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I never saw any point in releasing compilation after compilation with almost the same songs, a tactic very well used (and abused) by major labels. Furthermore I'm wondering who actualy buy them. I can understand the release of a compilation if it contains something valuable like unreleased tracks, demos etc, with other words something that will justify the release in the first place or atleast to be beautiful and well done. This is not the case here.
To begin with, the artwork and the layout is so lame that it can only be used in a business flyer or advertisment in a cheap newspaper but not for any heavy metal release! Cheap, disgusting and very basic. Not only this, but the booklet is so minimal, almost non existent. No info, no liner notes, no artistic touch, nothing, whoever designed it had not the slightest relation or knoledge so the result is far more than bad. Ok, even though the tracks are good, Judas Priest we're talking about, but the whole outcome is so... FUBAR.
In the end we've seen it before with many bands, so what can you expect from all these bureaucrats behind major labels like Sony? Quality? No! Just releases like this one here, serving as pointless exploitations of big and well known bands and nothing more. Have you ever see a quality release from these businessmen? In the other hand you can see small labels with minimal budget releasing diamonds, but they love music, it's not just business from them. In conclusion avoid this piece of shit like plague. Another cheap attemp to cash in Judas Priest name.
I bought this album for like 9$ when I was about 13 or something, and it was my first experience with a band that later would become one of my favourites. Unfortunately, I was not impressed at the beginning because I have never seen such a lazy and half-assed release. For someone that never heard of Judas Priest, this will be really confusing. The booklet in the CD case is a 5 minute output; 4 pages, the album cover, album cover AGAIN but now the "Simply the Best” image is above the picture with K.K, Glenn and Rob. And the MS Word version of the band logo is a little bigger. BIGGER!!!! And it's all black and white people! Fuck, that must have been exhausting to make. Then there is the song list, without lyrics, and we are not told what album they originally were released on. The last page has the same picture as the front- and second page. The third opportunity to look at Rob's chest hair.
Now to the songs. 13 songs are not enough to show the variation of Judas Priest, but it gives the listener enough ideas of what to explore later. I bought Painkiller afterwards and it is one of the best albums ever. Probably why I bothered to reward this album with 10 whole points. The best songs on here are the trio from Painkiller (title track, All Guns Blazing, Night Crawler), Diamonds and Rust (live) from Unleashed in the East and the two closing tracks from Defenders of the Faith; Jawbreaker and Freewheel Burning.
The less exciting songs are Living after Midnight and Breaking the Law. They really aren't any interesting and it is a bad choice that they were the first songs on this album. Don't Go and Parental Guidance are just boring songs. Rock Forever is good and gives some contrast, especially when Night Crawler comes afterwards. There you can see the bands' evolution in sound, and it is a quite good song too.
As stated before, the main problem with this compilation album is the lack of input. No good booklet, no lyrics, pictures, notes from the band and too few songs. Clearly a desperate last-minute cash grab from Sony that hoped for simple minded idiots like me as customers. But hey, I was a metal newbie and I hadn’t heard of Metal-Archives. And at least I didn’t buy St:Anger which cost just as much…