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I start every review for a "greatest hits" with the same intro. When reviewing one, I am focusing more on the selection of songs, rather the songs themselves. The content of the songs can be found on the studio album reviews, and I will mention parts as well so that there's some about the content. Also any new tracks are exceptions.
Well, I will say, I find this pretty cliche, but what was I to expect? Whenever a band has a bunch of radio hits, and they make a "best of" album, you're almost certain to get all of the ones that get overplayed. On the other hand, at least Judas Priest doesn't really have any tracks that are so overplayed that I get tired of them. However, if I were to be the one to choose the track listing, I would have done it differently and most likely ordered it differently. But before we get to that, I'll talk about the parts that I do like. Well, obviously I like a lot of the songs since many of them are classics, but aside that, there's two main things I do like. The decent amount that they took from "Screaming For Vengeance" and "Defenders Of The Faith". Both of those are incredible albums, and the only thing I would say, is cut out "The Hellion" since it's just an intro and add another one from that album. Defenders is a less known album to the mainstream crowd, and the fact that they still used a lot from there is incredible. That album is definitely one of the best by Priest and I honestly figured that they would have used less tracks from this one. So props to them on that. Same could also be said for "Point Of Entry". Not a lot from that made it that big, but they still used a good amount from there on here. One thing I also like is that it doesn't overkill "British Steel". That was one of their biggest selling albums, yet they didn't use like, six tracks from it. A lot of bands do things like that, and I'm really glad Judas Priest didn't. Because honestly that record isn't even in my top five.
On the contrary, one of the biggest things about this that bugs me is all of the live tracks. Now yes, Judas Priest is amazing live, I saw them live in 2014 with Steel Panther. But come on, they had WAY too many live tracks on here. So why would I complain about that? Simply because it's a greatest hits compilation, not a live album. There's a total of five on here that are live, and I'd honestly just rather listen to the studio tracks. There's another thing too. It doesn't use anything from the old '70s albums. Well wait, correction, they do, but of course they're all fucking live! And they're at the end, instead of the beginning, which doesn't make much sense if it's supposed to be mostly chronological. I guess some could give me this argument: "Well, they had "Hero Hero" and another compilation that was only the early ones, so it isn't needed." Ok, fair enough, but if it's a very best of, it should probably have stuff from every era. Otherwise, give it a era-time span. Also, it strikes me weird how its chronological for the most part, but then they'll switch some things around randomly. Maybe it's not a big deal, I'm just kinda OCD I guess.
There's one other problem I have with this, and that's just some of the song selection. "Painkiller" is one of their greatest releases, yet it only has one track from it, and it's not even one that stands out that well. They should have used the title track, "A Touch Of Evil", "Leather Rebel" or honestly, all three of them. Same goes for "Hell Bent For Leather". The song they took isn't really that great. They should have used that title track, "Before The Dawn", or "Evening Star". So in general, I would have definitely picked some different ones off of those albums, to be considered their best ones.
Now I've bought compilation albums before that always have "The best of..." in their title, but there always manages to be at least one or two tracks that you don't like. That's untrue with this album seeing that everyone of the tracks on this album is absolutely fantastic. The begining of the album focuses on the early Judas Priest in their heavy metal roots. As you start to go through the album, the songs become faster and more aggresive as Judas Priest tried to keep up with the times of thrash and speed metal. And speed metal is what you get towards the end of the album.
The album kicks off with some mid-paced songs such as Breaking The Law, Living After Midnight, and The Green Manalishi. Each one of these songs contain epic dual guitar solos by guitarists K.K Downing and Glenn Tipton. And as expected, as the songs get faster so do the solos. This especially sticks out with the intro solo to Metal Meltdown. If you are set out to prolonged exposure to this type of soloing, one might find that his/her ears are begining to melt. That's how fast and impressive these solos are. The main riff for Metal Meltdown has a bit of a Metallica feel to it in the rythym of the guitars.
There is also one instrumental on the album, which is only a mere 41 seconds. Its almost a dividing line between the early Priest and the latter Priest. As impressive as all the instruments are, Rob Halford manages to soar over the sound of the guitar with a truly talented voice. He can hit high notes with ease, but can also bring his voice down for an angry, aggresive feel.
To close off this review, the only reason I wouldn't give this album a 100% is because it doesn't contain one of my favourite songs from them, Hell Bent For Leather. Other than that all the songs are timeless classics which are "...blessed with a true melodic intensity."