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THE BEST OF JUDAS PRIEST

 

BAND MEMBERS:


Judas Priest L-R:
Ian Hill: Bass Guitar
K.K. Downing: Guitars
Rob Halford: Vocals
Glenn Tipton: Guitars, Piano
Alan Moore: Drums
John Hinch: Drums

ALBUM:

Rocka Rolla Never Satisfied Dying To Meet You
Diamonds And Rust
Victim Of Changes
Island Of Domination
Deceiver
The Ripper
*Epitaph *One For The Road

Insight Series Interview Of Former Judas Priest Drummer John Hinch:
*Halford Finds Priest
*Priest Finds Audience
*Dual Guitars
*Songwriting
*What's In A Name
*Gull Records
*Whiskey Woman/Victim of Changes
*Rob Halford

* - Extra tracks not on the original release

  • Release: February 1978 by Gull Records (UK Cat. # GULP 1026)
     

Produced by Rodger Bain, Jeffery Calvert, Geraint Hughes (aka Max West), and Judas Priest
Engineered by Vic Smith, Jeffery Calvert, Dave Charles, and Chris Tsangarides
Recorded at Olympic, Trident, and Island Studios, London June/July, 1974; Rockfield Studios, Whales, November/December, 1975
Mixed at Morgan Studios, London, December, 1975
"Diamonds And Rust" Produced by Jeffery Calvert, Geraint Hughes (aka: Max West), and Judas Priest
Engineered by Jeffery Calvert
Recorded at Morgan Studio, London, December, 1975
John Hinch interview recorded at PWL Studios, London and edited by Jon Gold at Dead Horse Studio (a division of Transluxe Records), Las Vegas, New Mexico, 1995

A year after Judas Priest walked out on their contract with Gull Records, David Howells released a "best of" album that the band never participated in nor approved of. The album compiled seven of the heavier and more catchy songs from the band's first two releases (though "Tyrant" is strangely left out) and introduced a new song in the form of the unreleased Gull recording of "Diamonds And Rust" from the Sad Wings Of Destiny sessions.

SINGLES:

  • Single: The Ripper/Never Satisfied/Victim Of Changes released in August, 1980 by Gull Records (UK Cat. # GULS 7112)

ARTWORK:

Logo Design: John Pasche
Sleeve Design: David Howells
Illustration: Paul Monteagle

 
"Tyrant" by Paul Monteagle

David Howells has been involved with record sleeve design for a great part of his life and for this "Best Of" release, he commissioned a young graphics school graduate named Paul Monteagle, who was building quite a reputation himself for his illustrations on record sleeves and book covers. I have heard the title of the illustration Chris Draper of the Ultimate Judas Priest site says the painting is titled "Tyrant". It is assumed the short fat armor plated metallic figure is the tyrant, while the tall figure is his right-hand man.

Strange then that David Howells does not include on this album the song for which the cover illustration seems to be patterned after!

CD REISSUES:

Gull Records was the first to issue The Best Of Judas Priest on CD (their only issue of a Priest album to CD) in 1987, and for the occasion they added two extra tracks ("Epitaph" and "One For The Road") to the disc.

A special extended version called The Best Of Judas Priest - Insight Series was issued on CD in 1995 by Transluxe Records, which included an additional interview with former drummer John Hinch, rather than extra music tracks.

The band has officially warned that the Insight Series should be avoided, as it contains:

     "...A mindless interview with John Hinch, an ex-drummer with Priest who we had to let go because he was musically inadequate. The interview is not only misleading but full of rubbish and false information. They however have cleverly track listed the back cover so it appears that other band members are involved and as though it contains new material."
- Glenn Tipton,
Judas Priest Discography

     "We believe that they're abusing the kids with...The Best Of Judas Priest and the repackaging. It's not fair for us to condone them, because its ripping the kids off. On the Insight Series CD, they include bullshit interviews with our first drummer John Hinch, who couldn't even play the drums, believe you me. But it's tracked to look like new songs. We don't get royalties off it, but the kids think we do."
- Glenn Tipton,
Goldmine Magazine, 1998

Below is a chart of the most noted of the reissue CDs (Thanks to Chris of the Judas Priest Collector's Page for CD listings and pictures). All have background hiss and feature very similar audio (as they all appear to use the RCA digital remaster), with variations only in volume and EQ. A Listening Guide is provided in the chart along with personal recommendations as an aid in finding a match to your personal preference. After finding the version you want, try searching for this rare title at the Global Electronic Music Marketplace:
THE BEST OF JUDAS PRIEST AT

Label Year Catalog No. Audio Notes Packaging Notes Listening Guide/Recommendations

Gull Records

UK

1987

GUCD 1026

 

Original issue to CD

Other information not known at this time

 

Original front cover with extra track notice added to lower right corner; generic back cover

Picture disc

Original track order plus 2 extra tracks ("Epitaph" and "One For The Road") are added

Review pending

RCA Corporation

USA

1988

4747-2-R

The copyright shows 1983, Gull Records. This is when RCA licensed the release, but the CD was produced by RCA in 1988

 

Digital Series Executive Producer: Don Wardell
Digital Producer: John Snyder (Rocka Rolla tracks) and
Susan Ruskin (Sad Wings Of Destiny tracks)


Digitally remastered by
Joe Lopes (Rocka Rolla tracks) and Rick Rowe (Sad Wings Of Destiny tracks)

 

Original front cover; generic back cover

"Rocka Rolla" and "Dying To Meet You" are swapped from the original track order, as are "The Ripper" and "Deceiver"

The initial remastering keeps this release sounding close to the original, but "flat" compared to later releases and there is a fair amount of hiss

Possum Records

1989

SPCD 1110

Information not known at this time Original front cover; generic back cover

"Rocka Rolla" and "Dying To Meet You" are swapped from the original track order, as are "The Ripper" and "Deceiver"

Review pending

Teichiku Records

Japan

1992

TECP-25386

Information not known at this time Original front and back graphics

OBI packaging

"Rocka Rolla" and "Dying To Meet You" are swapped from the original track order, as are "The Ripper" and "Deceiver" and the 2 extra Gull version tracks ("Epitaph" and "One For The Road") are added

 

Review pending

Transluxe Records

USA

1995

57802-2

 


Digitally mastered by Bob Fisher at Digital Domain


Different front cover layout, logo and title style; generic back cover

John Hinch Insight Series interview

Liner notes by Garry Sharpe-Young of the
Rock Detector

"Rocka Rolla" and "Dying To Meet You" are swapped from the original track list, as are "The Ripper" and "Deceiver"

Picture disc

 

Compression and scooped mids smoothes out the highs and adds better consistency, but creates a lack of volume and energy

Has a solid low end without getting boomy, but again, the hiss still remains

This is recommended for its consistent audio, but is not as energetic and faithful as some of the other releases

Teichiku Records

Japan

1996

TECW-25320

Information not known at this time

Different front cover layout, logo and title style; generic back cover

"Rocka Rolla" and "Dying To Meet You" are swapped from the original track order, as are "The Ripper" and "Deceiver" and the 2 extra Gull version tracks ("Epitaph" and "One For The Road"), as well as two more tracks ("Dreamer Deceiver" and "Cheater") and the bonus John Hinch Insight Series interview are added
 

 

Review pending

 

Not recommended. While you do get additional bonus tracks, having "Deceiver" at one part of the disc and then "Dreamer Deceiver" appear later on (the two are meant to be combined) does this version a disservice to the fans!

Koch Reissues

USA

2001

KOC-CD-8071

 

 

Dave Nives produced this reissue

Another popular version due to its relative availability on store shelves and perceived "fuller" sound

Original front graphics with altered layout; back cover unknown

Reissue package by Koch's Brad Wrolstad

Picture disc

 

I'll bend my rule here a little and recommend this version because as a "best of" collection, it is more appropriate to "modernize" the sound with enhanced high and low EQ. But while it is a "fuller" sound, there still remains the boominess to the low end and raspiness on the highs, along with the usual hiss

 


2002-2003
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