"From an unknown land and through distant skies came a winged warrior. Nothing remained sacred, no one was safe from the Hellion as it uttered its battle cry screaming for vengeance." Judas Priest used that quote on the cover of their 1982 release Screaming for Vengeance and although the words were swaddled in myth and mystery, they turned out to ring true as the band blew the metal scene wide open, indeed with a vengeance. After years of building a rabid fan base in the metal underground Priest finally broke onto American radio in the early '80s with hits "Breaking the Law," "Living After Midnight" and "Heading Out To the Highway;" now it was time to secure their rightful place as kings of melodic metal and Screaming for Vengeance sealed the deal. The band was so cocky that the album's massive hit single, "You've Got Another Thing Coming," even laid out their plans for world domination; "Out there is a fortune waiting to be had/If you think I'd let it go you're mad " And for the rest of the decade Rob Halford's piercing shriek ruled the airwaves and the arenas. No wonder then that this special commemorative edition of Screaming for Vengeance has been released on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. The double-disc set contains the original album appended with reprisals of five of the album's cuts performed live, including the title cut, "You've Got Another Thing Coming" and favorite "Electric Eye" along with additional studio cut "Prisoner of Your Eyes." But here's what about this set will have Priest fans soiling their leather pants: The second disc is a DVD holding a never-before-released concert from 1983. And not just any old concert, but an US Festival show performed before 300,000 fans. The band clearly feeds off the energy of the masses as they begin the show with "Electric Eye" and the howling "Riding on the Wind" from Screaming before launching into what at the time was basically a set of greatest hits like "Heading Out To the Highway" and "Breaking the Law" along with favorite album cuts like "Metal Gods" from British Steel and "Victim of Changes" from Sad Wings of Destiny. The band's two famous cover songs are here too; Fleetwood Mac's "The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)" and the most unlikely of metal covers ever, Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust." After whipping the crowd into a frenzy with final number "You've Got Another Thing Coming" the band leaves the stage but returns for an encore of "Hell Bent For Leather" with Halford riding his Harley out onto the stage to begin the song. Maybe not the best Priest show ever but certainly a very good one, filmed during daylight hours so there's no reliance on a fancy light show or pyrotechnics --- just non-stop crowd-pleasing metal. The show and this entire package make for a great snapshot of the era and of one of the groups that helped make the era so special. To paraphrase "You've Got Another Thing Coming;" if you let it go you're mad.
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance 30th Anniversary Edition
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