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This compilation was my first encounter with Judas Priest. My friend had lent me a copy to listen to. At the time I was unaware that it was a compilation of Judas Priest’s work from 1977 – 1984. So as I listened to the album I was extremely impressed. I remember thinking “Damn! Every song on here sounds like single material!” Well, what do you know, I was right. Even today this compilation never ceases to impress me. Especially compared to the three best of / compilations released by Judas Priest in three years (two of which were in the same year).
Now of course, almost every compilation of singles from any band would naturally get good feedback, as the best songs the band has produced are on that album. The only problem is that Judas Priest has released a total of 20 best of / compilations! They have been around for 40 years now, and with 20 compilations they would have released a compilation every other year! They have more than obviously been exploited by their record company. With 20 compilations, each one basically makes the previous releases redundant. Obviously, there are going to be several songs featured on every compilation so buying only one compilation would be necessary. This is that one compilation that is worth buying.
This album features songs from Judas Priest’s glory days, taking songs from the classic albums British Steel and Defender’s of Faith. Along with several other very popular albums that were acclaimed by both fans and critics alike. Also, unlike like many Judas Priest compilations, this one does not feature any songs from album Turbo, which is said to be the worst in Judas Priest’s entire career. So we have a great compilation with nothing but songs that are truly the best of Judas Priest, and not just 12 songs pulled out someone’s ass and put onto a CD.
While each song on this compilation is superb, it can be compared to a 400 meter sprint. The album starts out strong and holds it for a long time until about mid-way through. At this point the album is still good but not as strong as it started out. Then on the final stretch of the album it picks up speed again and delivers a strong finish. Another good thing about this compilation is the fact that all of the songs (minus Loves Bites, and Some Heads are Gonna Roll) all have the same feeling as the rest of the songs on the album. They have those positive uplifting riffs that fill you with joy, hope, and energy. These songs are definitely perfect for revving up a Harley and driving off into the sunset.
Personally, the best part of this compilation is the fact that they are taken from many different albums instead of about three, which a lot of bands tend to do. This is especially good because you will be more likely to get songs from albums you don’t own on this compilation as the odds are less because of their wider range of albums featured on the compilation. Unless of course you own the entire Judas Priest discography, but then why would you even buy a best of – album? Because like I said, it does feature songs from classic Judas Priest albums, but also from underrated Judas Priest albums as well, which is what makes for a great compilation album.
So this is great for a veteran Judas Priest listener as it features songs from the earliest of Judas Priest’s releases, but it is also perfect for someone who is just getting into Judas Priest because of the wide variety of albums featured on the compilation. What makes this release even better for new-comers is the fact that you can get it for $5 on ebay very easily. I bought my copy on there a few years back for under $5, and Prisoners of Pain is still that price on ebay, so definitely a great buy.