Title - 'Defenders of the Faith: 30th Anniversary Edition'
Artist - Judas Priest
For those not in the heavy metal know, Judas Priest's Defenders of the Faith was the ninth studio album by the British heavy metal band in 1984 - some thirty years ago now, hence this just-released 30th Anniversary 3CD edition on Legacy Recordings.
Back then, the three (3) tracks that were released as singles were 'Freewheel Burning', 'Some Heads Are Gonna Roll' and 'Love Bites'. Indeed, that original album was actually certified Platinum by the RIAA.
Produced by Tom Allom, and sandwiched in between both Screaming for Vengeance (1982) and Turbo (1986), Defenders of the Faith was recorded at Ibiza Sound Studios, Ibiza, Spain and mixed from September to November 1983 at DB Recording Studios and Bayshore Recording Studios in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida.
The album was an immediate success, only going one spot below Screaming for Vengeance on the US Billboard 100 Albums Chart, but would sadly mark the apex of Judas Priest's commercial success. Some critics nonetheless objected to the lack of a standout single comparable to 'Breaking The Law' or 'You've Got Another Thing Coming' and the album's general similarity to Screaming For Vengeance.
But you can't please all the people all the time, as we know and sure, stylistically, Defenders of The Faith did not greatly depart from its predecessor, but that was the mold back then for JP. For metal even, perhaps. It contained the same mix of short, up-tempo metal anthems with stadium choruses, although progressive elements returned on some tracks such as 'The Sentinel'.
This incredible, truly incredible 3CD 30th Anniversary Remaster comprises the original ten-track album plus a 21 track concert (split up over two discs) recorded at Long Beach arena, CA in 1984 during their The May 5th Defenders Of The Faith Tour. The tracks performed in this live concert showcase both the then-new material from the group's ninth studio outing, and mix in the hits, such as: 'Metal Gods,' 'Breaking the Law,' 'Sinner,' 'Electric Eye,' 'The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown),' 'Victim of Changes,' and 'You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,' among many others.
Finally, the cover art by Doug Johnson (who also designed the Hellion in Screaming for Vengeance) depicts the Metallian, a ram-horned, tiger-like land assault creature with Gatling guns and tank tracks conceptualized by the band. The back cover contains a message: "Rising from darkness where Hell hath no mercy and the screams for vengeance echo on forever. Only those who keep the faith shall escape the wrath of the Metallian" - Master of all metal.