REVIEW: Judas Priest – Greatest Hits (2008 Sony Steel Box)

 

Welcome back to GREATEST HITS WEEK! This week we are looking at different, interesting hits albums from various bands. Today we re- visit the Mighty Priest, for the second of a Priest double-shot!

Monday:  EXTREME – The Best of Extreme: An Accidental Collication of Atoms? (1997)
Tuesday: JUDAS PRIEST – The Best of Judas Priest (1978/2000 Insight Series)


JUDAS PRIEST – Greatest Hits (2008 Sony/BMG Steel Box Collection)

Ever buy a CD for no real good reason?  I have all these songs, because I already own every song Priest has ever released.  I saw this Judas Priest compilation, from the “Sony Steel Box” collection, at my local Best Buy for a few measly dollars.  There are a few artists who have hits albums in this collection, such as Aerosmith.  I just wanted one of the steel boxes, so I chose Priest.  I chose Priest because of the brief, but interesting track listing.  There are some odd choices for a greatest hits disc:  “Rock Hard Ride Free”, and “Rock You All Around the World”, for example, instead of “Heading Out to the Highway”, “A Touch of Evil”, “Painkiller”,  or other better know singles.  Hell, where’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” or any song from Screaming?  You do get two “new” songs from Angel of Retribution.  Needless to say, for a 10-track hits CD, it was an interesting selection of songs, so I chose this one.  I have only played it once, so it’s time to revisit and assign a rating.

This is where we run into the flaw with these Sony steel boxes — the front cover and back cover art is just a sticker, that wraps around the case.  When you open the case, it damages the sticker where it covers the hinge, digging huge creases all over the spine.  I’ve opened my copy a couple of times and see what it looks like already?  That’s me being careful.

IMG_20150809_081711

“Breaking the Law” has always worked well in the opening position.  Off with a bang (literally; the first sound is a snare drum), we are now off to the races.  This Greatest Hits concentrates almost entirely on material from British Steel and after, collecting a lot of Priest music from their simple, straightforward metal period of the 1980’s.  There is nothing wrong with that of course, but it lacks the balance that earlier more complex tracks like “Victim of Changes” would have brought to the table.  “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight”, both classics culled from British Steel, get the job done on a hit laden note.  The sound is fine, as it appears these were lifted from the Priest remasters.

I’m not sure the logic in choosing “Out of the Cold”, a synth-laden slow crawler from Turbo.  There is nothing wrong with it of course, it was and remains a stormy fan classic.  That’s just it though, it’s a fan classic, not a well known hit that the band play in concert.  On a 10 song CD, it seems an odd choice, but it leads well into the dark “Love Bites”.  I went through a period of about three days in grade 8 of being completely obsessed with this song.  The things I liked about it, such as the choppy rhythms and hypnotic vocals, are still striking today.  It also flows perfectly into “Rock You All Around the World”, which unfortunately is pretty much just filler that should have been donated to the Scorpions.

I still think it terms of albums having “sides”, and I wonder if whoever sequenced this CD had the same thought?  “Rock You All Around the World” is a great side closer, as it filled that slot on Turbo.  Then the next track is the very different “Diamonds and Rust” (live version from Unleashed in the East).  It’s as if you have started a new side.  Another track from Defenders of the Faith (“Rock Hard Ride Free”) brings the listener back to the 80’s.  Although it was not a single, it was good enough to be one.  Back to the Turbo album for the third time, “Turbo Lover” is a song that still gets occasional radio airplay.  It’s funny how this robotic and very dated song is still loved today.  I wouldn’t have predicted that.

“Turbo Lover” is the last of the golden oldies, since the last two tracks are off Angel of Retribution, Priest’s glorious reunion album with Rob Halford after a long solo career.  Strange though that the single “Revolution” is not one of these tracks.  “Deal With the Devil” was an OK tune, a good heavy album tune that was of the same quality as similar songs from Painkiller.  “Worth Fighting For” was excellent – a midtempo quiet rocker that almost borders on ballad territory.  This song was a triumph, a really excellent song worth of the Priest canon.  Unfortunately in this case, a quiet midtempo near-ballad does not work to close a Priest compilation.  It works as a song to build into another song, but here it just leaves you hanging.  Sloppy sequencing.

Rating the steel book CD is not a reflection on the songs or the band, just the CD itself.  There are too many serious omissions (“Metal Gods:, “Freewheel Burning”, hello!) for it to rate highly.  The flawed packaging design is the final nail in the steel box.

2/5 stars

JUDAS PRIEST GREATEST HITS 2008Thanks to Geoff over at the 1001 Albums in 10 Years for the “Excel”lent inspiration!

 

 

 

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38 comments

  1. Great review, Mike! I’m still laughing at “filler that should have been donated to the Scorpions.” Overall, it seems a bit disappointing; they could have done a better job with so much material to work with. The sticker seems like too much corner-cutting. Maybe the price point was so appealing that it’s a fair trade-off?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some people it would be a fair trade-off, probably. For me, it wasn’t really. I don’t know if you have seen the old “steel books” that you used to be able to buy DVDs in? With the graphics printed onto the box? Way better. I have several of those including Transformers and Suckerpunch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe that was the objective? Reduce the production cost and retail price in order to increase sales volumes? I wonder whether the band agreed with this lower-quality approach.

        I haven’t seen those steel books but they sound much better! I can see how they’d be good collectors’ items.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh for sure, I bet you are 100% right. Any time you can reduce cost in manufacturing, it’s something that need to be looked at and I’m sure these could be banged out quite easily. Since it’s just a sticker, you can mass produce the boxes. It looks pretty easy. Probably one die to cut the shapes, one die to form the bottom piece, another die to form the top, and then assembly. Easy peasy. SLap a sticker on it and you have you sell it as whoever you like.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. If you ever attend a record show (or “record faire” as HMO calls them) do NOT wear a band T-shirt. If you do, you will have vendors aiming for you. “Hey you like Kiss? I have tons of videos, $30 each, all pro shot…” giving you the whole sales schpeel. Do that 10 or 20 times in an afternoon!

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Pssst. I just got a deal on some over stock speakers and cd’s.
          Today’s special.

          $499 for these awesome, “liquid cooled” Bee & Dubya brand speakers worth over 10 grand, and capable of handling 12 watts of power.

          $19.99 for the exclusive cd’s “Audio Killed The Video Star” and the greatest hits of Nickelback and Creed.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. So it appears there is no “greatest” hits that include studio versions of my 2 favourite Priest songs, The Ripper and The Green Manalishi(With The Two Prong Crown). Therefore I gues I will stick to the studio albums.
    Regarding other albums, is the The Complete Album Collection worth getting, or can we get the first 2 albums in remastered form individually?
    Also, I haven’t heard The Chosen Few and I am kind of afraid to give it a shot.
    David Coverdale on Green Manilishi, Ozzy on The Ripper. Yikes.
    The rest of the album looks good though.
    Do you have it. If you haven’t done a review yet can I ask you to consider doing one?

    Lastly. Was that a shot at The Scorpions?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Chosen Few is NOT a tribute album. It’s just a greatest hits selected by rock stars like Ozzy. I never bought it, I didn’t see a reason to add more Priest hits albums to my library now.

      And yeah, no greatest hits have the studio versions of BOTH those songs. Because Ripper was on Gull.

      Like

      1. Ok. It might be worth getting though. It always kind of baffled me why other musicians need to “select” the songs, and in what order they get to choose. What if Ozzy and Alice Cooper both wanted The Ripper. The winner got to choose The Ripper and the loser got the guillotine.

        I would love to be a fly on the wall during the choosing of albums like this. But even better when the bands get to perform on a tribute album. I want to sing that song. No I do.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah that’s a great point. Who gets the song if both pick? On the Kiss tribute album, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones started their track with a phone message from Gene Simmons. Gene advised them to pick another song, because Ugly Kid Joe and Megadeth already picked “Detroit”.

          But the Bosstones got it, and the other two bands aren’t even on the album.

          Like

  3. Cbs Musta got a discount on those tin cans from a manufacturer somewhere! Have no need for this one whatsoever….to be honest did know it existed HAHA! But figures you would have there in your hallowed halls Mr L for the world to see! These greatest hits sets should all just be called “Suits N Hits!” So out of touch with the true fan….being US!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nothing from Screaming for Vengeance? Say what now? I’m gonna stay clear of Rock You All Around The World (though I’m tempted to hit YouTube). I dare say the label thought the tin would sell this one …

    … and another fine diagram. There’s not enough diagrams out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two more diagrams coming your way tomorrow and Friday, good sir! I had the challenge of making each one different. I didn’t want to be graphing the same stats for each album so I made sure each graph is different from the last.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice one. Just watched the vid for ‘Love Bites’, which I love. I find it deeply hilarious how shocked I was when Rob Halford came out, he never gave us a single sign, or clue before hand did he?!

    Liked by 1 person

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