Customer Reviews: The Complete Albums Collection
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars51
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on June 14, 2012
Well I was on the fence about this one simply due to the fact that I have all of these in one form or another (CD, cassette, vinyl), but when the price dropped to $105 for 17 cd's I was sold. It was also a nice touch to issue "Hell Bent for Leather" with the proper "Killing Machine" cover, and adding the cover art to the disks themselves. If you only have a few of these cd's then this is a really good deal and remember that several of these are double albums. I have been a fan of Priest for 28 years, would of been longer but I did not hear them untill I was 9 and spent the summer with my older cousin. In my opinion a true fan would not be without this set.

Update... I received the set yesterday and got a chance to look it over and read some of the other reviews. First I do not think it is a cheap set or a waste of money considering what you pay for it. Is it packaged in a simple mannar, yes it is, but I actually like it that way as it keeps 17 cd's in a small and compact unit.

I also noticed that just about every disk has a couple bonus tracks on it (a studio and a live track) and some have more. Also in comparing it to some of the older disks that I have it seems like the quality is better but that just may be in my mind.

Since everyone is bringing up the Ripper years I will put in my two cents on that too. I for one was never a fan of the ripper stuff (nothing against him personally as I think he can sing great and the proof of that is how many other projects he has had), I just prefer Halford singing. Would it have been a nice to have all of the ripper disk in there too, maybe, but where do you draw the line...What about Metalogy as it had alot of live and rare tracks in there. If you go to the official priest site there is a section just for the Ripper years so they are not trying to erase that part of history they are just focusing on the Halford stuff which is what most fans want. Maybe they should make a Ripper years box set and see how that does. No "Complete" collection will ever be complete as there are tracks that are issued on albums in different countries and thru the various re-issues so I always know when I see something say complete it is not really.

Would I buy this again now having held it in my hands....YES!
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on June 23, 2012
The Good:

1. All the Halford era Judas Priest studio albums plus three live albums in one easy to store box set. AWESOME!
2. The discs themselves all have album cover art printed on them (some box sets skimp in this area.)
3. The price is very reasonable for how much great music is offered here.
4. Mini (and I mean mini) lp cardboard sleeves are cool, but read on.

The Bad:

1. The discs fit so tightly in their cardboard sleeves, it's a hassle to get them out, and they are likely to get scuffs and scratches just from rubbing against the cardboard. You have to either flex the cardboard sleeve quite hard or pull on the discs' top and bottom with your finger tips. Not good for music fans who want to keep their discs and packaging mint. The discs are especially tight fitting in the two double albums with gatefold sleeves. My copy of Preist, Live! was scratched the first time I wrestled it out of its sleeve. Frustrating!

That's really my only complaint about this otherwise cool box set. Sure, the box itself could be higher quality cardboard with two pieces that slide together, but for the price this box that folds together is just fine with me. I think the idea was to keep the price affordable for this set, so the packaging isn't nearly as deluxe as japanese-made box sets (The Beatles in Mono, Led Zeppelin Definitive Collection, etc.) Even though I like the "Ripper" sung albums, I think they made the right call not including them in this set (if they even had the choice). I'll be storing my CDs in separate cases to keep them protected and easier to access, but I'm happy to have a mostly complete Priest collection with one purchase.
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on December 8, 2013
Fantastic box set. Great for collectors or for anyone that needs all the Judas Priest albums in one go. Do note that the first two albums are remastered/resequenced to reflect the original LP (these are the first band endorsed CDs for them), everything after that up to Painkiller is identical to the 2001reissues, everything after identical as their normal CDs.
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on March 13, 2016
If Black Sabbath invented heavy metal as a genre, it was Judas Priest that picked up the baton, and refined its direction, by taking the blueprint created by Black Sabbath, re-emphasizing the mechanistic approach to rhythm, and combining it with the virtuosity and speed of Deep Purple (while throwing in some tablespoons of Budgie and Queen along the way). As the years progressed, Judas Priest may have lost some of their innovative feel and organic musical instincts along the way, but they still have shown themselves capable of living up to their legacy as leaders in the metal genre. If their kid brothers Iron Maiden can be described as telling stories of dark fantasy and all-too real strife and conflict from the point of view of those who must endure and survive such situations, Judas Priest often adapted the voice of those who are behind said chaos, with a ruthless and sinister musical delivery. This collection essentially gives you the band's entire catalogue where Rob Halford was the vocalist (minus their latest album, Redeemer of Souls). It does omit all the Ripper Owens-fronted releases, but I'll take that sacrifice in favor of a collection where the 2 first Judas Priest albums are finally remastered and reunited with the rest of the catalogue (how they managed to pry the license for those 2 records out of the hands of Gull Records, I have no idea....).
There are a couple of sticking points, however. The CDs from "Sin After Sin" through "Painkiller" are, from what I can tell, the infamous Rick Astley remasters, which audiophiles have serious issues with. The albums are often mastered too hot, and in some cases, compression and noise reduction were used excessively. Priest, in my opinion, were not often a band that favored a subtle sonic treatment, and the most egregious examples of those complaints are from their 80s albums, which were intentionally abrasive and in your face, meaning that while the OCD-addled folks at the Hoffman audio forums may make this collection out to be a tragedy, it's not the end of the world. That being said, my best advice is to use software such as MP3Gain if you plan on burning your discs to your computer/devices, in order to knock down the levels a little bit when needed (and Sin After Sin is mastered way too loud compared to the albums surrounding it in the chronology). In addition, while the clamshell box and mini-LP sleeves are cool (and save space), once again, we find the same lack of effort in the accompanying booklet that was present in the Blue Oyster Cult collection. The entire history of the band apparently warranted only 2 short pages. At least it has a few cool pictures. Finally, many of the bonus tracks are not actually from the sessions of the albums they are attached to, which causes some sonic incongruity. Oh, and I wish they had included the first version of "Diamonds and Rust" as a bonus track, as I prefer it slightly to the "Sin After Sin" version.
Moving on to the music, 1974's "Rocka Rolla" is a surprisingly tame debut for the band. There's a much more distinct blues-based feel here, although the title track and the second part of "Dying to Meet You" both display the ruthless, mechanized precision the band would become known for. The ambitious "Winter" suite and the lengthy, vaguely psychadelic ballad "Dying to Meet You" show a grandiose side that Priest would explore much further on the next album, 1976's "Sad Wings of Destiny". Most metal fans agree that "Sad Wings" was a seminal album for the metal genre, and it's no exaggeration that the album is loaded with classics. There's a much more aggressive edge throughout much of the material, and when the band isn't filling your ears with palm-muted, galloping riffs, dual guitar harmonies, grinding rhythms, or the pinpoint, multi-octave siren of Rob Halford's voice, it's to dabble in surprisingly tender emotion ("Epitaph") or moody gothic spookiness ("Dreamer Deceiver"). The ruthlessness of songs like "The Ripper", "Island of Domination", "Tyrant", and "Genocide" must've been startling for listeners at the time. It should be noted that the remastering of this album is actually pretty damn good, and is much more solid and robust than prior versions.
After Judas Priest moved to a major label (and forfeited the rights to their first albums in the process), "Sin After Sin" showed much of the same mix of heaviness and speed as before, with epic biblical pieces such as "Sinner" and "Call For the Priest" moving along the same apocalyptic fault lines as "Tyrant" did, while "Dissident Aggressor" is even more aggressive than anything the band did before. On the other hand, "Last Rose of Summer" is a surprisingly commercial ballad that completely contrasts with the rest of the album. 1978's "Stained Class", on the other hand, was a far, far less commercial affair, and is considered a turning point, as the band focused on delivering an album more aggressive and technical than other metal/hard rock artists of the 1970s. Songs like "Exciter", "Invader", and "Savage" all helped redefine metal as an entity wholly separate from blues-based hard rock, while "Beyond the Realms of Death" pioneered a new type of dark "power ballad", combining dark, softer sections with heavy parts in a way that would influence Iron Maiden and Metallica in later years. This album was swiftly followed by "Killing Machine" (aka "Hell Bent For Leather"), which was a surprisingly groovy and, dare I say, "funky" album. It was also less dark, as songs like "Delivering the Goods" and "Rock Forever" seemed to have a more fun-oriented bent, while even darker songs such as "Hell Bent For Leather" and their awesome metallized version of "Green Manalishi" swing with a visceral liveliness. There's also an awesomely nasty prurient streak throughout, and if you don't believe it, check out the lyrics to "Burnin' Up" and "Evil Fantasies", both of which in retrospect appear to be Rob Halford giving voice as to his closeted desires as a gay man who has to keep his true feelings in the shadows. It doesn't get much more metal than that, considering how society was less tolerant of homosexuality back then.
"Unleashed In the East" was their inevitable live album, and while the vocals may have been re-dubbed after the fact, there's still a tremendous energy. The remaster actually greatly improves on the original release by adding several bonus tracks from the same tour. Of course, it was 1980's "British Steel" that is considered the ultimate breakthrough to the masses. The band alternates between ruthlessly aggressive tracks such as "Rapid Fire", "Grinder", and "Steeler", and catchy, almost pop-ish metal such as "Breaking the Law", "United", and megahit "Living After Midnight". While it's not my favorite album of theirs, I can in no way at all deny its power and effectiveness. The following album, "Point of Entry", however, failed to be as consistent in its quality. Sure, it had "Desert Plains", "Heading Out to the Highway", and "Solar Angels", but many of the other songs were not as consistently good throughout their run times, or felt like the band was vacillating between becoming a more commercial hard rock outfit, and staying the course of their metal approach. I will admit, though, even weird and goofy cuts such as "Don't Go", "Turning Circles", and "You Say Yes" have some charm. "Screaming For Vengeance" is considered a comeback for Judas Priest, as it contains quite a few beloved songs, such as the somewhat overplayed "You've Got Another Thing Coming", the vicious "Electric Eye", and the grinding gallop of "Bloodstone". There were also some more blatantly commercial tracks such as "Chains of Love" and "Fever", that still felt right in the context of the album.
"Defenders of the Faith" may have been where the band starting losing momentum, even if it is considered another classic. "Freewheel Burning", "Jawbreaker", and "The Sentinel" are all stone cold pure metal classics, but the album as a whole feels less dynamic, and less adventurous than the band was in the past, as if the band had started to write the songs fans expected them to write. 1986's "Turbo" saw Judas Priest attempting to consciously cater to the music market by introducing more synthesized elements into their sound, and alienated a fair number of fans in the process. It's hard to deny that it's not bad as far as a slick pop-metal album goes, and "Turbo Lover" is actually a great song. The bonus tracks from the "Turbo" sessions that are scattered throughout the various discs in the collection actually would have made the album's reputation better in the long run if they had been originally included, as they don't suffer from as much overproduction and commercial compromise as some of the music that made the cut (e.g. the traditional metal of "All Fired Up", or the loveably goofy sentiment of "Red White & Blue"). "Priest....Live!" was a live album culled from the "Turbo" tour, but lacks the same fury as "Unleashed". 1988's "Ram It Down" was sort of a transitional album of sorts, as it was partly made up of leftover songs from the "Turbo Sessions", and is considered a low point for the band (it's unclear if half the time, we're hearing a drum machine performing the percussion). Indeed, the band's desecration of "Johnny B. Goode" is a bit of a rock 'n roll sin, but there are some bright spots that survive scrutiny, namely the title track, the hyperactive "Hard As Iron", and the moody, techno-rock of "Blood Red Skies".
Thankfully, the band roared back to form in 1990 with "Painkiller", which was not only one of their most consistent releases, but also one of their most poundingly metallic. From start to finish, it is precise and merciless. "Hell Patrol", the punishing title track, "Leather Rebel", the nightmarish ballad "A Touch of Evil", the epic closer "One Shot At Glory".....not much else can be said. Sadly, this was to be the last album with Rob Halford as vocalist for quite a while. After a hiatus in the mid-90s, Judas Priest returned with Tim "Ripper" Owens as the vocalist, but unfortunately, the band's attempts to fit in with new trends in metal, combined with having a new lead vocalist, did not meet much success in the eyes of the public. By 2005, however, the rift between Halford and the rest of the band had been repaired, and "Angel of Retribution" was released with Rob Halford back on board. Although it's not as classic as "Painkiller", it's a solid metal album, and songs like "Judas Rising" and "Deal With the Devil" have a good energy about them, even if there's nothing too adventurous here. 2008's "Nostradamus" saw the band taking a bit of a risk, however, by releasing a 2 disc concept album, filled with various orchestrations, keyboards and guitar synths. Unlike the similarly tech-adorned "Turbo", however, the mood harkened back to the band's earlier days in terms of gothic ambition. Much of the album is mid-tempo, but Priest makes it work well much of the time. The collection concludes with the live album "A Touch of Evil", which isn't bad, considering how old the band is. It's no "Live After Death", but it makes a decent bookend for this collection, and also fills in the gaps in their live discography not filled by the earlier 2 live albums with Halford.
And there you have it. I was lucky enough to have bought this when the price was fluctuating here, and got the collection for somewhere south of $80, which is a good value. If you have a few Judas Priest albums here and there, but don't have the entire discography, this is probably worth it if you like what you've heard.
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on April 1, 2015
Love me some priest I'm especially a fan of the earlier outings but I do like the newer. Stuff as well only problem with this boxset is screaming for vengeance album cover isn't the cover on the boxset seems they might have ran out of ink
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on September 22, 2013
First of all I'll start by saying the content is beyond great. Many of the albums are Masterpieces: Sad Wings of Destiny, Stained Class, British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, Defenders of the Faith, Painkiller... along with their oddities like Turbo and Ram It Down, right down to their three live albums and their more recent outputs, Angel of Retribution and Nostradamus. Judas Priest are pionners of metal in both sound and image and their reputation stands strong, having influenced directly or indirectly a lot of the bands that followed them. Their body of work is impressive, with some of metal's landmark albums and incredible album's worths of music, they certainly deserve a box set containing and celebrating their career. It's worth noting that even though the box says The Complete Albums Collection it is not in fact, complete. It's missing the Tim ''Ripper'' Owens era studio and live albums. It was aware before purchasing and it's not a huge deal as most will want this solely and majorly for the Halford recordings alone, but if it says complete it would be nice if it really was. I'm not trying to be difficult I just think it would have been neat to have ALL the Judas Priest albums in one place, and that includes the Tim Owens years, regardless of preference or opinion.

On the positive, having all the albums in one place is fantastic. The box itself is nice but seems rather frail from being such soft cardboard. It nicely holds all 17 albums in a very compact space and it doesn't take much room. The booklet is nice and has liner notes at the beginning, and pictures and lists the songs and credit. Having the ''Killing Machine'' corrected on Hell Bent for Leather sleeve is a nice touch. My main grippe with this box set is the cardboard sleeves, mini vinyl replica sleeves that the CDs come in. I don't mind cardboard CDs cases, they may not be as strong as the more traditional jewel cases but they do the job and usually are for more special album treatments such as deluxe editions and they do feel nice. The problem here is that the discs are so tightly fit into their sleeves that it gets hard to pull them out and they tend to be more prone to scratches and damage.I'll give them that this was a great concept, having all the Halford years and there's a lot of good to this set (compact and the artwork on the discs etc) but the execution is just not what it maybe could or should have been.

Based on money value alone, I think that all of the 17 Halford outputs in one box for less than a hundred dollars is great value. I picked this up because while I owned many Priest albums, I didn't have any of the live albums, and I was missing 5 albums so it made sense for me to buy this since it had all those albums and looked like a cool box set and I would have paid just as much if not more to complete my individual Judas Priest CD collection. I really wish the box was made of more solid material as it feels like it could break in two very easily, plus the sleeves are just too tight for the CDs and again, having the Owen recordings would have made this a truly complete set. At face value, 17 albums for this price is absolutely great but the package takes it down a little. I would say it's more of a budget release than a real collector's item. 3.5 stars.
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on April 17, 2016
this is a good value way to get the priest albums ....
I personally don't buy into the hype surrounding priest. they've made some good music .... you hear people saying rob halford invented multi octave metal vocals - wrong, plant and gillan were into that before he came along ... you here people saying they invented heavy metal with the stained class album - wrong, by that stage sabbath had recorded masters of reality, sabbath 4 and sabotage. queen had put out some killer metal tunes that were certainly not blues based. van halen made their debut album the same year ... it's just fan talk, not reality. ... you here people saying that priest invented the dual lead guitar riffs - wrong, jeff beck and jimmy page had done that for a short time in the yardbirds later incarnation. thin lizzy had already released jailbreak with some very memorable twin lead harmonies ....
their first couple of albums see the band looking for a sound and they come off sounding like wanna-be sabbath with a hint of early queen. especially on sad wings of destiny. they start to hit their mark on sin after sin and move on from there.
good band, good bunch of albums, great value.
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on December 12, 2013
never listened to judas priest until a couple of years ago. I was introduced to their music from a family member.I started to listen to them and was very impressed with their style of music.then when I was browsing the boxed sets on amazon I knew I had to have this boxed set. since it had all their studio albums and a couple of live albums. this is a excellent set if you are a judas priest fan or if you just love heavy metal. their music is awesome and I am looking forward to listening to them over and over. plus their is bonus songs on the set as well.

you will not be disappointed with the music or the packaging of this boxed set.
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VINE VOICEon January 23, 2015
I had or have most of Judas Priests Albums, well on Album and or Cassette (and a coupe, CDs). Now I am able to get this many 17 albums (19 CDS), all of their albums with Rob Halford (except try newest one Redeemer of Souls) The Box contains, 14 Studio and 3 live albums. for this great price. The CDs come in miniature Album sees a cd insert size booklet of nots are included and the book it comes is is about the size of 6 CDs in witch, so its a space savor over Jewel boxes. Just he deal I was waiting for.

Hear are the Albums!!!

1.Rocka Rolla
2.Sad Wings Of Destiny
3.Sin After Sin (Bonus tracks).
4.Stained Class (Bonus tracks).
5.Killing Machine (Bonus tracks).
6.Unleashed In The East (Live) (Bonus tracks).
7.British Steel (Bonus tracks).
8.Point Of Entry (Bonus tracks).
9.Screaming For Vengeance (Bonus tracks).
10.Defenders Of The Faith (Bonus tracks).
11.Turbo (Bonus tracks).
12.Priest... Live! (2 Disks) (Bonus tracks).
13.Ram It Down (Bonus tracks).
14.Painkiller (Bonus tracks).
15.Angel Of Retribution
16.Nostradamus (Two Disks).
17.Touch Of Evil - Live!
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on June 21, 2014
Firstly, let me say that even though I am only 19 I have been listening to Priest since I was a little boy. My dad introduced me to them when I was in kindergarten and they have been my all time favorite band ever since. Priest is one of those bands that my dad and I have always had a personal connection to so when I found this I knew I had to get it. I got this as a Father's Day gift and it was absolutely perfect. So about the product itself...
What you get: You get all 17 albums that have been produced by Judas Priest from Rocka Rolla to Nostradamus. This includes the live Unleashed in The East album and A Touch of Evil Live. Each disc has the original cover art so this does mean that Hell Bent for Leather actually has the original album title Killing Machine. Bonus tracks are also included on the discs as well, such as live recordings certain songs. All of the discs are also in cover art sleeves so it is important to note that the discs are only encased in these cardboard sleeves. With regards to that, be careful when removing the discs as you do not want to damage them or the sleeves. Along with all 17 albums you also get a Judas Priest booklet which has pictures and information about each album and some history of the band. All of this is packaged together in a sturdy box that has the emblem that you see in the thumbnail on it.
Overall opinion: This is an excellent collection and is a must have for big Judas Priest fans. The only downside is that there are really no extra items apart from the booklet and that the discs are only placed in sleeve covers. This is a great budget collection for lover of the band. It's only $80 and you get so much for your money. Not to mention it is awesome to know that you will have the classic albums such as their first release Rocka Rolla, and my favorites Sin after Sin and Stained Class. Get this now!!
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