Rob Halford - lead vocals; K. K. Downing - guitar; Glenn Tipton - guitar; Ian Hill - bass; Dave Holland - drums
This lengthy 1984-set showcases metal icons, Judas Priest, at their mid-1980s best. Consisting of the classic British Steel line-up that included vocalist Rob Halford, guitarists KK Downing and Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Dave Holland, this recording was originally done for the King Biscuit Flower Hour and is essentially a greatest hits collection for the band, with some extra surprises.
Opening with "Love Bites," which segues into the metallic riff run, "Jawbreaker," Halford leads Priest through a blistering set of the music that would make them one of the most popular hard rock bands of all time. "Grinder," "Metal Gods," "Sinner," and "Freewheel Burning" are balanced with the band's biggest radio hits: "Breaking the Law," "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll," "Living After Midnight," "Hell Bent for Leather," and the show closer "You've Got Another Thing Coming."
Tipton and Downing make an effective guitar duo, especially on some of the bigger hits, and the rhythm section of bassist Ian Hill and former Trapeze drummer Dave Holland, are simply rock solid. It is no wonder when most fans think of the Golden Age of Judas Priest they often refer to the time when this recording was made.
The band began in Birmingham, England, in 1968, and had bands like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath as its contemporaries. It would take a few years before they found Rob Halford, who was the solid vocalist the original line-up lacked. After the success of 1980's British Steel album, the band would become one the biggest live metal acts in the world. However, by the end of the decade, the sound and look of metal was changing with bands like Metallica forging ahead with a mix of classic hard rock and thrash metal. Halford would leave Judas Priest in the early 1990s to pursue a solo career that never quite got off the ground commercially. The story of the band was fictionally portrayed in the blockbuster Hollywood film, Rock Star.
In 2004, Halford rejoined, and the band returned to the studio to do a new album in 2005.