8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Defenders Of The Faith (Audio CD)
I always think of this album in conjunction with Screaming for Vengeance - in fact I sometimes feel that these two records could have been put together as a double album. It also coincides with my youth at a point where I was discovering what kind of sound I liked. This cemented my love of heavy metal.
Cast your mind back to the eighties and the early days of Kerrang. I remember vividly how much of an impact Screaming and Defenders had on the rock press. And rightly so. It's perhaps hard to recall after so many years and so many bands how much Priest did with this album to shape what we call heavy metal or rock now. They virtually invented the sound and Defenders is perhaps the best example Priest have of the balance of commerciality and full on metal.
I have read that some feel it is too accessible. Not true. It is successful and popular and whilst one may turn their collective noses up at this concept the truth is that when a band sells records it can change tastes and also carry on viably. One cannot knock a band trying to make some money. The fact that Priest did it with such genre changing aplomb is commendable.
Make no mistake however - this is a heavy record. The way some folks review it one would think that it is a radio friendly pop album and that would be very wrong indeed. Nope we have some of the best full on speaker rocking metal ever produced and the songs Heavy Duty rolling into Defenders of the Faith alone should be on any rock fans list. Give the combo a listen at ear bursting volume and then try and suggest that this is over commercial. It's a brain melting gruesome twosome.
We have of course a few more classics often used live. The Sentinel, Love Bites, Some Heads Are Gonna Roll and Freewheel Burning. Many bands would be happy if in their entire career they came up with these gems. Priest had them on one record for goodness sake.
There is however a sting at the end. We have with many of the re-issues the dreaded bonus tracks. Now don't get me wrong here, sometimes it's nice to have all the stuff punted out by your fav band, but often the added extras just don't help. Turn On Your Light is a horrible dirge and rightly so was never used originally. The live version of Heavy Duty/Defenders is good but oddly enough for a live recording isn't as good or heavy in some ways as the original studio effort. Therefore it has no place on this one. Priest would be better served by doing an AD/DC and collating all the guff together as a "Backtracks," type collection. That way you could have all the dodgy stuff but not actually end up having to listen to it. Thankfully as the extras are at the end you can turn the CD off.
Still, it's one of the best records that Priest have made and as Priest is one of the best bands in rock history it then means this is one of the un-missable items anyone should own if they like heavy metal and possess a pulse.
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Initial post: 11 Apr 2012 21:22:49 BDT
Thrash Guru says:
I totally agree! The trouble with most remasters or releases is that record companies feel the need to throw in these 'bonus tracks', why i do not know. They do not add to the album, rather subtract from it and i love your term 'guff'; it rightly sums it up.
LETS HAVE THE STUFF AND NOT THE GUFF PLEASE!
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