Breaking the Law

#386: ‘The Mighty Priest’ – A Mix CD

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RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#386: ‘The Mighty Priest’ – A Mix CD

In January of 2009, I determined to make another mix CD for my best friend Peter.   He really enjoyed them and wanted some more tunes from the LeBrain Library.  The theme this time was Judas Priest.  We had both been playing the video game Rock Band a lot, and I enjoyed singing lead on the song “Painkiller”, so we played that one frequently.  Peter decided that he wanted to check out some Priest, so I worked very hard to make a CD suited to his own personal needs.  I set out five constraints to my Mighty Priest mix:

1. Peter only knew three Priest songs: “Painkiller”, “Breaking The Law”, and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'”.

2. Peter generally hates slow songs. Therefore, unfortunately, I could not include classics like “Dreamer Deceiver”.

3. I always try to include a variety of tracks from as many albums as I can.

4. Must be limited to a single CD.

5. One rare track – my trademark is always sneaking in a rarity.

So I whittled down the 50 songs I started with to the nice and cozy 79 minutes you see below. Keeping in mind my self-imposed constraints, what would you have done differently?

PRIEST METAL

I sought feedback, and I received feedback.  My ever faithful rock compatriots had these words:

Uncle Meat: Well…Michael…valiant effort. It is a good mix of new and old Priest. But…no “Electric Eye”? What is wrong with you? I cant even believe you would make this list without including it. That “Turbo Lover” is on here…and not “Electric Eye”…kinda makes me feel dirty…unloved. And?!?!?! No “Freewheel Burning”? . I’m getting mighty confused Mr. Ladano. No “Sinner”? “Heading out to the Highway”? I know their catalogue is extensive…but the omission of “Electric Eye” especially is very disturbing….

Dr. Dave: “Rock Hard Ride Free”!!!

Sarge: No “Metal Gods”?  Actually I only ever owned British Steel, so I cant comment on anything.  “Metal Gods” was always my favourite on that album.

Andy: I’m going to have to register an alternate opinion entirely, and that is, with any band that’s been around as long as Priest has, and has done as many albums as they have, simply cannot be captured in a “best of” that is only one CD. You just can’t do it – there’s too much good stuff, even disqualifying the “slow” songs like you did. I tried it with Manowar, and ended up with a full CD after their first four albums. I’ll be doing my personal The Best of Manowar, Volume II sometime soon….

So what I would have done differently is this: Go in chronological order, and put in all of the absolute “must have” songs from each album (remembering the rules for your friend, of course). Don’t overlap songs from one album on more than one CD, so you might have to juggle the playlist a little. Then, when CD #1 is full, move on to Volume 2.  Eventually, hand over your two (or in the case of Priest, maybe 3!) CDs to your friend, apologizing that you simply couldn’t fit it all onto 1.

Johnny Sixx: What I would have done is include their track “Love Bites”…it’s a gem.

All of them made excellent points, and I think it must be concluded that a truly great single disc Judas Priest collection cannot be made.  As Uncle Meat said, I think I made a valiant effort, but 80 minutes is simply not enough time for the Mighty Priest.  The next time I attempted to do something like this, I went with Andy’s advice in the back of my head…

…And ended up with a 5 CD set!  But that’s another story.

 

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REVIEW: Halford – Live Insurrection (2002 Japanese Import)

“Part 6 in a miniseries of reviews on Rob Halford’s solo career!  If you missed the last part, click here!”  That was a rhyme, that ain’t no crime…Breaking the Law!  Breaking the Law!

HALFORD – Live Insurrection (2002 Japanese Import)

Having a wealth of solo and Priest material to draw from, this seems like a good place for a double live album to drop.  And so it was; Live Insurrection, Rob’s first full-fledged live solo outing.  For me personally, this is the peak.  This Rob’s home run of solo projects.

Admittedly, there is a certain sense of Rob trying to bury parts of his recent past.  There are no songs from Two, and the set is Priest-heavier than prior tours.  I found the Halford band to be kind of faceless, a little devoid of personality.  They’re absolute pros and there is no question of them cutting it.  That’s not the issue, it’s just one of…I can’t hear the different personalities of the players, compared to Fight.

On the other hand, the setlist is so much richer than Fight used to do.  The songs are culled from the Halford album Resurrection, the Judas Priest back catologue, and the first Fight album, with a lot of added surprises.

These surprises include three studio tracks, two of which are tracks written by Judas Priest, but never released at the time! You also get Rob’s duet with Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, “live” (recorded during rehearsal I believe), and the two bonus tracks from the Japanese version of the Halford album, once again performed live. Rob even sings his first-ever solo track, “Light Comes Out Of Black” which was originally on the Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack back in 1992. The Priest material is a great mix: old obscure stuff from Sad Wings and Stained Class, as well as more obvious stuff from Hell Bent and Screaming. Rob’s voice is in fine form, doing justice to the Priest and Fight material.

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Rob’s so hardcore, he stapled his fuckin’ forehead!

The Japanese bonus track is “Blackout”. Yes, the old Scorpions tune, and recorded here with a Scorpion: Rudolph Schenker! Halford easily handles Klaus Meine’s vocal part. It’s a great bonus track, easily worth the extra cash that I spent on this import version.  I got this from Amazon.com in 2002.

They give you lots of great packaging with this live album. Decent liner notes, lots of pictures, plenty to look at while you spend a couple hours listening to this platter of metal perfection.  Enjoy the feast.

5/5 stars

I’ll be taking a summer break from this series.  I’m a bit burned out on Halford albums now, and there are so many new arrivals to listen to!  But fear not.  I’ll be following this review with Crucible, another Japanese release, a box set, and more.

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