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Hell Bent for Leather

4.5 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Hell Bent For Leather
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Audio CD, January 1, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1978 album by legendary metal band Judas Priest.

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While the title of this 1979 release perfectly fits the band's increasing S&M-inspired leather-and-chains imagery, it's a mature and fairly sharp thematic departure from its largely death-obsessed predecessor, Stained Class. While the Priest could have easily fallen into the same stultifying goth clichés as forebears like Black Sabbath, they expanded both their musical range and lyrical focus here, shrewdly burnishing the album's commercial potential in the bargain. Kicking off with the upbeat "Delivering the Goods" and the Skynyrd-worthy arena boogie of "Rock Forever," the band blasts through material that's as wide as Sin After Sin's, but better focused. There are expected metal clichés--a big rock ballad ("Before the Dawn") and some expected bad-ass posturing (the title track and "Killing Machine")--but even the band's occasional bowing to gothic expectations is informed with a sense of surprise and adventure, as witnessed by their cover of the disturbing Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac track "The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Horn)." That much of this album's tack became inspiration--and then cliché--for the widespread metal revolution that Judas Priest helped foster is only testament to their enduring legacy. This digitally remastered edition features expanded artwork, new commentary by the band, and complete lyrics, as well as the bonus tracks "Fight for You Life" (a studio outtake later incorporated into "Rock Hard, Ride Free") and a manic live version "Riding on the Wind." --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Delivering The Goods
  2. Rock Forever
  3. Evening Star
  4. Hell Bent For Leather
  5. Take On The World
  6. Burnin' Up
  7. The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
  8. Killing Machine
  9. Running Wild
  10. Before The Dawn
  11. Evil Fantasies


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 1, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000025F0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,977 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
'Hell Bent for Leather' (a/k/a 'Killing Machine' outside the U.S.) has a special place in my heart and is a bit of an oddity in the Priest catalogue. First of all, unlike its predecessor studio record ('Stained Class' (1978), released less than a year prior) and its successor ('British Steel' (1980)), this is more of a hard rock record (as opposed to heavy metal) - both lyrically and instrumentally, as the longest tune clocks in at less than 5 minutes. Furthermore, of all of Rob Halford's vocal performances on record, 'Hell Bent for Leather' stands out the most, as his voice is much lower and more menacing. For what it is, however, it is a fantastic and often overlooked record if, for no other reason, because it spawned the undeniable Priest classics - the cover of the Peter Green tune, "The Green Manalishi", and the title track - both of which have remained permanent fixtures in their live shows. (FYI: For those of us who were living in 1978, "Take On the World" was a minor hit, if not a little bit derivative of Queen's "We Will Rock You".)
The extra tracks on this remaster (as with many of the other Priest remasters) do not bear any contextual connection to 'Hell Bent for Leather'. The live version of "Riding on the Wind" from the 1983 US Festival is a great tune, but sounds a bit out of place when mixed away from "Electric Eye". The studio cut, "Fight for Your Life", is a true outtake from 1982 to 1983 that eventually became the much better song "Rock Hard Ride Free" on 'Defenders of the Faith' (1984).
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Format: Audio CD
First off before i talk about the album, i want to just put my thoughts in on the remaster for this album (as well as all of the other JP albums). I personaly feel that the re-issued preist albums are terrific, columbia did a masterful job with doing justice to these albums and they are so,so,so,so much better then the old crap columbia discs which were plauged by analog hiss. overall, these remastered discs just sound clearer and the packaging is awesome.now, on to the album...

Judas Preist, Hell Bent for Leather 1978

JP's fifth album was a departure from their previous efforts like "stained class" "sin after sin" and "sad wings of destiny". they dropped the epic, sometimes melow/depressing songwritting and shortened/hardened them up and started to really sport the studded leather look on stage. this is personally my favorite preist album, it's powerful and one of the finest metal albums ever but it doesnt reek of the commercial sickness that all of the albums after it do. i cant name favorites on this because i love the whole thing, it's probably the most *unique* album they ever made, stands on it's own really. almost every kind of style is on here, the title track, "running wild" "killing machine" "evil fantasies" and "delivering the goods" are all strait up metal while songs like "evening star" "take on the world" and "green manalishi" are pop and then you have the beautiful melodic "before the dawn". gotta love that album cover as well.
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Format: Audio CD
The precursors to this album are fantastic albums but with this album Judas Priest had found it's definitive sound. The songs sounded catchier,faster and heavier. Not that Priest's former albums didn't have those elements it's still all out metal only on this record it seems much more obvious. The lyrics are also more down to earth and the leather image is making it's impact on the crowd. The rifs are much more built up out of chords than loose notes. It's been highly influencial on the NWOBHM but also on American bands like Motley crue and Twisted Sister and also German bands like Accept and Krokus.It's starts with the thunderous "Delivering the goods" Followed by the swinging "Rock forever". "Take on the world" is anthemic football styled shout-along song and sounds a bit like a precursor to "united" on "British steel". Hell bent for leather and Running wild are terrific fast song as is the Fleetwood Mac cover "Green Manalishi". The piano-ballad "Before the dawn is very beautiful and "Evil Fantasies" sounds like a precursor to "Love you to death" from the Ram it down album. Get this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok kiddies... not really sure where to begin with Priest? Well, this is as good a place to start as any of the other 'classic" Priest albums. This album contains all the key elements that make a classic Priest album kick the bottom of your pants.. LOUD, NASTY, powerhouses.

What happened on this album was that PRIEST did away with the extended metal anthems that had appeared on their first few albums, and released an album of shorter tunes, that turned the volume up even louder.

Not only did this make the music more accesible to a radio crowd, but it also gave the metal fans something to throw into the punk rock arena, back in 1979. PRIEST nailed the scene right on the head with this album.. and would continue to do so in 1980 with the follow up BRITISH STEEL.

Some fans have a problem with these shorter songs, I don't understand... I mean, I am a huge fan of early PRIEST, and I love the thought provoking lyrics of older songs like Dreamer Deciever, or Beyond The Realms Of Death... but HELL BENT FOR LEATHER brought us back to mindless, rock indulgence, that was simple.. but not so simple. There are plenty of nuggets in here, with dual guitar licks and shreds that will melt your head, those HALFORD screeches... and dare I say, not so much whiny sap. Just about every track is ripping, and dangerous... no sorrowful ballads ANYWHERE.. (not that I don't enjoy a good track where HALFORD cries about who knows what.. but thats for a different day).. this album is about staying out all night, drinking booze, and screwing chicks.... well maybe its not ACTUALLY about screwing chicks, but thats the beauty of rock and roll... it can be about whatever you want it to be about. YESSSSS! KEEP ROCKIN! F*** MTV! OWWWWWEEEEEE! YEAH!
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