Following “Turbo’s” release in late spring 1986, Judas Priest shot out on their biggest world tour yet, Fuel For Life with its fireworks, hydraulic robots and lifts, plus incredible visuals naturally needed to be documented.
“Priest…Live!” was the second live release by Judas Priest, it was released in June 1987 only eight years after “Unleashed In The East” , yet contained entirely different track list with only material pulled from Priest’s 1980’s output. The long-form video of the show was also released with slightly longer running order and “Desert Plains”, “Green Manalishi” & “Hell Bent For Leather” added. Notably the one track (“Killing Machine” tunes excluded) from the 1970’s they did play during this tour, “Victim Of Changes” was not included as well as “Turbo’s” fast tempo “Hot For Love” ,which was played during the early part of the trek.
“Priest…Live!” was recorded at The Omni, Atlanta, Georgia on 15 June 1986 and the Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas on 27 June 1986. A re-release of the album in 2001 included “Hell Bent For Leather” from the St.Louis show 23.5.1986, and 2CD special edition of “Turbo” (2017) a full show from Kansas City the day earlier 22.5.1986. This included for the first time, an official live cut of “Victim Of Changes” from this tour. The other 2001 Remasters further included several live tracks from St.Louis as well as “Love Bites” from that particular show slotted into 2004 Box Set “Metalogy”. With at least four concerts professionally recorded, a Fuel For Life Anthology live release one day is a exciting prospect for hardcore Priest maniacs.
The album is generally not mentioned in the top category of metal live releases and usually loses out to Priest’s own “Unleashed In The East”. But it remains a masterpiece, a dynamic presentation of a heavy metal band in breathtakingly outstanding form. K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton had crafted their playing to incredibly high standards and this tour saw Rob Halford peaking as a singer and live performer. Rhythm section provides rock solid support as always. The show’s undeniable power is further documented on the live video which needs to be seen to be believed. Special credit must also be given to director Wayne Isham’s work which is brilliant, capturing the band in highly visual camera angles, using slow motion and excellent editing to compile a feast for both eyes and ears.
Fuel For Life as it was, still stands out as one of heavy metal’s classic world tours and “Priest…Live!” 30 years on one of 1980’s essential live releases. Crank it up and crank it loud!
Text: Ville Krannila
Check the Dallas show out in full below: