Unleashed in the East was a watershed live album for Priest. It marked the end of one era, in broad musical style (technical and gothic), and the start of a new one with the NWOBHM and 'hair' metal in the 80s. Priest Live is the culmination of the second era, ending with the Turbo album and in this respect it clearly and purposely ignores the pre Unleashed era albums. This distinction between the two eras was acknowledged by Halford when Live came out, as he felt the pre Unleashed tracks had limited market appeal. However, with time this distinction has broken down so that the new Priest set is a fluid summary of their entire career with no obvious dating when Exciter, or more recently Dissident Aggressor, is pitched against, say, Painkiller.
So to Priest Live. This is no Unleashed in the East by a country mile. It is a glossy and slick rendition of their much more radio friendly 80s canon of work, with a heavy emphasis on the predictable hits and the somewhat patchy Turbo opus. Where it really fails is that it lacks the rawness of a great live album and comes across as too clean, polished and somewhat Americanised. Live albums need to transport you, as far as possible, to the sweaty front row of the venue to really work, whereas this can feel (in places) like a rendition of the studio versions with a crowd backing track. There are a few highlights, culled mainly from the Defenders album. 'Love Bites' is wonderfully driving and emphatic, 'Some Heads' is majestic in delivery and 'Freewheel Burning' manages to keep it's head above the water, despite Holland's mechanical drum style. Unfortunately even a live 'rawness' cannot save the limp second rate 'Turdo' tracks like Parental Guidance, Rock You All Around The World and Private Property from throwaway mediocrity.
So as a 1980s Greatest Hits package it works quite well, but as a warts and all live album it's a touch sterile.
And the cover is rubbish.....