While the '80s may have been littered with many second-rate pop-metal knockoffs of little musical merit, Judas Priest, decked out in leather and studs, always stood tall above the pretenders as the genuine article of metal greatness. Along with Iron Maiden, they helped lead the way of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and are certainly one of the best and most influential metal bands ever. The Best of Judas Priest: Living After Midnight provides fans with a collection of late-'70s/early-'80s hard-rocking classics by one of the best in the metal business. This collection focuses on the hits of Judas Priest's career, which came mostly during the early '80s, their artistic and commercial peak. Tracks like "Living After Midnight" and the MTV favorite "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" showcase one of the band's biggest strengths, which is the ability to be melodic without losing any of their intensity or edge. The band had the ability to make you sing along while they were bludgeoning you over the head with a heavy guitar attack. Live tracks like the fist-pumping "Heading Out to the Highway" and "Tyrant" feature great performances by Rob Halford, who is one of the most gifted and distinct vocalists in heavy metal history. These tracks prove that Halford's soaring vocal range is no studio creation. The brutal "Metal Meltdown" and the epic "Victim of Changes" prominently display the twin guitar attack of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. Many of the guitar tracks laid down by this duo throughout its career helped provide a blueprint for many shredders that followed. In true metal form, this album rarely gives you a chance to come up for air, and despite the fact that some early classic cuts are missing from this album, The Best of Judas Priest: Living After Midnight is a fine collection of top-rate British heavy metal by one of the true masters.
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AllMusic Review by Paul Tinelli