Well I came oh so close to seeing Priest open for Kiss back in 1979 but it was not meant to be(Priest cancelled) but right after I saw Kiss and seen Priests Unleashed In The East in the record store. I was hooked!
The cover is badass. Think about it I’m a young fella easily swayed at the time and here is this cool looking bands cover with a live shot. Mmmm looking back at it today I think this was done in the studio. The leather,smoke,dudes with long hairs playing guitars,Flying V !,double bass drums=heavy! man this is what I’m looking for. It’s like Kiss with the Alive 2 picture in the middle sleeve of the album with the full pyro going off . Now flip over the cover of Unleashed and there’s Rob Halford sitting still on the stage on a Harley Davidson no less. Plus the band is doing the selling point of it all,the POSE!! I’m converted….
Banzai Judas Priest…..
EXCITER- Priest kicks the doors off and just slam into heavy metal 101. Priest is on fire. They are taking no prisoners. This was the first song I ever heard with Tipton and Downing trying to riff out each other. No band I was listening to at the time(Cheap Trick,Kiss,ACDC) did that! Holy crap these guys are excellent and thanks Priest( enter sarcasm mode for a sec here ) for letting me sit as 12 yr old through John Cougar opening for Kiss!!
RUNNING WILD-just keeps the adrenaline going that’s left from Exciter. Halford says he demands respect in this song ! Yes sir Mr Halford I will shoe shine your metal boots for you! This is a little 3 minute rocker that well,reeks of cool!
THE SINNER- Tipton and Downing by now are warmed up and they let the fretboards do the talking on Sinner and of course Halford goes off on his operatic howl with Sinner and not only is my head blown but so are my Sears stereo speakers!
THE RIPPER- is the dark tune. Were now four songs in and ol Robbo and the boys are telling us about some crazed dude stalking around the streets. In other words don’t turn your back to anyone. It’s about YOU going into a dark alley and not coming back out! Got it?
GREEN MANALISHI(WITH THE TWO PRONGED CROWN)- Priest lays us out on the floor with this cover of a Fleetwood Mac song and basically Priestize it to there own! The guitars,drums and bass move the pace along and I still remember my mom asking me way back in time as she heard Halford with his operatic wailing and asked if he was a opera singer! My mom never ever said anything about my music but she must have been impressed by Halfords style to say the least !
DIAMONDS AND RUST- this is another cover song but Priest make it there own. Snappy Chrous that just grips you and doesn’t let go. Great Song and the musicianship is excellent!
VICTIM OF CHANGES- holy crap were getting heavy as were headed towards the end here. This is Priest when someone says give me one Priest song to define them. This is it ! Just all out heavy metal! The guitars are wickedly good and man for a while I would say Tipton/Downing were the best in the business until a couple of other fellows came along knocking on there throne !(Wanna guess who it was? Check back here this Wednesday !)
GENOCIDE- holy crap Rob and the boys are gonna gas me out! Seriously though I come from the land of Love Gun and Dr Love! And now I’m into Priest warfare with em!Geez even the titles are heavy! Cool tune wonder if they have ever played this track since?!
TYRANT-ends this album with basically Priest destroying everything in there wake! You want metal..we got metal…cool everything basically it’s Priest pillaging about! Great ending to a great album!
IN CONCLUSION- Next to the Kiss Alive albums and Cheap Tricks Budokan I had this was probably the fourth live album(some called it Unleashed in the studio) I ever owned and after listening to it it has owned me ever since! For further listening check out Memphis Live Vengeance 1982. That one as well is very good. Priest shifted my direction from some of the lighter sonics of the time (Kiss/ Cheap Trick) and took me into a heavier realm of listening!