“The Chosen Few”
By Michael Popke
Rather than simply release a single-disc companion to 2006’s two-CD set “The Essential Judas Priest,” Sony Music asked Priest’s peers to pick their favorite tracks for “The Chosen Few” and explain their choices in the liner notes.
The metalheads did an admirable job, as it’s tough to argue with this 17-track collection. From Joe Elliott’s selection of the Joan Baez cover “Diamonds and Rust” to Joe Satriani’s praise for “Painkiller,” the songs run chronologically from 1977 to 1990, and comments by Ozzy “(“The Ripper”) and Lemmy (“Breaking the Law”) are almost as entertaining as the music. The strong theme that emerges from such icons as Steve Vai and Lars Ulrich is that this music helped define and shape the future of heavy metal. No argument there.
But conspicuously absent is one of Priest’s most iconic songs, “Metal Gods,” which none other than Gene Simmons references in a short introduction to this otherwise solid collection.