The Chosen Few

Judas Priest

OK, so they're the second greatest heavy metal band. But Judas Priest is still the consummate heavy metal band in terms of style, look and approach. They're also a favorite of many of their heavy metal contemporaries - some of whom were given the opportunity to pick their favorite song for a 17-song, cleverly titled The Chosen Few. As the band makes one final trek around the world, a good chunk of the songs from this collection are being dusted off and played. Of course, many of them are  mainstays in the set; the ones you always hear at a Judas Priest concert.

It's those early nuggets that are liable to stir debate among the hardcores. "Diamonds And Rust," written by Joan Baez and chosen by Def Leppard's Joe Elliot, and "Dissident Aggressor," Steve Vai's pick, are both raw and youthful in their execution, setting the foundation for what would become a blueprint for many. "Exciter," Accept's choice, ups the ante, while "Beyond The Realms Of Death," with its elegant acoustically driven verses and razor-sharp breakaways, is a favorite of Lars Ulrich. All valid choices so far.

Leave it to Lemmy to pick a game-changer "Breaking The Law" from the equally pivotal British Steel album. It's no surprise that three other tracks from the album - "Rapid Fire" (Vinnie Paul), "Grinder" (Zakk Wylde) and "Living After Midnight" (a favorite of both Alice Cooper and Geezer Butler) - also made the cut. They made room for two more no-brainers like "Screaming For Vengeance," Slash's selection, and "You've Got Another Thing Coming," which has two fans in the Scorpions' Klaus Meine and Slipknot's Corey Taylor.

The real question is does Korn's Jonathan Davis really think the widely panned "Turbo Lover" deserves a place on this CD because we all know the return-to-form "Painkiller," Joe Satriani's pick, does. When it comes right down to it, the novelty of having other musicians put a playlist together seems like a swell idea on paper, but the reality is that most of the songs on The Chosen Few are fan favorites too. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

~ Shawn Perry

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