In listening to the reissue of Screaming For Vengeance, it suddenly becomes clear that, as “of its time” the production applied to the record was (the effects on “Electric Eye” – all the clanking reverb and robotic imagery – and the glammy metal sheen of “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” are good examples), the record is the “step up” made by a band who knew they had the world’s attention, and continues to command respect thirty years later both for that and for its song craft.
Even without any accompanying video footage too, Nugent’s Setlist translates incredibly well; culling essential tracks from the extended edition reissues of Free For All and Cat Scratch Fever as well as essential tracks from Intensities In 10 Cities and Double Live Gonzo and Live At The Hammersmith ’79, Setlist assembles a very vivid track list that does conjure the images of a wild-eyed Nugent (check out how “Just What The Doctor Ordered” leads in, and you’ll get it) relishing in the moment – the lights, the attention, the spectacle – and it is the guitarist’s element; he loves every minute.
While the river of reissues pouring out of the major label music business is only swelling with time, some records just come with a fantastic story that would keep it selling well even if it hadn’t been repackaged and re-placed on new release racks; they just have an enduring appeal. Judas Priest’s British Steel is that kind of record; over the last couple of years, the members of Judas Priest have begun to re-examine the record at length – last year, they embarked on a multi-continent tour that found them performing British Steel from beginning to end – and tell the stories of making it, thereby reliving their cherished memories of the time and circumstances that yielded British Steel.
This reissue of Raw Power is satisfying because, unlike so many of the more “adventurous” re-workings of the material, this release stays true to the original; even leaving some of the noticeable flaws (like the clipping that might be from volume or from a little bit of tape left mangled in “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell” intact) in place to imply the rough, warts-and-all initial recording process.
Ignoring the laughable title of the album, from note one of the album’s lead-off track, “One,” there’s nothing particularly original or attention grabbing about any aspect of the record.