Archive for July 10, 2010

Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition – 3 Disc set) (2010)

Disc 1 – British Steel (remastered) -

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. Red, White & Blue (studio bonus track)
  11. Grinder (live bonus track)

Disc 2 –  The British Steel 2009 Tour (Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida, August 17, 2009) CD

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. The Ripper
  11. Hell Patrol
  12. Victim Of Changes
  13. Freewheel Burning
  14. Diamonds And Rust
  15. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

Disc 3 –  The British Steel 2009 Tour (Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Arena, Hollywood, Florida, August 17, 2009) DVD

  1. Rapid Fire
  2. Metal Gods
  3. Breaking The Law
  4. Grinder
  5. United
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
  7. Living After Midnight
  8. The Rage
  9. Steeler
  10. The Ripper
  11. Prophecy
  12. Hell Patrol
  13. Victim Of Changes
  14. Freewheel Burning
  15. Diamonds And Rust
  16. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

DVD Extra – The Making of British Steel Interview

Total Time (Disc 1) = 44:43
Total Time (Disc 2) = 1:15:48
Region 0, NTSC, Running Time (Disc 3 concert) = 1:28:21

What can you say about Judas Priest’s BRITISH STEEL that hasn’t already been said? It is truly a landmark Heavy Metal album that bridged the classic heavy Rock of the 1970s and moved it into the slick and powerful 1980s with it’s pure metallic sound and commercial accessibility to FM airwaves. Look at all the classic songs that still get played on Classic Rock and current Rock radio: ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Breaking The Law’, ‘Living After Midnight’, ‘United’. I’m lucky here in Rhode Island because the local Rock station (94 WHJY) has one of the longest running Heavy Metal programs on Saturday nights called  “The Metal Zone” and I’ve heard plenty of deeper tracks from BRITISH STEEL played over the years like ‘Steeler’ and ‘Grinder’. I grew up with this album, I think I got it in 1983 officially but I had a dubbed cassette, and it’s been one of my favorite albums by Judas Priest and of the ’80s.

Now BRITISH STEEL is 30 years old…..that’s hard to believe! That’s most of my life (I’m 38)! In order to celebrate such a milestone, Judas Priest toured last summer and played the entire album in order, then added a handful of Priest classics and rarities. I caught the show in Mansfield, MA on July 7th and it was a magnificent show, now it’s great to have a commorative document to enjoy it again.

Disc 1 – British Steel (remastered)
There really isn’t much new to say about the remastered album because it’s exactly the same remastered version that the band and label released back in 2001. The two bonus tracks are also the same: ‘Red, White & Blue’ is a studio track from the TURBO sessions in 1985 and the live version of ‘Grinder’ comes from the Long Beach Arena (Long Beach, California) on the 1984 DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH tour. If you already have a copy of the proper album then you might not really notice the remastering, I didn’t in 2001, and the bonus tracks seem out of place. I have always wondered why we got bonus tracks from 1984/85 instead of rarities from 1980. I’m a little disappointed that the label used the 2001 remaster, I was hoping for something more.

Disc 2 – Live in Hollywood, Florida – 7/17/09 CD
Here’s where the entire 30th Anniversary package gets interesting because the whole point of celebrating 30 years of BRITISH STEEL was the band’s tour. This live CD is the exact companion to the Disc 3 DVD except for the omission of ‘Prophecy’ from the NOSTRADAMUS (2008) album. I’m going to assume that the song was left off for time constraints on the CD format and, seeing that NOSTRADAMUS wasn’t the commercial and critical success the band hoped it would be, ‘Prophecy’ seems like the logical choice to cut. It’s a long song too and that is one of the reasons behind the 13 minute time difference between the CD and DVD. It’s all about getting bang for your buck and the audio CD of the show is a true bonus, the official U.S. release was a 2 disc set that included the remastered album and the DVD. The live album sounds good and it’s a solid performance by the band so I’m glad I held out and picked up the Deluxe Edition. I don’t hve 90 mins to sit around the TV and watch the DVD all the time so putting the live album in the iPod and enjoying a classic Priest tour is a major plus for me.

Disc 3 – Live in Hollywood, Florida – 7/17/09 DVD
Exactly the same as the CD version except that ‘Prophecy’ is included. I probably should have reviewed the DVD first but it’s technically listed as Disc 3 in the package so that’s how it will be for the review. Judas Priest toured on the basis of the 30th anniversary of British Steel in the Summer of 2009 and it was basically a basic show of the band just playing. Aside from the backdrop banners, the lights and lasers and the trademark Harley Davidson, there were no real production gimmicks. Basically the band came, on and played BRITISH STEEL note for note, took a quick break and came out with the second part of the set. The DVD is basically the same show I saw in Mansfield and it’s a cool piece of nostalgia for me because I had such a great time at the show. A few things of note from watching the DVD and remembering from the Mansfield show I saw: Halford was a little more animated on stage than he was on the previous two tours, he still has an awesome voice, Glenn & KK are a superb guitar duo, Ian needs to move around a little and Scott Travis is a monster drummer and it’s crazy to think he’s been in Priest 20 years now! All the guys looked like they were having a blast and they really poured everything into the performance. In addition to the concert there is a bonus section that is an interview about the making of BRITISH STEEL. It’s good to watch once but if you have the CLASSIC ALBUMS DVD for BRIISH STEEL then you don’t really need the interview.

Packaging
Diehards may not be happy with the 2010 version of the BRITISH STEEL album cover with the blood added and the hand missing but it doesn’t really bother me. The digipak folds out revealing the discs, the factory pictures on the left & right panels were used as backdrops during the BRITISH STEEL part of the concert and the booklet is housed inside the right panel. The booklet has the original album cover, plenty of pictures from the concert, liner notes from the show & tour and a 2 page essay from British writer Dave Shack.

Bottom Line:
Judas Priest is my second favorite band (KISS is first!) so buying this was a complete no-brainer. Add the fact that I saw the show in Mansifield, MA ten days prior to the recording and this turns out to be a cool tour souvenir for me. Diehards, collectors and completists are going to pick this package up but the casual fan might not because of the $30 price tag. The 2 disc version was retailing between $15-20 for the album and live DVD but I wanted that extra audio CD of the live show and the deluxe packaging. I like sets like this, for me it’s worth the money. If you don’t have BRITISH STEEL yet and you’ve never caught the band on tour then this is a cool package to have. My only minor complaints lies with the remastered album and the bonus section of the DVD. I understand the point of not remastering the proper album again but why not include some new bonus material? Also, if there is already a DVD out there on the making of BRITISH STEEL, why include a new interview on the same subject? Diehard fans like myself appreciate the effort but would rather have had more footage from the tour, backstage footage, etc.