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Unleashed In The East Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.9 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, November 6, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

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While Judas Priest's first three Columbia albums displayed a band that seemed musically restless and a bit wary of becoming just another rock caricature, their first official live album offers up a strong distillation of the musical sense that informed those records (along with earlier material from Sad Wings of Destiny) and is a testament to their KK Dowling/Glen Tipton fueled twin-guitar fury. The fact that vocalist Rob Halford's tracks (allegedly damaged in the recording process) were later replaced in the studio has long been a bone of contention to purists (though hardly an unusual practice in the industry), but fresh ears may find the "problem" actually resulted in a better-sounding record. More gratifying, the original album's manic sensibility has been amped even further by the inclusion of four key live, previously unreleased bonus tracks--"Rock Forever," "Delivering the Goods," "Hell Bent for Leather," and "Starbreaker." This digitally remastered edition also features new notes by the band and expanded artwork. This is Judas Priest's early arena rock at its over-the-top best: big, loud, and wholly unapologetic. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: November 6, 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 61 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005R62N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,731 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This one is considered Judas Priest's breakthrough classic, and rightfully so. Although too produced to call it a real "live" record, it may be better to think of it as a re-recorded best of their previous efforts (`Sad Wings of Destiny' (1976), `Sin After Sin' (1977), `Stained Class' (1978), and `Hell Bent for Leather' (1978)). That is, all the songs here are performed with an improved more metallic, more up tempo sound than the original versions - the tempo is a little faster on "Exciter", the guitar solo is a little more daring on "Sinner", the chords ring a little harder on "Green Manalishi", the licks are a little edgier on "Diamonds and Rust". But the essential performance here is "The Ripper" - the original of which was drenched with silly sound effects and seemed out-of-place on `Sad Wings of Destiny' (1976) - but the version here is simply incredible. In fact, I challenge anyone to find a metal song with a more impressive vocal performance (including any later Judas Priest records).
The original release contained nine songs with an emphasis on tunes taken from their pre-major label record, `Sad Wings of Destiny' (1976) and only one or two songs each from `Sin After Sin' (1977), `Stained Class' (1978), and `Hell Bent for Leather' (aka `Killing Machine' (1978)). On bootlegs and certain "official" releases, other songs from these concerts/session later emerged, creating a broader representation of their catalog up to that point. The original record probably should have been a double album, but now with the benefit of the extended format of CDs, it is all here, including the infamous live version of "Hell Bent for Leather" (sans the revving Harley), which became the signature encore of subsequent Judas Priest shows.
In my opinion, as important as Judas Priest was to the metal scene, this record surpasses any of their previous five prior releases.
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Format: Audio CD
I think perhaps the most telling account of how I feel about this recording is the fact that I'm a grown man who's banished most of his heavy metal discs to the shoe boxes, used CD stores, or even the trash. "Unleashed" is the only heavy metal disc I keep in the regular rotation. This disc not only gets Priest at their best, really capturing the guitar interplay before they have a chance to bury it in six layers in the studio, but it is also a textbook example of the reasons live albums should be made in the first place. It should bring the concert home. That involves not only invigorated performances of the studio material but also solid production values; keep the sound true so you can hear what the musicians sound like without studio wizardry. This is my favorite heavy metal album, and my favorite live album of any genre. I can only assume that if you're reading this, you're at least mildly interested, so I can recommend without reservation that you buy it.
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Format: Audio CD
Released in 1979 (it would go Platinum ten years later), Unleashed in the East isn't just the best live album available from Judas Priest, it's one of the best live albums ever recorded. Purists can nitpick all they want on whether this is considered a "live" album or not, but you'll rarely find anything that sounds better than this. Classic Priest songs like "Exciter", "Sinner", "The Ripper", "Green Manalishi", "Diamonds and Rust", "Victim of Changes", "Tyrant", and "Hell Bent for Leather" are re-produced live with faster tempos, edgier riffs, and grinding solos that are pure old metal bliss. Rob Halford's voice booms, and the guitar combo of Downing and Tipton can be heard in their prime here. All in all, any Judas Priest fan most likely owns this disc, but if you don't, consider Unleashed in the East an absolute must own.
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Format: Audio CD
This is an essential classic. As of this release, the line between hard rock and metal was made forever distinct; and the style contained within is the prototype for everything metal which was to follow.

The twin-guitar attack, the essential metal chug, the occasional flirtation with the double-kick (soon to be taken to ridiculous new levels of overexposure), the stratospheric vocal touches (nobody did the falsetto better than Rob Halford primarily because he knew well enough to use it tastefully and in moderation): all these things signal the beginning of everything that followed (and a direct link to thrash and speed metal which would come to dominate 80's hard music), and all of them found their widest audience and finest display on "Undleashed in the East".

The long-burning question as to whether or not this is a genuine "live" album is irrelevant: the end justifies the means. To anyone who disagrees, I offer the following hypothetical scenerio: By 1979, Judas Priest was a markedly different-sounding band than the Peter-Green-era-Fleetwood-Mac-style band which debuted in 1974 with the "Rocka-Rolla" LP. Priest had however retained several of the excellent songs from their second LP "Sad Wings of Destiny" in their live set. Also in their set were tracks from the abyssmally-produced "Sin After Sin". As the band's new style gained them a following, they perhaps addressed the issue of finding the means to get their older material circulated before the public (and their new fans). The solution was to re-record these older tracks in the newer style with modern production resources. A studio recording would be the optimum way of presenting them, but the "live" format would be the best excuse to rework these songs.
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