Judas Priest - 1979 Unleashed In The East

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ARTIST: Judas Priest
ALBUM: Unleashed In The East
LABEL: CBS
SERIAL: CBS 83852
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2001, Legacy, CK 86182

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Rob Halford - vocals * K.K Downing - guitars * Glenn Tipton - guitars * Ian Hill - bass * Les Binks - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Exciter * 02 Running Wild * 03 Sinner * 04 Ripper * 05 The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) * 06 Diamonds And Dust * 07 Victim Of Changes * 08 Genocide * 09 Tyrant

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

Along with U.F.O's magnificent 'Strangers In The Night' live album from 1979, you can also add this wee beauty from Britain's premier metallers Judas Priest, as being one of the best live metal albums ever released.

Taking the best tracks from their previous studio albums, and wrapping an edgy live performance around it - set the band on their way toward worldwide domination.

For a live album, it seems a few liberties were taken during the recording process. By accounts, the original live vocal tracks from Rob Halford didn't come out that well, and may have been re-recorded in the studio.

Whether this is true or not is a bone of contention, but whatever the case, many 'live' albums have been doctored along the way, so it wouldn't surprise me. But the final product is amazing.. for 1979 that is!

The Songs

Back in the day, I never bothered going back to listen to JP's earlier studio albums ('Killing Machine' excepted). I was more than content listening to the live renditions of 'Exciter', 'Sinner' and 'Victim Of Changes'.

After since hearing the studio versions I much prefer the live ones instead.

Highlights include the sublime dual axework of 'The Ripper', the Peter Green written 'The Green Manalishi' (an interesting but no less different version thereof), plus the sonic genius of the aforementioned 'Victim Of Changes'.

Joan Baez's 'Diamonds And Dust' gets a reworking here, surely JP at their most eclectic - something they wouldn't be accused of on future albums. Mostly though, it's fantastic hard rock/metal from a bygone age.

In Summary

Decades later Sony would re-release the album on CD and include four previously unreleased live tracks from that era.. 'Rock Forever', 'Delivering The Goods', 'Hell Bent For Leather' and 'Starbreaker'.

After this album, drummer Les Binks retired from the band, to be replaced by former Trapeze sticksman Dave Holland. He would remain with the band all the way through the 80's decade, though was missing when Priest made a 'sort-of' comeback with the 1990 'Painkiller' album.

Still, for a decisive and incisive blast of quality live hard rock/metal which has that late 70's feel, then 'Unleashed In The East' stands right up there among the best of them.

Yes, they would release a savage set of live action during the mid 80's with 'Judas Priest Live' but don't think this one is a poor cousin.. far from it. It's superior!


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