Tag Archives: defenders of the faith

Judas Priests “Defenders Of The Faith” Is 30 Years Old (1984-2014)

Before I get into this one, let me first get out the information that this album’s true 30th Anniversary was on Saturday 1/4/2014; However, with the “New Year’s Music Resolution” series just beginning and a full plate to contend with I held off a few days before getting to raise a glass and a hearty pair of horns to Judas Priest’s fantastic “Defenders Of The Faith” which is celebrating being thirty years and four days old today. Happy Anniversary to a seriously heavy album; let me scroll back in time and give you some personal opinion on it.

judas priest logo

“Defenders Of The Faith” is Judas Priest’s 9th album and followed their incredible “Screaming For Vengeance” release of 1982. I was already a Priest fan and had been continually listening since “Hell Bent For Leather” and like many fans of the band around this time, I was happy to see them keeping it nice and heavy and on the fast side with the newest release. Yeah “British Steel” and “Point Of Entry” had some moments but I craved the intensity that they were capable of and with “Defenders” they did not disappoint. I recalled going to the neighborhood record store almost immediately after it was put on the shelves and got the group of fellow Priest fans to join me in a listen down in my parent’s basement. From the moment that the needle hit the grooves on that black disc and the first razor riffs of “Freewheel Burning” began we were all sold on the release. Sure it was only the first track but “Jawbreaker” followed it and that was intense and while “Rock Hard Ride Free” was more of a sing along type of track it only helped warm us up for “The Sentinel” (which became one of my very own personal favorites on the album in addition to the opener). The Metallian kept on riding proud and sinister with its power as “Love Bites” blasted through the speakers and of course since we were dealing with an LP we had to pause our enjoyment and turn the album over. Oh yea and should you not really know what “The Metallian” actually is, it’s that monstrous creature that is presented on the albums cover. It was conceptualized by the members of the band and during their worldwide tour would be on the stage with them. I had to say that was pretty damn cool. Doug Johnson designed it for their album cover. Nice work Doug.
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“The Complete Albums Collection” by Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “The Complete Albums Collection”
Label: Columbia/Epic/Legacy Records
Release Date: 1/24/2012
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

If you are truly a card carrying Heavy Metal fan then you most likely not only hold the name of the band Judas Priest in high regard but you also probably have at least four to five of their albums in your collection if not more. On the other hand should you call yourself a Metal fan and you DO NOT own any Judas Priest albums I will need to see your paperwork and am afraid that I will have to prohibit you from citing this genre as being among your interests. The boxed set “Complete Albums Collection” by Judas Priest is one of those items meant for the absolute diehard and features remastered editions of the bands works. Oh wait a second. Technically that is not true as none of the albums featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens are offered up here and instead we get what is called the legendary lineup of Halford, Downing, Tipton and Hill. Over the years the band had a number of drummers before locking the talented Scott Travis into place with 1991’s “Painkiller”. As this release is a massive one and features seventeen of their albums I decided to offer up a quick viewpoint about each CD and say what it meant to me as a fan of the band for the time I had been into them. One of the most immediate exciting points about this release was the inclusion of the group’s first two releases of “Rocka-Rolla” and “Sad Wings Of Destiny” which had never before been available as sanctioned albums by the band and their label of many decades.

Rocka-Rolla (1974): While it’s great to have “Rocka-Rolla” in remastered form at long last, I will admit that if this was my own first go at Priest that I might not have been originally sold on them. Of course it was released in 1974 and has more of a Heavy Rock vibe with some essence of trippy Psychedelics. Yes there were some stand out tunes but the bands best material was ahead of them.

Sad Wings Of Destiny (1976): Now this was more like it and I think was many fans first foray into the bands magnificence. I was still nowhere near my first meeting with the Priest but I would be here soon enough. Classics on this album like “Victim Of Changes”, “Tyrant” and “Genocide” are still very important songs to the bands set list. With “Sad Wings” Judas Priest had arrived.
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