Celebrating 30 years of heavy metal majesty and
grandeur since the release of their debut album in 1974, METALOGY opens the book
on the most extensive study of Judas Priest ever undertaken. Coinciding with the
band's hotly anticipated reunion on tour this summer, their first
career-spanning box set is comprised of 4 CDs containing more than 5 hours of
music - 65 tracks selected from their recordings on the Gull, Columbia,
CBS/U.K., CMC International, and Atlantic labels from 1974 to 2001.
The box set's fifth bonus disc marks the DVD premiere of JUDAS PRIEST - LIVE,
their first full-length long-form concert video of 1983, out-of-print for more
than a decade. Assembled with the full participation of the band - lead singer
Rob Halford, lead guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill,
and drummer Scott Travis - METALOGY will arrive in stores May 11th on
Columbia/Legacy, a division of Sony Music. The release precedes Halford's
reunion with his bandmates for their first performances together in 12 years -
beginning in America with two months of "U.S. Ozzfest 2004" dates from July 10th
through September 4th.
Housed in leather and festooned in glorious metal spikes - Judas Priest
trademarks - METALOGY is the monument this band so richly deserves. Featured are
album tracks, nearly every single to reach the charts in the U.S. and their
native U.K., plus non-album commercial and promotional single B-sides, 9 live
performances, and a total of 4 previously unreleased tracks. Among the latter is
a rare 1985 demo from the TURBO album sessions, "Heart Of a Lion," subsequently
recorded and released by both Travis' band Racer X and Halford's self-titled
solo band - but never heard before as done by the band.
Providing the documentation that makes METALOGY the quintessential Judas Priest
study project are the liner notes by journalist and drummer Bryan Reesman. A
newly commissioned 5,000 word essay, entitled "Judas Priest: Hell Bent Forever,"
examines every phase of the band's development, starting with their formation by
Hill and Downing in the British midlands, circa 1971. Reesman also offers a
year-by-year chronology covering 1973 to 2003, whose entries often contain
supplemental details not included in the liner notes essay.
"Influential, innovative, and exuberant in expression, they are the true Metal
Gods who have been as unwavering in their desire to expand the boundaries of
their music as they have been in crossing international borders to deliver it to
their disciples," writes Reesman, who is also known for his writing in MIX
magazine, Keyboard, Goldmine, Guitar Player, and other publications.
The lion's share of the material (all but 7 of the tracks) on METALOGY derives
from the archives of Columbia (and CBS/U.K.), for whom Judas Priest recorded and
released 10 studio albums, two live albums, and nearly three dozen singles
between 1977 and 1991. After paying homage to the band's first two LPs on the
Gull label (1974's ROCKA ROLLA and 1976's SAD WINGS OF DESTINY), the program
then moves into a later live version of "Victim Of Changes" (a tune from SAD
WINGS). Live versions then follow of "Diamonds & Rust" (their jaw-dropping
treatment of the Joan Baez paean to Bob Dylan) and "Starbreaker," both songs
heard on Judas Priest's first Columbia LP, 1977's SIN AFTER SIN.
This sets the pattern for most of the contents of the first three CDs, as cuts
from each subsequent album - single releases, key tracks, band and fan favorites
- are complemented by a live version of at least one song from the album:
STAINED CLASS (1978), HELL BENT FOR LEATHER (1979), BRITISH STEEL (1980, their
first breakthrough platinum-selling album, with "Living After Midnight" and
"Breaking the Law"), POINT OF ENTRY (1981, with "Heading Out to the Highway" and
"Hot Rockin'"), SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE (1982, their platinum MTV-era triumph,
with "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"), DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH (1984, with
"Some Heads Are Gonna Roll"), and TURBO (1986, with "Turbo Lover" and "Locked
Disc four wraps up Judas Priest's Columbia years with a total of 10 cuts drawn
from RAM IT DOWN (1988) and PAINKILLER (1990, featuring their final Columbia
single, "A Touch Of Evil," released in '91). Halford departed in 1992 and a long
hiatus for Judas Priest ensued. This CD picks up the action in '97, when they
finally discovered a suitable replacement for Halford: Tim "Ripper" Owens, who'd
fronted a Judas Priest tribute band called British Steel (and another metal
outfit, Winter's Bane).
This edition of Judas Priest re-emerged with a new album that year on the
metal-heavy CMC International label, JUGULATOR ("Jugulator," Bloodstained").
After a live double-CD of their tour the following year, '98 LIVE MELTDOWN, the
Owens-fronted lineup released one more studio album together in 2001 on Atlantic
Records. The two representative tracks from DEMOLITION ("Machine Man," "Feed On
Me") are the final cuts on the CD portion of METALOGY.
The box set doesn't stop there, however. First released on VHS in 1983, JUDAS
PRIEST - LIVE commemorated the 6-month North American tour that followed the
summer '82 release of SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE, their most successful album. The
video concert was filmed December 12, 1982 at Mid South Coliseum in Memphis. The
DVD includes brand new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes and serves to
reaffirm the band's place at the pinnacle of the metal hierarchy.
- Sony Music,
With both Priest and Rob Halford on recent hiatus from touring and recording,
it was realized that they were fast approaching 30-years since they released
their first recording, ROCKA ROLLA. It was time to finally meet with Rob Halford
for the first time in 12 years to discuss a new boxset to celebrate the legacy:
few weeks ago, all of us plus Jayne Andrews were at my house for a cup of
tea. Jayne brought up the boxset for the 30th anniversary of Judas Priest.
We were talking about the tracklists and this and that..."
- Rob Halford, Rock Hard magazine,
"One of the first
things planned in moving forward is a retro box set and it
should be very interesting because the idea is to take Priest right from the
very early days through to possibly even the DEMOLITION album; I'm not sure
whether they are going to do that, I'm not sure yet. But it's got some very
interesting tracks on there - very unusual choice of tracks, because we
wanted the guys who thought of the retro box set to put it together, instead
of us suggesting the track list; we've left it to them and they've come up
with their own ideas as to what should be on there. I think it's going to be
great. It's past the blueprint stage, but there's still a few things that
I'm not sure that are going to be on there, but I think it's going to be
really interesting. There are some rarities on there - exactly what, I'm not
sure, so we'll have to just wait a little bit and then I'm sure they'll tell
everybody what the final plan is..."
- Glenn Tipton, Friday Night Rocks (Eddie Trunk), August 8, 2003
"On the upcoming box set, there's a
collection of live tracks that have never been released before, I
mean songs that you know of, but again it's all about where they were done.
I mean, 'Victim Of Changes' is different every single time it's played. Even
if it's been played hundreds and hundreds of times, it's just there are
inflections of difference on every performance.
So, I think that we're looking to get some
live and rare kinds of cuts from the live aspect. And it's the
running order, it's the sequence of presentation and everything else,
and I think there will be a DVD involved,
so it is a particularly unique moment to present to people.
It's not going to be like the remasters, you
know; it's a whole different presentation. I think that'll be kind of a
unique moment in celebrating the recording history of the band
from ROCKA ROLLA to JUGULATOR and DEMOLITION
and then putting in all the other bits and pieces that make it special."
- Rob Halford,
BW&BK, August 19, 2003
"The box set was a lot of
fun to put together - a nice little thing for the mantlepiece."
- K.K. Downing, Guitar World, September
"The day we were presented
with the prospect of doing the METALOGY box set was, in fact, the very
day we decided on the reunion. One had nothing to do with the other, but
they came about simultaneously, so I think the synchronicity of all that
speaks for itself."
- Rob Halford, Guitar World, September 2004
"This is the first time that the band has had time to put together a box set
in a career that has spanned thirty years now. I guess because we have never
done it and that there is such a great observation of Priest, especially
with the reunification, and there was a feeling from the label, fans as
well, it would be great for Priest to have a retrospective box set. It is
celebrating thirty years of the band being together and making metal. It is
just letting people having the opportunity to run through kind of a
chronological history of the bands recordings from ROCKA ROLLA to the last
pieces of work that we did. It was a lot of fun picking out these songs of
course. We have recorded close to 300 songs over the years, so it was a real
task to hone in on the highlights and I think we have done that. For the
longtime Priest fans and the newer ones that want to get into the band, here
is a great opportunity to do that with the box set.
"Well, I suppose it could even prime the fans to want
to go back and buy the entire remastered catalogue - that would be a great
thing to happen if they decided to do that. We did do the remastering series
of the whole Sony catalogue and just a few weeks before the box set we did
the ELECTRIC EYE DVD, which had a lot of stuff that before that has not been
on a DVD before. It was great because most of that stuff had vanished you
"For METALOGY, we all got together and we wanted to get
everybody’s feelings and input so it would be a democratic process.
Everything we do in Priest is brought about by agreeing and looking for the
best ways to bring the band forward in new dimensions, which is what the box
set was all about. "We have a great relationship with Sony and as you know
we just resigned with them recently and they know about our history, they
know that we are very precise, very tenacious with our history with Judas
Priest. It is not put forward with anything less than 100% perfection; they
let us get on with our job. It was a combined effort, they put their ideas
forward as well."
- Rob Halford,
Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004
Judas Priest has had one of the strongest legacies in heavy metal.
According to Sony Music, Judas Priest have sold 20 million albums
worldwide through their career, though Jayne Andrews puts the figure
"Judas Priest has reigned
supreme for 30 years as the most influential and commercially successful pure
heavy metal band, and the masters are being honored with the career-spanning,
four-CD, 65-track box set METALOGY scheduled for release on May 11, 2004, by
Sony Music/Legacy Recordings. The worldwide reverence for Judas Priest has
resulted in sales of 20 million albums and countless sold-out concerts."
"I'm afraid we can't give out sales figures - all I can say is that Judas Priest
have sold in excess of 30 million albums worldwide."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for Judas Priest, October 22, 2003
The collection of tracks
was compiled by Judas Priest, Jayne Andrews, Bruce Dickinson and John Jackson.
Bruce Dickinson is a producer for Sony/Legacy who has produced projects for
Blue Öyster Cult, The Psychedelic Furs,
Ted Nugent and Cheap Trick, and has been a Compilation Producer for quite a few
"Various Artist" compilations. Actor Christopher Walken even played the famed
producer in a skit on Saturday Night Live!
Jon Astley was called once again for the remastering, only this time, he was
assisted by noted Sony remaster producer Vic Anesini. The overall quality of the
audio on METALOGY surpasses THE RE-MASTERS, with the DEFENDERS tracks coming
from the correct channels and the SCREAMING tracks no longer suffering from
previous noise reduction problems.
Three of the tracks ("Never
Satisfied", "Deceiver" and "Tyrant") are from the band's first label, Gull
Records, and these tracks had to be purchased from Gull Entertainments for use
only in the METALOGY package:
"For your information the Gull tracks will
only be licensed. Unfortunately nothing will change - the band will not get
anything for them but Sony will just license them for use in this boxset."
- Jayne Andrews, October 2003
Many of the live tracks are B-sides to singles and
not-for-sale promos released by CBS and Columbia Records over the years, so most
of these have never been officially put to CD by the band before. Others have
never been released before apart from special industry promos and live
The live track sources are as follows:
Victim Of Changes (From UNLEASHED IN THE EAST): 1979, Tokyo,
Diamonds And Rust (First time on CD; B-side to "You've Got
Another Thing Comin' US single, Columbia 18 03168): July 1981, Palladium, New
York Produced by
Patrick M. Griffith and Kevin Kalunian for GK
Starbreaker (First time on CD; B-side to "Take On The World"
UK 12" single, CBS 12-6915): 1978, Cleveland, Ohio. While this was on the
Sony/Epic CD PRIEST, LIVE & RARE, it was never officially put to CD by Priest
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown) (Previously
July 1981, Palladium, New York Produced by
Patrick M. Griffith and Kevin Kalunian for GK Productions
Breaking The Law (First time on CD; B-side to "The Green
Manalishi" UK 12" single and "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll" US single,
Columbia 38 04371): May 1983, US Festival, San Bernardino, California.
While this was on the Sony/Epic CD PRIEST, LIVE & RARE, it was never officially
put to CD by Priest until now
Grinder (Previously unreleased): May 1986, Long Beach,
California (This is incorrect, as the song was previously released on the
BRITISH STEEL RE-MASTER and was from May 5, 1984, Long Beach, California; ABC
Rock Network broadcast)
Hot Rockin' (First time on CD; "Hot Rockin' " US 12" promo
only, Columbia AS 990): 1981, Chicago, Illinois
The Hellion/Electric Eye (First time on CD; US 12" promo
only, Columbia 1603): September 1982, San Antonio, Texas
(King Biscuit broadcast)
Love Bites (Previously unreleased): 1986, St. Louis, Missouri
(King Biscuit broadcast)
Because Sony owns the rights to these rare recordings and
desires to work with the band, an official release the band is proud to add to
their catalog was able to be put together for the fans, old and new.
"I am in the
process of discussing this project with Sony, but you should also be aware
that as they own the product they are perfectly within their rights to
release whatever they want from the back catalogue. Naturally, they prefer
to work with us on this sort of thing."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for Judas Priest, August
"METALOGY came about from
Sony/Legacy - it was their baby, but they were good enough to ask for our
- Glenn Tipton, Guitar World, September
But such a working relationship between band and label has
not always been the case:
"I'm afraid we have a problem with so many
people who worked with the band in the past selling material that they either
don't own or have no right to sell; for example, (early manager) Dave Corke
selling white labels of various Priest tracks, etc. None of these people are our
friends! If a band is signed to a record label when they record anything
(including demos) then that label owns the material, not someone who works for
an agency or even a manager!
"I'm afraid the Gull situation is also a big bone of
contention for us. They keep re-packaging and re-releasing those first two
albums under different titles so fans think it is new product and we don't get a
say in what they do or a penny!"
- Jayne Andrews, October 2003
The DVD is a vast improvement over the original VHS and the
VHS reissues Sony put out in 1998. The picture is clear and sharp and the audio
is pristine. You can even hear Dave Holland singing backing vocals on "Metal
Gods" and "Breaking The Law"! A well-done 5.1 surround sound mix was also
provided by Sony Studio engineer Thom Cadley.
"JUDAS PRIEST - LIVE was the only complete show that we
had from all of the performances that we had. We feel that there is a lot of
history in that performance, we feel that it was a very special show, as
Priest was breaking big then in the States. It was one of those special
nights in Memphis and we decided to bring it forward again because it has
been out of print. It was very difficult to
locate the master tapes and when we did find them we had to treat them very
delicately as they were in a state of decay. I do not recall where they were
at; we had our people in the London offices and N.Y. doing research, as
these things get lost. We also had to do some magic tricks to the tape to
make sure it was right before we ran it into the computer. We were happy to
have it as part of the box set. We feel it was an important, vital part of
the bands career."
- Rob Halford,
Metal Exiles, July 25, 2004
One interesting development was the progression from fan demand to finished
product when it came to the JUDAS PRIEST - LIVE DVD, after the JUDAS
PRIEST...LIVE! how had been released as part of the ELECTRIC EYE DVD only a
short time before:
"At the moment Sony have no plans to re-release the JUDAS PRIEST
- LIVE [Memphis '82] video on to DVD. We are very busy on putting together
the one due for release in November, however at some later stage I'm sure
we'll work with Sony to release it on DVD!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator,
Judas Priest Noticeboard, October 1, 2003
"As I have said before, there is more footage of Judas Priest that may
be released at a later stage - we can't get everything out all in one go!!
Enjoy ELECTRIC EYE when it's released and I'll work with Sony and getting
more out later!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator,
Judas Priest Noticeboard, October 3, 2003
"I'm sure we'll release JUDAS PRIEST
- LIVE at some stage in the near future -
we just can't get everything out in one go!!"
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator,
Judas Priest Noticeboard, October 17, 2003
Well, thankfully the show did get included on DVD for the first time as part
of METALOGY, though it is only included in the initial batch as a limited-time
Some of the boxes have manufacturing defects such as stud strips that are
crooked and even some where the studs are not one solid piece but rather two
pieces with a gap between them!
The credits for the live version of "Grinder" show it as a previously
unreleased track, but that is incorrect, as it is the same version found on the
BRITISH STEEL RE-MASTER. The credits also claim it was from Long Beach, May
1986... While they got "Long Beach" and "May" right, the year was actually
Dennis MacKay is credited as the producer for "Better By You, Better Than
Me", when it was actually produced by James Guthrie!
On the DVD version of "Desert Plains", Glenn's first solo split is not the
same lead as Glenn played on the original filming. The hand/finger movements, as
well as the guitar tone, do not match the video.
Sony Music Entertainment Columbia/Legacy
(UK Cat. # CSK 58364 Promo only)
Heart Of A Lion (Demo)
The Green Manalishi (Live)
Breaking The Law (Live)
Heading Out To The Highway
Screaming For Vengeance
You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Ram It Down
Sony Music was giving away a limited number of these samplers with
purchases of METALOGY placed through the Sony Music website.