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When I first watched this DVD I was a minor Judas Priest fan; I only owned Rocka Rolla and heard a few of their major songs. I knew they were a great band with a long legacy behind them, but I was never really into them. Then a good friend of mine told me about this DVD, and that I should watch it the next time I was over at his place. After viewing it I went from a minor fan to a big fan. This is why:
This DVD has quite a bit of material on it that will satisfy any Judas Priest fan. Contained on it are 13 music videos, a live concert of 19 songs (used for the Priest… Live! album), five TV appearances and a discography. Now, I believe the more crammed on a DVD the better, regardless if the material is pointless or not. That way I feel I am getting more value and the DVD becomes a worthwhile purchase. Even if the DVD has a few pointless features, someone is going to find those particular features worth taking a look at. For those who would find the features useless, they can just ignore them and view the features they find interesting. See, everyone is satisfied.
This is my favourite section of the DVD. Here is a collection of 13 videos that date back to Judas Priest’s early 80s era up until 1990. Before watching this DVD I had never seen a Judas Priest video, but I must say they make awesome videos that are very entertaining. For the most part they are not serious videos and are comedic like Breakin’ the Law (one of my favourite music videos of all-time), Locked In and Free Wheel Burnin’. While the majority of these videos may be regarded as cheesy or lame, one must remember this was back in the 80s, and that it’s Judas Priest at the helm. Plus they’re awesome enough to get away with stuff like this. There are a few more “serious” videos such as Painkiller and A Touch of Evil, which were very well done. They add a nice balance to whole collection that makes it feel complete. On a different note, I was rather disappointed with the video for Johnny B. Goode. I have never been a fan of videos for covers. While the video itself didn’t really have anything wrong with it (the video portrayed a typical concert scene), I think it would’ve been better if Judas Priest made a video of one of their own songs; they certainly don’t have a shortage.
Throughout watching this collection, one gets to see a few interesting things about the band itself and how those things evolved or changed over the years. The most specific things I noticed was Rob Halford himself and Dave Holland’s drum kit. It was interesting to see Rob’s many haircuts looks throughout the videos. He even sports a moustache in Don’t Go. The other interesting thing to witness was how as the videos progressed, the drum kit became progressively larger too. I always seem to notice things like that.
I really enjoyed watching this concert. Seeing Rob and the rest of the band back in their prime was exciting, and made me wish I was around back then. The production and sound quality are excellent; you can hear everything perfectly from the drumming to Rob’s signature screams. That’s one thing of this concert that stands out: Rob’s vocals. He does a phenomenal job that almost outdoes his studio efforts. I can definitely see why this concert was used for the Priest… Live! album. Also worth mentioning is Rob’s stage presence. He certainly knows how to get the crowd going. I just saw Judas Priest in June and he’s still doing similar things, although not as actively, but one cannot expect 20 years of aging and world touring to not wear someone down. Of course Glenn and K.K. are awesome as well. Their presence adds to Rob’s and makes the whole thing feel complete; you can really tell they’re enjoying themselves while onstage, and that makes the crowd even happier to be there. The set list was pretty good too. To me the opening seemed a tad slow, but the band got the show roaring in no time. They played such classics as Love Bites, Hell Bent For Leather, Free Wheel Burnin’, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ and Breakin’ the Law, and finished strong with Metal Gods.
These TV appearances are very interesting. They begin with a very rare live performance of Rocka Rolla. This made me particularly happy because Rocka Rolla was the first Judas Priest album I owned, and I knew it from cover to cover. I enjoyed seeing Rob when he was very young and had long hair; he looked much different. Also the band’s performance for Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver was exceptionally good. Makes me rather watch this live performance rather than listen to the CD. Rob definitely stole the show for that performance. Rob’s vocal performance for Take on the World was terrific. It was kind of short but was pleasant to watch nonetheless. Living After Midnight was dubbed over, or at least appeared to be; it sounded virtually the same as the CD. Nevertheless the band had good stage presence and I don’t doubt it was an enjoyable show. All in all the TV performances were well done and it’s a section of the DVD worth checking out, even if you just want to see the band in their youthful days.
This is the least useful part of the DVD, but, as I mentioned before, someone will find it useful. This section does exactly what it sounds like: it provides a discography for Judas Priest. There are no surprises and the discography goes up until their newest live album, Live in London.
The Bottom Line
Get this DVD. Seriously. I would assume most Judas Priest fans would already own it, but if you don’t and you’re a Judas Priest fan, buy it. You will not be disappointed. The concert, music videos and TV appearances make this DVD worth picking up. And if you’re new to Judas Priest, this is a good way to get into them. The DVD makes a perfect introduction to this awesome band.