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Judas Priest
The Ultimate Priest In the East
August 2000
Released: 2000, LPJ Productions
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Joe

(Ed. Note: Please note this is in essence a bootleg compiled from all the different versions of this release and from vinyl b-sides)

Okay... I’m going to assume that everyone who considers himself a true fan of Metal already owns (or has at least heard) one of the official versions of this album. 1979's Unleashed in the East (North America; Priest in the East in Japan) is without a doubt the best live album of the ‘70's (arguably of all time). Excellent production quality and an impressive performance by the then up-and-coming Metal Legends Judas Priest, has made this disc a classic in the truest sense of the word.

However, as we’re all aware, record companies love to screw music fans to the proverbial wall (Bastards). The "geniuses" at CBS/Columbia records decided to remove some tracks from the concert tapes and released edited versions in North America and Japan. In addition to the measly nine tracks found on North America’s Unleashed in the East, the Japanese Priest in the East included "Rock Forever", "Hell Bent for Leather", Delivering the Goods", and "Starbreaker". Even if a Priest fan managed to acquire a copy of Priest in the East, there were still two tracks performed at the shows which were only available as B-sides ("Beyond the Realms of Death" and "Evil Fantasies"). What was a Judas Priest fanatic to do? Until now....

Thanks to a young disgruntled metalhead simply known as "Ultra Boris", we now have (in rather limited quantities) the entire fifteen songs performed by Judas Priest in Tokyo, Japan on Feb. 10th and 15th 1979. Since I only had the nine song Unleashed... , finally getting to hear all fifteen tracks was a real treat. The additional six songs were performed equally well to the ones I was already familiar with. The only flaw to be found was in the editing. In between a couple of tracks when Halford is speaking to the audience, what he says gets cut off and then he’s saying something different or music begins to play. But since The Ultimate Priest in the East was compiled from a few different sources (including vinyl), I doubt very much a perfect copy could have been produced. But who cares?!?!?! The songs are there in their glorious entireties and that’s good enough for me!

Not only did Boris track down these rare additional songs, but he also produced some fine artwork to accompany the disc with a shot of the then-current line-up (We finally get to see Les Binks!) and liner notes written by both Boris and his friend Snxke Gxd (Apparently, Snxke Gxd has an aversion to the letters ‘A’ and ‘O’.). A very impressive piece of work.

Next review: » Judas Priest - Turbo
Previous review: » Judas Priest - The Essential Judas Priest

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