Burnin’ Up
7. The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
8. Killing Machine
9. Running Wild
10. Before The Dawn
11. Evil Fantasies
12. Fight For Your Life
13. Riding In The Wind – live

Official Web site: www.judaspriest.com

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