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Live In London (DVD)
Released: 2002, Sanctuary
After the LIVE IN LONDON DVD it didn’t take long for the concert to be released as a double CD. I was kind of surprised because Priest has only released 1 album since their last double live CD. ’98 LIVE MELTDOWN. The response to their next album, DEMOLITION, was luke warm so it seems to be a strange move on the part of Priest to release yet another live disc instead of heading back into the studio to record some new and more Priestly material. As for the CD itself, taken on its own its not a bad release at all. Recorded at the Brixton Academy on the 19th of December 2001 the release contains 25 songs and a video clip from the DVD to hopefully entice the listener to purchase that version.
Disc One opens with one of the seminal tracks of the Priest catalogue, “Metal Gods”. For all the Ripper haters out there, you won’t find much on this disc to complain about. Having been a fan of Priest since the early 80s I can see why everyone wants Halford back in the band but his comments as of late suggest that a reunion won’t happen for quite some time. Till then we will have to be content with Owens who does a good job of filling Halford’s shoes. Up next is “Heading Out To The Highway” which didn’t appear on the last live disc which is followed by a Priest live staple “Grinder”. A highlight of disc one for me was “The Ripper”. One of my favourite Priest songs and a song which Ripper does a great job on. His take is slightly different than Halford which is what I think makes it go over so well on this CD. It is disc two that holds the greatest surprise and also the biggest let down of the release, “Turbo Lover”. Not the greatest song of the Priest catalogue but the original has a quirky atmosphere that is not translated well to this release. It Priest were looking for something obscure to play they should have dusted something off something like “Rock a Rolla” or “ “Ram It Down”. One song that did make it on the disc was “Desert Plains” from the much-maligned POINT OF ENTRY album. This is a great addition to the release cause if I hear “Living After Midnight” one more time I will need a lobotomy.
The question I am still asking myself is why? With only 1 studio CD in the can since their last live release why would the band feel the need to release another one? Money grab? Creative juices dried up? Whatever the case I think we could have done without another live Judas Priest release. The DVD was interesting because it was a chance to see Priest in a live setting. The advent of live DVDs has pretty much made the concept live CD passé. Why buy just the CD when you can get the music and the picture? If you are a hardcore, dyed in the wool Priest fan then this disc belongs in your collection but if you want bang for the buck get the DVD.
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