Stained Class [CASSETTE]
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Stained Class is probibly my favourate because it contains one of the best ballads ever, Beyond the Realms of Death, which is simply a beautiful song! the solo is my all-time favourate guitar solo ever! Other highlights include the bludgeoning Exiter (a pre-cursor to speed metal anyone?), Better By You, Better Than Me, Saints in Hell and the overlooked Heroes End (that middle riff, oh so heavy!). As for the remaster and the bonus tracks, the sound is noticibly cleaner and crisper from the original and a bit louder (the original CD was too quiet). The bonus tracks are a nice addition, I do like Fire Burns Below, its a nice slow burner that Priest are oh so good at (along with rip snorters like Exiter), the live version of Better by you... is OK, but not really necessary. Overall I'm happy that I re-bought it in the remastered version as its well worth it for the extra track, liner notes and cleaner production.
Buying it again 27 years later I've found it to be equally enjoyable but not quite the over the top fast metal it was considered to be when first released. There is more light & shade to found than I'd remembered. However the overall production of the album & effects make for a fantastically sinister sound -in retrospect probably enhanced by the knowledge of the failed US court case of the early 1990s regarding two attempted suicides by teenagers (1 successful) which blamed subliminal "do it, do it" messages in Priest's cover og Better by Me, Better Than You".
If you only buy 2 Judas Priest albums buys this & Painkiller.
I'd never heard such a tight rhythym guitar unit before as Tipton and Downing either...and Rob Halfords vocals amazed me as a youngster in the 70's.
Excellent remaster, good notes in the sleeve and a couple of additional tracks too.
Look out your denim jacket, turn the hi-fi up to '11' and remember British heavy metal.
Stained Class is the last of the almost proggy early albums that Priest did. It has some tracks that are, IMHO anyway, reflective of the really old material in terms of style such as "Better by you, Better than me", "Beyond the realms of Death"; and others that start to show the more 'metal' style that Priest would adopt with the next few albums after Stained Class. A good example might be "Better by you, better than me". The distinctive Rob Halford voice is however unmistakable.
Ram it Down however is a much heavier and more technical metal album. I would place it as the last of the 80's/early 90's albums that were what a lot of people would call 'classic' Priest - Screaming for Vengeance, Defenders of the Faith, Turbo and this one. It has a lot of classic twin guitar work and hallmark Halford screams. There is a slight foretaste of the more in your face, almost thrash, to come in the Painkiller album in "Hard as Iron" and - oddly - the cover of "Johnny B. Goode".
Both CDs come with some extra tracks to the original release - some live stuff and B-sides.
Be warned however - this CD set is sold with the Amazon AutoRip, which is generally good, but on this occasion the ENTIRE Ram It Down album was NOT provided as MP3s, and none of the bonus tracks on Stained Class were provided either.
However it is cheap as chips and you can of course rip them your self for personal use, so the lack of some of the AutoRip MP3s only detracts slightly from the overall value of this offering.
All in all, a good re-release of these two classic Priest albums.
1978 opened with "Stained" and closed with "Killing Machine" which spawned three singles, including the hits that broke Priest commercially in Britain (`Take on the World' and `Evening Star' - the best single, killer ballad `Before the Dawn' not charting, which is just criminal, as it's a superb song and should have been number 1 worldwide, being both commercially spot on and artistically impeccable). But despite its status as the hitmaker, "Killing Machine" heralded the end of Priest as the thinking man's metal band. "Stained Class", however, manages to be both thoughtful and ass-kicking in the extreme, pleasing anyone who likes rock music to be both fierce and intelligent.
At this point, the production sound Priest had always needed was finally nailed : fizzing, spitting electronic suzz, a little sheeny clean, a little scuzzy noisy, consummately perfect sonically. This, at last, was THE definitive sound of heavy metal -twin lead guitars, earthshattering vox, thudding bass/drums, electronic effects present, but enhancing the tonal qualities of the music, melding with the overdriven amps. This, more than anything else, is what makes `Stained Class' the album that fans who can't cope with early Priest (the fools!) agree with the rest of us that the band had no flaws by this point.
And then there's the songs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stained Class is the first of the three consecutive classic albums released by Judas Priest. The artwork is compelling, the music even more so. Read morePublished 6 months ago by maz
Another classic album from Judas Priest. I recall attending many JP concerts in the 70's when I was growing up and loved the band live. Read morePublished 23 months ago by John Jenks
Bought this and was very disappointed, Turned out to be a CD rather than a vessel for liquid. I should have put my glasses on before shopping at Amazon. Read morePublished on 27 Mar. 2014 by Bertent
High electric voltage roll,scream for more baby. Vintage rock. Bee..doosh !! Makes you wanna rush out & buy a flying v guitar (whammy bar )....and a big amp.Published on 12 Jan. 2014 by wildthing
Awesome record. Classic. Clear vinyl 2 LP set. Sound quality spot on. But really very very cheap and low quality inner sleeves. Another issues is as follows. Read morePublished on 25 May 2013 by Khanirup Dutta