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PRIEST...LIVE!

     "Our upcoming live album will be a double album, and it will hopefully be released in May of next year. We are recording gigs everywhere right now, with a few more to be added in Europe and Japan. It'll basically be a live album, but it will also include songs, Judas Priest songs, the audience have never heard before, because we felt we wanted to give the kids something else, something they haven't already bought. There will be at least two, three or maybe even four tracks they've never heard before - tracks from the TURBO album, but on the U.S. tour, we threw a new song into the set almost every night. Of course, you can't do too many new songs every night as they've never heard it..."
- Glenn Tipton, Atlantis Online, May 7, 1986

BAND MEMBERS:


Judas Priest L-R:
Rob Halford: Lead Vocals
Glenn Tipton: Lead Guitars
K.K. Downing: Lead Guitars
Ian Hill: Bass Guitar
Dave Holland: Drums
 

Management: Bill Curbishley, Trinifold Management

ALBUM:

Out in the Cold Heading Out To The Highway Metal Gods Breaking The Law
Love Bites
Some Heads Are Gonna Roll The Sentinel Private Property
Rock You All Around The World
The Hellion/Electric Eye Turbo Lover
Freewheel Burning
Parental Guidance Living After Midnight
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

RE-MASTERS Series Bonus tracks:
Screaming For Vengeance
Rock Hard, Ride Free
Hell Bent For Leather

  • Released June 1987 (CD released July 7, 1987) by CBS Inc. (UK Cat. # 450639), Columbia Records (US Cat. # 40794) and
    Epic/Sony Music Group (Japan Cat. # 38.3P-827-8)
  • THE RE-MASTERS UK/European CD released February 21, 2002 by Sony Music/Columbia Records (Cat. # 502136)
  • THE RE-MASTERS North American CD March 19, 2002 by Sony Music/Legacy Records (Cat. # CK 86378)

Produced by Tom Allom
Engineered by Patrice Wilkison Levinsohn
Assistant Engineer: Charles Dye
Recorded live at the Omni, Atlanta, Georgia, June 20,1986 and Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas, June 27, 1986, U.S.A.
Recording entirely on Sony Digital tape machines
Mixed at Criteria Recording Studios, Coconut Groves, Miami, Florida U.S.A.
Mastered by Mike Fuller, Miami, Florida U.S.A.

Certification: RIAA Gold October 29, 2001
Chart position: UK #47; Billboard 200 #38

SINGLES:

  • You've Got Another Thing Comin' (edit)/You've Got Another Thing Comin'/Rock You All Around The World/Turbo Lover/Freewheel Burning (all tracks from PRIEST...LIVE!) released 1987 by Columbia Records (US Cat. # CIO70013)

ARTWORK:

Album package design by Icon, London
Art direction by Richard Evans
Photography by Neil Zlozower

 

Art director Richard Evans has been credited with art direction, graphic design and booklet design for albums by The Who, Al Dimeola, Paul McCartney, The Beach Boys and UFO, among others.

For PRIEST...LIVE!, all the elements that went into a good Priest album cover were stripped away. Instead of a live picture of the band, or even a fantasy creature, Evans sketched the hands of fans pointing in adoration towards the stage and used a decidedly non-metal looking brown as the primary color of choice, while the famous logo that first appeared on STAINED CLASS was reduced to mere initials. Fans referred to the design as "cheesy" at best - it was too simple, uninspired, and a complete sabotage of all things Priest, leaving the fans feeling betrayed yet once again.

PROMO VIDEOS:

  • Parental Guidance

Director: Wayne Isham

Filmed by director Wayne Isham during the Fuel For Life tour, this promo video for both Turbo and Priest...Live! combines footage from the Dallas show with other footage (most likely from the San Antonio filming mentioned below in the Video section). The Turbo studio soundtrack was used along with a live audience overdub.

AUDIO:

     "To be honest, releasing live albums is a bit of a waste of time because only the diehard fans will go out and buy them. I think the Scorpions made a big mistake with their Worldwide Live record. They did a world tour coming off a big album, with a lot of exposure. To just release a live album with more or less the same songs was not enough. They should have given the kids something extra. Our live album could be a double record set with one live record and one studio recording for the price of a single disc. That's what we wanted to do with Turbo. If we don't do that then we'll put some unreleased tracks on there. It's going to be a package rather than just a live version that sounds like the studio version. I think it's a chance missed for any band if they pass up the opportunity to put a couple of songs on there that stand a chance of getting radio play. Obviously you can do a lot more with a compact disc or with a cassette. We're up to 60% sales in cassettes. Knowing that kids play us in the car influences our writing to come with songs that feel like 'Turbo Lover' and 'Locked In'. We're the kind of band you want to play on the way there, not on the trip home."
- K.K. Downing, GUITAR, April 1987

A few short months after K.K. made that statement, the double album Priest...Live! was released, but the package did not follow K.K.'s plans. In fact, just as the Scorpions had done, Priest had mixed a couple of well-performed and well-recorded shows from their world tour, but there were no new studio recordings or even rare unreleased tracks. It seems CBS Records once again had a different vision than Priest, but the label did put out a companion video to sweeten the pot.

The start of 1987 had been rather uneventful, as the band members took time off to re-gather their own bit of "fuel for life", but by May, Priest members reconvened to sort through live recordings made at the Dallas and Atlanta shows and mix a new live album of Priest favorites while the memories were still fresh. It was Priest's second official live album (one that manager Bill Curbishley had promised they could make as a follow-up to their 10th studio album), coming a full 5 studio albums after their first live album, the highly acclaimed Unleashed In The East.

By now, Tom Allom was the constant man at the production helm and he worked with the band to sift through the material and mix it down at Miami's Criteria Studios. Tom had indeed become quite a fun fixture in the band: During the mixing sessions, a "well-oiled" Tom Allom sat at the piano and played "Freewheel Burning" while making faces and singing "Freewheel Gurning" (the art of making faces)! But where the fun ended, the work began, and the first task was to select the proper tracks to mix from the two shows. As this was going to be Priest's second official live album (one that manager Bill Curbishley had promised they could make as a follow-up to their 10th studio album), coming a full 5 studio albums after their first live album, the highly acclaimed Unleashed In The East, it was decided that to avoid giving the fans repeat songs, the album version would only include their post-1979 material. Besides, Priest...Live! was the live representation of a new and evolving era of Judas Priest in the digital '80s and the MTV/video age. But one such early number did make a cameo appearance: Glenn's intro feedback guitar and Rob's revved-up Harley from "Hell Bent For Leather" were mixed in as the intro to "Freewheel Burning"...

The live setting actually lended a stronger quality to the Turbo tracks performed, but unfortunately, it was the band's commercial image and approach to heavy metal that kept the hard-core faithful from fully supporting Priest...Live! The release of Turbo had brought with it platinum sales and a new crop of fans to the tour (a large number of whom were female, as K.K. was proud to observe!) and the media, radio and network outlets were hyping up this new wave of accessible metal across the board. Yet in spite of the highly successful and popular Fuel For Life tour in '86, by the following year, the "new" crop of fans - jock-rockers and fem-fatales looking for a good song to party and make out to - would soon discover that the sounds of Bon Jovi (who opened for Priest on the Canadian leg of the tour) and the like were a better fit to become this crowd's "fuel for life". Once those "fans" abandoned ship, only a few converts remained, and the die-hard defenders of the faith had felt betrayed; to them, Priest had become a hair-metal glam sell out, and only bands like Metallica were left  to deliver the goods and rescue metal from the corporate mis-direction it had taken. Priest...Live! charted the worst of any Priest album in the UK and it held one of the lowest chart positions for a Priest record in the US as well. It was also the first album to not certify platinum since 1981's Point Of Entry. But low charting and poor sales were not uncommon for a double-live album anyway, and in spite of the backlash from the hard core fans, Priest...Live! remains a strong album for many others and one of the best live albums to be made in the '80s.

VIDEO:
 


Virgin Music Video VHS 1987 (UK Cat. # VVD 233)
CBS/FOX Video Music VHS (US Cat. #  5134)
CBS Music Video Enterprises Laser Disc (Japan Cat. # ESLU 93)
Filmed at Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas June 27, 1986
Some clips were also taken from the San Antonio Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas June 23, 1986
Directed by: Wayne Isham
Produced by: Curt Marvis

RIAA certified Gold February 17, 1988

From 1985 to 1994 Curt Marvis served as CEO of The Company, an award winning and highly successful privately held production company in Los Angeles. During this time, he and his partner, Director Wayne Isham, produced many of the most popular and critically acclaimed videos in the history of MTV. Curt was awarded in 1991 with MTV's Video Vanguard Award honoring lifetime achievement in his work.  Marvis is a graduate with honors of UCLA with a BFA in Motion Picture and Television Production and is currently the CEO of CinemaNow.

The Priest...Live! film was the second official live concert home video release from Judas Priest, and the first offered as a companion to an album. And although the album's sales had suffered, the video did quite well, nearly certifying platinum.

The show's intro is considered one of the most dynamic for Priest, and is captured well on video: As the familiar intro to "Out In The Cold" begins and the guitarists burst out on stage, something becomes immediately obvious - Rob Halford is nowhere to be seen! The crowd cheers louder as Rob's voice comes over the P.A. when the first verse begins, but there's still no sight of the Metal God. On the video, we see something the fans could not - Rob is ascending the back-stage stairs while singing the verse. An even louder cheer goes up (and so do the arm hairs and goose bumps) as Rob appears from behind the stage and the emotion and adrenaline come into full swing! The concert experience is captured well on video and the band seems larger-than-life as planned. Indeed, seeing is believing! The video has been an out-of-print legend that outshines the album, but is now reissued on DVD in 5.1 surround audio for the first time in over a decade as part of Sony Entertainment's ELECTRIC EYE DVD:


2003 Sony Music Entertainment/Columbia
Music Video (UK Cat. # 2021939,

US Cat. # CVD 51411)

Throughout the video, K.K. Downing wears a pair of shades and it has sparked many speculations as to why, but the answer does not live up to the infamous false rumors of hiding his eyes due to drug and alcohol abuse:

     "K.K. got hit by a coin from someone in the audience and it gave him a very swollen eye, so he wore the shades to disguise it."
- Jayne Andrews, Management Co-ordinator for Judas Priest, 2002

     "K.K. had some new strings put on his guitar but the wires were not cut at the headstock. Rob bumped into K.K. during rehearsal and the wires poked him in the eye. K.K. was seeing-impaired and the bright lights hurt his eyes so bad he couldn't see during the show. Since the show was being video-taped, he asked one of the road crew to go out and find a big pair of sunglasses. Unfortunately, the ones they picked were quite unfashionable, but time was running out and the show had to go on!"
- Deb, fan, 2001

The outfits are glitzy, the Harley has been "Frankenstein-ed" into an apocalyptic ROAD WARRIOR-like machine out of the Turbo videos and a giant hydraulic robot interacts with the band from behind. All-in-all, it was Priest's most elaborate production to date and made for a great show at a time when over-the-top was the rule of the MTV day!

     "I think we updated the Priest image because it was a case of feeling that we were becoming a bit animated in our look. Although we felt that the image was strong and powerful, and actually set certain standards for metal, we almost felt that our identity was becoming caught up in the rest of everything else that was going on...We haven't exactly done away with all the whips and chains, but, to a certain extent, they've had their day with Judas Priest and the way we look now is probably more representative of the way this band is at this particular point in time. We've not lost sight of what we stand for, by any means. It's simply that we believe that it's as much refreshing for us as it is for the audience to see us with a slightly different look. When people see us on this tour, I don't think they'll consider our image to be any less powerful or strong than it's ever been."
- Rob Halford, Turbo Fax, 1986

     "It was a great production. That was one of the reasons we used the tape. We wanted to portray a full Priest production show in all its glory. And that was one of the best tours, with the robot, lights and lasers."
- Ian Hill, Hardradio, December 2003

The show featured prominently from the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, but as one fan shares, the cameras were also rolling a few nights earlier in San Antonio:

     "I was fortunate to catch the 'Heavy-weight Kings' of that era in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas. I remember that show candidly. One thing that immediately caught my attention was the camera crew on stage with the mighty Priest that night. After a few songs into the set list, Rob addressed the crowd that a live video recording of the concert was in the works. From what I remember, his exact words were, 'We could have filmed this anywhere in the world, but we said no, we want to do it in San Antonio.' That was followed by a haunting roar from the crowd that after many concerts, I have not heard a crowd match. So why did Judas Priest opt the San Antonio show in favor of Dallas? In observing the crowd shots from the ELECTRIC EYE DVD, there are some very short clips of the Convention Center Arena crowd in San Antonio, but that question has been in my mind for years with no answer or clue as to why the Priest decided to go with Dallas."
- Anthony Bernal, eyewitness, Judas Priest Noticeboard, December 28, 2003

LEAD BREAKS:

Out in the Cold: Lead: split - Glenn/KK
Heading Out To The Highway:
Lead: split into 3 parts - KK/Glenn/Glenn & KK harmonizing together
Metal Gods:
Lead: Glenn
Breaking The Law:
Lead: KK
Love Bites:
1st lead: Glenn; 2nd lead: Glenn & KK harmonizing together
Some Heads Are Gonna Roll:
Lead: split - Glenn/KK
The Sentinel:
Lead: split into 7 parts - Glenn/KK/Glenn/KK/Glenn/KK/Glenn & KK harmonizing together
Private Property:
Lead: Glenn
Rock You All Around The World:
Lead: Glenn
Electric Eye:
Lead: Glenn
Turbo Lover:
Lead: Glenn
Freewheel Burning:
Lead: Glenn
Parental Guidance:
Lead: split - Glenn/KK
Living After Midnight:
Lead: Glenn
You've Got Another Thing Comin':
Lead: Glenn
Bonus Tracks:

Screaming For Vengeance:
Lead: split into 3 parts  - KK/Glenn/Glenn & KK harmonizing together
Rock Hard, Ride Free:
Intro: Glenn; 1st lead: Glenn & KK harmonizing; 2nd lead: split - KK/Glenn; final lead: Glenn & KK harmonizing together
Hell Bent For Leather:
Lead: Glenn

Lead breaks are taken from the Priest...Live! Re-Master liner notes


2002-2003
Steel & Leather Productions, U.S.A.