Over the decades, Judas Priest has built up an enduring fan base. Since their arrival on heavy metal territory so strongly held by other bands, Judas Priest have come to actually define heavy metal to many fans. Judas Priest released their small label titles that included their debut Rocka Rolla in 1974, and its follow-up, Sad Wings Of Destiny in 1976. But on signing with Columbia Records, they suddenly began to develop a cachet that remains with the band to this day.
With distinctive Rob Halford vocals and the adopted duo guitar skills of Tipton and Downing, the band’s Columbia years filled 14 studio albums with classics that never mean the same to any one person. A small group of influential and important rockers in the heavy metal genre have been tasked with the non-enviable job of selecting defining Judas Priest tracks from that extensive catalog to assemble a collection from a different point of view.
The Chosen Few contains 17 songs sequenced in chronological order. Surprisingly, the selected tracks do an interesting job of covering many of the released albums save for the neglect of Point of Entry (1981), Ram It Down (1988), and the band’s last four studio albums. However, there are two from Unleashed In the East, a 1979 live album. Those include “The Ripper” and “Victim of Changes,” both from their Sad Wing of Destiny album. British Steel (1980) alone reigns supreme with four selections.
The songs included on this aptly named collection, The Chosen Few, may not fit everyone’s point of view. But there will be no denying most of them. The CD comes with an eight-page booklet with short notes by the selectors explaining their one choice for the definitive Judas Priest tune.