The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





MARCH 10 2014



When you think of Judas Priest the albums that immediately spring to mind are those oft lauded classics 1980's 'British Steel' and 1982's 'Screaming for Vengeance' certainly hard acts to follow (as 1981’s Point of Entry proved I between those two).

‘Defenders of the Faith’ really marked the peak of Priest’s popularity and stylistically it is pretty much in the vein of predecessor ‘Screaming for Vengeance’, and even though only three singles were released including the second Bob Halligan Jr. song Priest recorded: 'Some Heads Are Gonna Roll' (Halligan had contributed ‘(Take These) Chains’ to previous album Screaming for Vengeance) there was so much great and lasting material on there. Take 'Freewheel Burning,' 'Jawbreaker,' 'The Sentinel,’ and 'Love Bites' out of a modern day Priest set at your peril! 

The resultant European and US tours packed the numbers in. The best thing about this re-release is that it comes with a complete Live show from that very tour recorded at the Long Beach Arena in California, on May 5, 1984. That 21 song concert (split up over two discs) is the best of both worlds – showcasing as it does almost all of the new material and classics such as 'Metal Gods,' 'Breaking the Law,' 'Electric Eye,' and 'You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,' along with the great Fleetwood Mac cover: 'The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown).'
Remastered by Tom Allom, the material has largely stood the test of time and songs like ‘Freewheel Burning’ will be forever etched in Metal history, but it’s tracks like ‘Love Bites’; ‘Jaw Breaker’ and the title track that have found their way back into current setlists.

It’s the live show though that really makes this package indispensable with Defenders tracks like ‘Desert Plains’; ‘Rock Hard Ride Free’, ‘The Sentinel’ and ‘Night Comes Down’ standing up nicely in a great set.
If you get to see the band live this year (and we caught them as part of the February Soundwave Festival in Australia) it’s worth noting that a number of the songs from 'Defenders' are being performed for the first time in years: and boy do they sound good.


CD1 'Defenders of the Faith' Re-Mastered 

1.   Freewheel Burning
2.   Jawbreaker
3.   Rock Hard Ride Free
4.   The Sentinel
5.   Love Bites
6.   Eat Me Alive
7.   Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
8.   Night Comes Down
9.   Heavy Duty
10. Defenders of the Faith

CD2 Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984 

1.   Love Bites
2.   Jawbreaker
3.   Grinder
4.   Metal Gods
5.   Breaking the Law
6.   Sinner
7.   Desert Plains
8.   Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
9.   The Sentinel 
10. Rock Hard Ride Free

CD3 Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984 

1.   Night Comes Down
2.  The Hellion
3.   Electric Eye
4.   Heavy Duty
5.   Defenders of the Faith
6.   Freewheel Burning 
7.   Victim of Changes
8.   The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)
9.   Living After Midnight
10. Hell Bent For Leather
11. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming



by Mark Rockpit