It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since the release of the JUDAS PRIEST classic "Screaming For Vengeance." I still remember seeing the album cover for the first time at the local music store... the nasty metallic-looking red, blue and black hawk with the multi-colored steaks emanating from behind its wings and razor sharp talons emblazoned upon a dark, red sun against a deep, yellow sky as if it was streaking to the ground to snatch up some unsuspecting prey... vicious! And while the original artwork has been changed and updated just a tad, the music hasn't which plain and simply is not only equally as aggressive but went on to define an entire generation of heavy metal bands and music and continues to till this day.
Believe it or not, this was actually the bands 8th studio album. They had scored some major success and kudos before with iconic tracks like "Breaking The Law," "Heading Out To The Highway," and what has become one of the all-time rock 'n roll anthems "Living After Midnight" as well as becoming known for their unlikely cover versions of tracks like FLEETWOOD MAC's "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown) or "Diamonds and Rust" originally recorded by Joan Baez. But what they did WAYYYY back in 1982 with "Screaming For Vengeance" was nothing short of amazing and (arguably) the best all-around album the band had ever or WOULD ever release.
What can you say about this CD that hasn't been said before? Every song... every lick pure "heavy metal" gold! From the unmistakable and astonishing vocals of the one and only Rob Halford to the dominant and puissant guitar licks and chords of Downing and Tipton to the penetrating and resounding rhythms of Holland and Hill... this CD has it all! It's no wonder it has gone down in history as one of the most influential heavy metal albums of all time... just look at the tracks! "Electric Eye," "Riding On The Wind," the title track "Screaming For Vengeance," yet another timeless anthem in "You've Got Another Thing Coming," "Fever," "Devil's Child," ... need I go on?
As I said... the original release ALONE had it all, but what it didn't have is the addition of 5 "live" versions of songs off the release, an additional killer studio cut called "Prisoner of Your Eyes," and a BONUS DVD with a never-before seen concert recorded at the US Festival at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernadino, California back in 1983. What an incredible performance which included not only songs from "Screaming For Vengeance" but other JUDAS PRIEST essentials like "Heading Out To The Highway," "Metal Gods," "Breaking The Law," "Living After Midnight," "Victim Of Changes" and the show-ending "Hell Bent For Leather." Whew... now that's enough to satisfy any metal fan's taste for VENGEANCE!
While I have never been a huge fan of live AUDIO recordings alone, I always HAVE been a fan of re-releases because I believe they have the opportunity of reaching a whole new generation of fans as well as giving us "older" disciples a chance to relive the initial experience and the 30th Anniversary Edition of JUDAS PREIST's "Screaming For Vengeance" succeeds in doing just that. This is an absolute MUST have for any fan of the genre to own one of the quintessential albums of the decade.