Judas Priest - 'Single Cuts'

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Judas Priest - 'Single Cuts'

So underrated in many ways, yet so brilliant.

The Metal Gods have been filling up their back catalogue recently with a live album and an anniversary set of ‘British Steel’ and now they have graced us with this single disc CD containing all of their A-side singles.

They’ve wisely chosen to take a chronological track-listing beginning with 1977’s excellent cover of the Joan Baez folk classic ‘Diamonds And Rust.’ Of course what this collection doesn’t mean is that it represents the best of the band. ‘Hot Rockin’’ is fun but it’s not exactly the best way to celebrate such a fantastic heavy metal band as Judas Priest. On the other hand, these singles show just how diverse Priest has been throughout their career. They’ve never been afraid to experiment with new sounds and extend the boundaries of the genre and while I’d personally like to hear a more progressive metal album from the band than they offered with the over-bloated and over-long ‘Nostradamus’ I’m in the frame of mind that some of their best stuff was created between ‘British Steel’ and ‘Turbo’.

Metal fans may find such a claim too bold and wholly inaccurate given how strong an album like ‘Sin After Sin’ is but ‘Freewheel Burning,’ which is in this collection and originally featured on the excellent ‘Defenders Of The Faith’ opus (1984), is one of their finest achievements song-wise. Their most metallic album is certainly ‘Painkiller’ which spawned the killer singles ‘A Touch Of Evil’ and ‘Night Crawler’ as well as the title-track.

This collection is a mixed bag but nevertheless it’s a nifty way for the casual fan to reacquaint themselves with the band and a cool way to introduce newcomers to the Priest camp. Serious fans will already have these tracks on the original albums and perhaps the original singles too, but ‘Single Cuts’ is worth having in your collection anyway. Completists will more likely be interested in the fantastic looking box set that contains all 52 singles (so all the B-sides, etc,) spread across 20 discs. What a way to celebrate their career…(despite the cost!)

So underrated in many ways, yet so brilliant…

Neil Daniels

 

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