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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most underrated record
'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...
Published on May 10, 2004 by S B

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars TOUGH MAN ROCK!!!
JUDAS PRIEST got really rough and tough with HELL BENT FOR
LEATHER. The songs got shorter and the overall ensemble playing
became much tighter.It's much heavier sounding than STAINED
CLASS, but only marginally better. Side one has about three or
four duds on it with EVENING STAR, ROCK FOREVER and TAKE ON THE
WORLD. This last song was the first of...
Published on December 31, 2001 by R. Recchia


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most underrated record, May 10, 2004
By 
S B "sdb70" (Phoenix, Arizona United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hellbent for Leather (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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The start of a new era, September 30, 2003
This review is from: Hellbent for Leather (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JP's most versitile and powerful album., December 17, 2004
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Hellbent for Leather (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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PRIEST DELIVERS THE GOODS!, April 4, 2006
This review is from: Hellbent for Leather (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heading your way like dynamite...., September 30, 2005
By 
This review is from: Hellbent for Leather (Audio CD)
Released in the fall of 1978, 'Killing Machine' (or 'Hell Bent for Leather) is THE Judas Priest record, the one I cherished the most from my adolescence. 'Sad Wings', 'SAS' and 'Stained Class' are perhaps more innovative but this LP should have a special place in the hearts of not only Priest fans but metal lovers in general. Is it too commercial? Maybe, but compared to their 80's output it's bloody revolutionary! Classics galore cover this disc from the mighty opener, "Delivering the Goods" (a call to arms for sure and one of the band's best), "Hell Bent for Leather" (which along with "Victim of Changes" could be the ultimate Priest track, Tipton is the man!), "The Green Manalishi" (Fleetwood who???), "Rock Forever" (I'm sorry but how the hell can you not like that song!), "Killing Machine"(something about a song about a hired killer is SO metal)and "Running Wild" (awesome fadeout solos from Mr. Downing). I should mention "Evening Star" and "Take on the World", actual hit singles from the band. "TOTW" could be an anthem and I don't care if it seems like an obvious one. (Queen eat your heart out!!!). Never have been crazy about "Evil Fantasies", too bluesy, except for the end which is the best part of the song. Halford is on top of his game no doubt, all business. Yes the songs are shorter, maybe more accessible, but sell outs???!!!! Come on!!! This album kicks arse and any self respecting rock fan should own it. Again, the bonus tracks are a little inappropriate because they are obviously not from the same time period as the recordings on 'Killing Machine'(although "Fight for Your Life" is a very good precursor to "Rock Hard, Ride Free", better than any of the leftover crap from 'Turbo'). Priest would close out the decade in grand style with their first live album from the tour of this record. Beat us to submission indeed!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sound is A+!, March 21, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hell Bent for Leather (Audio CD)
WOW! This CD sounds amazing! It's a little louder than the original CD but not by much. The music has a lot more detail than the original but it's not bright at all. The cymbals, Robs voice & the guitars stand out more but are not harsh. Everything is just sweet & smooth. I'm listening to the over cooked 2001 remaster now & it's much louder, brighter & tinny than the other 2, it's freakin' horrible.

I highly recommend this Audio Fidelity CD to anyone who cares about sound quality.

test equipment
Shandling T100 Tube HDCD player
Denon AVR 4802 Pre-Amp
Conrad Johnson MF-5600 Amp
Definitive Technology BP-2000 Super Tower Speakers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delivering the goods with a pleasant punch to the stomache, January 10, 2004
This review is from: Hellbent for Leather (Audio CD)
Hell Bent For Leather (a.k.a. Killing Machine)(1979). Judas Priest's fifth studio album.
Through the 70s, Judas Priest was a very experimental heavy metal band. Their debut Rocka Rolla(1974) resembled a bluesy Black Sabbath hybrid, while Sad Wings Of Destiny(1976) showed the first signs of Priest becoming a real heavy metal band. Sin After Sin(1977) showed further experimentation, but it wasn't until Stained Class(1978) that the band had fully blossomed into a full heavy metal outfit. At this time, the band adopted for a leather & studs image which became the look for heavy metal music, and they were quickly becoming a popular force around the globe. Of course, the key bandmembers include the legendary ear shattering vocalist Rob Halford, lead twin-guitar assault Glenn Tiption and K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill, and talented drummer Les Binks.
Here we arrive at HBFL, one of the most dynamic Priest albums in their back catalogue. While Stained Class was the band's first real gold-prize heavy metal album, HBFL is the first album of theirs that really packs a punch in its heaviness. If you listen to the previous albums first and then this one, HBFL will really jump out at you. Although this is the heaviest 70s Priest album, it's also their most commercial up to this point. Priest's previous albums had many longer songs with progressive elements, while HBFL's songs are short, catchy, and to the point with nary a song exceeding four minutes in length.
As for the tracks themselves, there's a great variety of rockers in the songlist, meaning there's something for everyone. You've got your fast metal anthems ('Hell Bent For Leather' and 'Running Wild), your pounding Ted Nugent-styled arena rock anthems ('Take On The World', 'Delivering The Goods', Killing Machine, and the awesome cover 'Green Manalishi'), your commercial midpaced rockers ('Burning Up', 'Rock Forever', and 'Evening Star') and a slow Sabbath-esque closing number ('Evil Fantasies'). There's even a touching ballad to be found here ('Before The Dawn'). Unfortunately you wont find anything long and challenging like 'Exciter', 'Beyond The Realms Of Death', or 'Victim Of Changes', but the album's versitality and punch make up for it in spades.
Also included in the remaster is two bonus tracks: 'Fight For Your Life' and a live version of 'Riding On The Wind'. The former is a HBFL b-side which was later rewritten to become 'Rock Hard Ride Free' on the album Defenders Of The Faith(1984). Same verses as RHRF, but the chorus and guitar solos are completely different. The live version of 'Riding On The Wind' is mediocre IMO, with the instruments all sounding flat, and Halfords vocals are actually faint and weak there. If you want to hear a really good live version of that song, check out the one that's on Halford's Live Insurrection(2001).
Although HBFL isn't the best Priest album (Stained Class, British Steel, Screaming For Vengeance, Defenders Of The Faith, and Painkiller are the top albums), it's still an excellent recording that no fan should pass up. Certainly one of the best heavy metal albums of the 70s. I actually come back to it quite often. It's also a great place for new fans to start. The remastering here benefits the sound quality greatly and it further emphasized that this is in fact, a "heavy metal" album. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO ALL PEOPLE WHO LIKE A SOLID CLASSIC METAL ALBUM.
Other albums that sound similar to Hell Bent For Leather:
-'Unleashed In The East' by Judas Priest
-'Point Of Entry' by Judas Priest
-'Cat Scratch Fever' by Ted Nugent
-'Cultosaurus Erectus' by Blue Oyster Cult
-'Spectres' by Blue Oyster Cult
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very small step back, but undeniably good., July 11, 2006
By 
This review is from: Hellbent for Leather (Audio CD)
How could Judas Priest follow "Stained Class"? Either by cloning it, or by doing something different. They did the latter, with slightly-mixed results, though "Hell Bent..." is still a worthy disc. However, one thing I've never figured out is why the U.S. record company made them change the title...I did see a "Killing Machine" LP in Canada years ago...should have got it for the collectible aspect alone...

This is more experimental than "Stained Class" was in that they tried a few more commercial songs. Sometimes it was good ("Evening Star" is very catchy whilst still remaining heavy) and sometimes less so ("Before The Dawn" just isn't Priest, despite an operatic vocal from "Robert" Halford).

Overall, though, if you get this, you'll get standard Priest fist-pumpers like "Delivering The Goods", "Rock Forever", "Burnin' Up" and "Take On The World" (which they would virtually clone a few years later with "United" from "British Steel"). The Tipton/Downing guitar work is fine, Halford sings well, Les Binks is probably the best drummer they ever had (though Scott Travis comes close) and Ian Hill is solid if almost inaudible. The production from James Guthrie is clear but still allows the heaviness to come through.

I do have to say, though, that the outtakes added do not fit at all. The live "Riding On The Wind" shows them at a much later stage in their career, as does "Fight For Your Life", which is of course an embryonic version of "Rock Hard Ride Free" from "Defenders Of The Faith".

But still overall an essential part of the Priest canon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best, February 4, 2002
By 
The Scenario (Roseville, MN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hellbent for Leather (Audio CD)
I really don't know why everyone's dogging on the JP remasters. I think all of them have sounded pretty good so far. On this one, the drums and cymbals punch through with more clarity and the guitar intro to "Delivering The Goods" has even more of a staccato flair. As for the album itself, this CD is definitely my favorite of the pre-"Screaming For Vengeance" era Priest discs. It runs the gamut from full-on hard rockers ("Delivering The Goods", "Rock Forever", "Hell Bent For Leather", "Running Wild", "Burning Up"), pop-ish singalongs ("Evening Star"), beat-heavy rhythmic dirges ("Take On The World", "Green Manalishi", "Evil Fantasies"), ballads ("Before The Dawn"), and even a prototype disco-metal tune ("Killing Machine"). Moreso than on previous releases, the studio bonus track is a throwaway (nothing more than "Rock Hard Ride Free" with a different chorus), but the live version of one of my faves, "Riding On The Wind" is excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive version of this metal classic., May 16, 2010
By 
This review is from: Hell Bent for Leather (Audio CD)
Heavy metal is not considered an audiophile music genre, thus metal albums don't normally get the "audiophile" treatment. Sony's remastered version of this album released in 2001 sounds compressed, harsh, and has overemphasized treble.

Thankfully, the folks at Audio Fidelity saw fit to release this classic metal title as a gold release, and the results are outstanding. This AF release is limited, with each copy numbered (I have #3143) so pick it up before they all get sold.

Note: The mastering engineer is not credited on this CD, but it is Steve Hoffman. If you are unfamiliar with that name, do a search, and you will fine many excellent albums on his resume!
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Hell Bent for Leather
Hell Bent for Leather by Judas Priest (Audio CD - 2002)
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