Album Reviews

Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith (30th Anniversary) Review


Released by: Columbia/Legacy

Genre: Heavy Metal



Line Up:

Rob Halford – Vocals

Glenn Tipton – Guitars

K.K. Downing – Guitars

Ian Hill – Bass

Dave Holland – Drums



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


It is hard to believe it has been 30 years since the Priest released this monster which is one of the greatest records they ever released. I would go as far to say that they never reached this height ever since. This is the original album re-mastered plus a double live show from 1984. Honestly I cannot hear the difference between this re-master and the one back in 2001 and then comparing back to the original, I am sure there are subtle differences though. The album itself has some of Priest’s most aggressive material up to this point with “Freewheel Burning” and that unforgettable guitar solo and equally impressive lazer drenched video, the solid chugging of “Eat me Alive” and the sinister rumblings of “Love Bites”. There was also a nod to what was to come with the more commercial sing along of “Rock Hard Ride Free”. The album admittedly does sound slightly dated due to the drum sound but otherwise it stacks up well in the Priest arsenal well and also against other albums of its time such as “Powerslave”. Unfortunately the band seems to mostly ignore it in nowadays live shows which nicely leads us onto the double cd of a radio broadcast from 84 in Long Beach Arena. The Priest were heading towards the peak of their powers in the States at this point and the rabid response from crowd confirms how well thought of they were in America at this time. The setlist is heavy on the “Defenders” album although it does revisit the vintage years with “Sinner” and “Victim of Changes”. Elsewhere apart from the now obvious encores of “Hell Bent for Leather” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” the band stick to the 80s with tracks from “Screaming for Vengeance” and “Point of Entry”. This live show has been doing the rounds in the collector’s circles for years now and it’s fantastic to see it getting a legitimate release at this high quality. Long Live the Priest.

Written by: Dave McCallum

Ratings: Dave 9/10

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