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Unleashed in the East

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★★★★★
(52 Reviews)

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Description

While Judas Priest’s first three Columbia albums displayed a band that seemed musically restless and a bit wary of becoming just another rock caricature, their first official live album offers up a strong distillation of the musical sense that informed those records (along with earlier material from Sad Wings of Destiny) and is a testament to their KK Dowling/Glen Tipton fueled twin-guitar fury. The fact that vocalist Rob Halford’s tracks (allegedly damaged in the recording process) were later replaced in the studio has long been a bone of contention to purists (though hardly an unusual practice in the industry), but fresh ears may find the ”problem” actually resulted in a better-sounding record. More gratifying, the original album’s manic sensibility has been amped even further by the inclusion of four key live, previously unreleased bonus tracks–”Rock Forever,” ”Delivering the Goods,” ”Hell Bent for Leather,” and ”Starbreaker.” This digitally remastered edition also features new notes by the band and expanded artwork. This is Judas Priest’s early arena rock at its over-the-top best: big, loud, and wholly unapologetic. –Jerry McCulley

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  • If you’ve heard the original and thought it was outstanding for its time, you’ll agree that it left you wanting more. This remastered version is the way it should’ve been from the start. The original nine core songs sound amazing, and the four extra live tracks (from the same tour) seamlessly make this album complete, finally. After listening to this release from start to end, you won’t remember that once upon a time, it was four tracks shorter. The folks at Legacy (Sony Music) have managed to make of the greatest live rock albums of all time even better. This CD is a MUST HAVE for any Judas Priest or heavy metal fan. Even if you’re not into metal, but you’re a hard rock fan, you will definitely enjoy the power of the performances captured in this recording.

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • When I first listened to Unleashed in the East I thought it was a bit monotonous and similar to other hard rock/heavy metal that I’d heard – probably because the style here has so often been imitated. Then after a few years I found myself listening to it more often and more closely until I realized I was hooked. Now, I consider it one of my favorite albums. Here’s a short list of reasons why:1) The energy and power of the music, which is backed by fantastic riffs and leads that burn a hole in your consciousness. 2) Incredible musicianship. This includes the previously mentioned guitar work as well as the surrealistically talented Rob Halford on lead vocals and the drumming, which far outclasses that on later releases by Priest. 3) Lyrics that match the complexity and force of the music. 4) The quality of the recording. The sound has a depth that captures the feel of a concert hall in the way it fills and expands in your ears. Like many other great albums, Unleashed in the East transports you into it’s own atmosphere and keeps you riveted by it’s intensity. In the end, you feel as if you’ve been on a journey. One that you want to take over and over again. There’s a subtlety to it that might take some repeat listenings to notice. This includes various little effects and noises as well as the countless twists and turns in the music. Overall it’s a disc that creeps up on you gradually until all the sudden you don’t know what hit you. So put this one in your pipe and smoke it. You’ll soon wonder what the point of living is without it (to paraphrase Running Wild).

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • On Judas Priest’s first live album, Unleashed in the East(1979), they manage to package most of their greatest songs of the period onto one great live album. Every song is a proven winner in the studio, and most sound even better live. The tracks off Sad Wings are greatly aided by Les Binks’ fantastic drumming(chekc out that solo in Starbreaker). Glenn and K.K. fire off some sizzling guitar work, while Rob Halford(with some help from the studio) lays down some great vocals. However, Ian Hill begins his descent into mediocrity here, but for the most part his bass lines are effective and well-played. Overall this is one great albums, arguably the best they ever made, and I would STRONGLY recommend you buy this album first if you’re new to the band.

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Released in 1979 (it would go Platinum ten years later), Unleashed in the East isn’t just the best live album available from Judas Priest, it’s one of the best live albums ever recorded. Purists can nitpick all they want on whether this is considered a “live” album or not, but you’ll rarely find anything that sounds better than this. Classic Priest songs like “Exciter”, “Sinner”, “The Ripper”, “Green Manalishi”, “Diamonds and Rust”, “Victim of Changes”, “Tyrant”, and “Hell Bent for Leather” are re-produced live with faster tempos, edgier riffs, and grinding solos that are pure old metal bliss. Rob Halford’s voice booms, and the guitar combo of Downing and Tipton can be heard in their prime here. All in all, any Judas Priest fan most likely owns this disc, but if you don’t, consider Unleashed in the East an absolute must own.

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This one is considered Judas Priest’s breakthrough classic, and rightfully so. Although too produced to call it a real “live” record, it may be better to think of it as a re-recorded best of their previous efforts (`Sad Wings of Destiny’ (1976), `Sin After Sin’ (1977), `Stained Class’ (1978), and `Hell Bent for Leather’ (1978)). That is, all the songs here are performed with an improved more metallic, more up tempo sound than the original versions – the tempo is a little faster on “Exciter”, the guitar solo is a little more daring on “Sinner”, the chords ring a little harder on “Green Manalishi”, the licks are a little edgier on “Diamonds and Rust”. But the essential performance here is “The Ripper” – the original of which was drenched with silly sound effects and seemed out-of-place on `Sad Wings of Destiny’ (1976) – but the version here is simply incredible. In fact, I challenge anyone to find a metal song with a more impressive vocal performance (including any later Judas Priest records).The original release contained nine songs with an emphasis on tunes taken from their pre-major label record, `Sad Wings of Destiny’ (1976) and only one or two songs each from `Sin After Sin’ (1977), `Stained Class’ (1978), and `Hell Bent for Leather’ (aka `Killing Machine’ (1978)). On bootlegs and certain “official” releases, other songs from these concerts/session later emerged, creating a broader representation of their catalog up to that point. The original record probably should have been a double album, but now with the benefit of the extended format of CDs, it is all here, including the infamous live version of “Hell Bent for Leather” (sans the revving Harley), which became the signature encore of subsequent Judas Priest shows.In my opinion, as important as Judas Priest was to the metal scene, this record surpasses any of their previous five prior releases.

    Posted on December 22, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now