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Ram It Down Original recording remastered

32 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 29.95
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 5 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000630BW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,594 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Ram It Down
2. Heavy Metal
3. Love Zone
4. Come And Get It
5. Hard As Iron
6. Blood Red Skies
7. I'm A Rocker
8. Johnny B. Goode
9. Love You To Death
10. Monsters Of Rock
11. Night Comes Down (Live)
12. Bloodstone (Live)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
After the debacle that was 'Turbo' (1986), Priest returned to the studio with a lot of edgier tracks left over from those sessions. Also returning for the last time were long-time producer Tom Allom and drummer Dave Holland, who were both present when Priest's prime years began with 'British Steel' (1980). Unfortunately, speed metal (Metallica, Slaywer, etc.) had become the "in" thing in the hardcore metal crowd, so attempts to repeat the success of previous efforts with metal-lite tunes like "I'm a Rocker", "Johnny B. Goode", and "Come and Get It", rendered this record relatively unsuccessful. But even the most discriminating Priest fan has to give an A for effort with power-metal entries like the pseudo-industrial "Blood Red Skies", the menacing "Monsters of Rock", and the speedy title track.
The sound of the record benefits somewhat from remastering, but (as with many of the Priest remasters) the extra tracks do not have any contextual connection with this record. "Night Comes Down" is a live version of a great ballad from a 1984 show in Long Beach, and "Bloodstone" is a live version from a 1982 show in Memphis. (FYI: If you want to check out the ACTUAL outtakes from 'Ram It Down', get "Fire Down Below" from the 'Stained Class' remaster and "Thunder Road" from the 'Point of Entry' remaster.)
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Format: Audio CD
Originally, 'Turbo' (1986) was to be released as a double record, featuring songs that are included on this record, released two years later. (For unreleased tunes from this period, listen to "Red, White & Blue" (from the 'British Steel' reissue) and "Prisoner of Your Eyes" (from the 'Screaming for Vengeance' reissue).) This would have made for a more traditional Judas Priest record overall, but as it was planned, the pop-oriented tunes on the former were panned by the rock press and the edgier tunes on this latter release were lost in the backlash.
"Ram It Down", "Heavy Metal", and "Monsters of Rock" are just as heavy any of the sounds on 'Painkiller' (1990) in that regard. "Blood Red Skies" combines the traditional two-guitar attack and post-apacolyptic lyrical landscape with a synthesizer to good effect. Even the radio-song, "I'm a Rocker", and the tongue-in-cheek rendition of "Johnny B. Goode", are appreciated.
The downside of 'Ram It Down' is the sound. By that time, it seems that Tom Allom, the long-time producer who began his tenure by spicing up the classic 'Unleashed in the East' (1979), hit an all-time low with this swan song.
BONUS TRACKS: As with the previous reissues, we have two live songs that has nothing to do with this particular record or the era it was recorded in, "Night Comes Down" (from the same 1984 show as "Jawbreaker" from the 'Sin After Sin' reissue, "Grinder" from the 'British Steel' reissue, and "Heavy Duty" from the 'Defenders of the Faith' reissue) and "Bloodstone" (from the same 1982 show as "Devil's Child" from the 'Screaming for Vengeance' reissue, "Screaming for Vengeance" from the 'Priest Live' reissue, and "Riding on the Wind" from the 'Hell Bent for Leather' reissue).
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Format: Audio CD
The title of my review comes from a vintage Ram It Down tour t-shirt just to clarify. This album was originally meant to be part of a proposed "Twin Turbos" album, and it seems that this would be the heavy songs and "Turbo" the light songs if that had come to fruition. The mechanical, synthetic feel is more of a detriment on this album than "Turbo" seeing as it is not part of the concept of this album. However, even with drum machines and the terrible flat mix of this album (even in comparison with Turbo), it still is worthy to any Priest collection. "Blood Red Skies" is probably their best ballad since the seventies, and the title track is a prototype for the metal that combines speed and classic metal, in other words, power metal. Rob Halford has some hilarious lyrics on this album, and this serves to either push away potential buyers or amuse them. "Hard as Iron" hints at Painkiller, and the album as a whole seems like if the band had released "Painkiller" as their debut, this would be one of their early demos. In other words, its not Priest's best moment, but if you're already a fan, give it a chance!
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Format: Audio CD
Ram It Down represents Priest's attempt to save themselves from the fad of Turbo hair metal. Priest goes heavier here and makes improvements over Turbo but doesn't come up with a classic. The heavier strains of metal had evolved rather rapidly between 1986 and 1988 and Ram It Down shows Priest playing catch up. The liner notes included with the remaster say this is Judas Priest's heaviest record to that time. That is not true. 'Hell Bent for Leather', 'British Steel', 'Screaming for Vengeance' and 'Defenders of the Faith' are all heavier than 'Ram it Down'.
Ram it Down gets rid of most of the synths that were on Turbo. The title track is the high point of this record. The lead guitar work is much more the center of focus on all of the songs. There are traces of Turbo in some of the choruses. And the "Johnny B. Goode" cover would fit lock, stock and barrel on Turbo. That song was written for the soundtrack of the movie with the same name (starring Anthony Michael Hall, "Farmer Ted" from Sixteen Candles). I read in a Priest biography that they were approached to do the theme song for "Top Gun" but turned it down. After "Danger Zone" become one of the top performing singles of the decade they accepted the next soundtrack offer that was made - "Johnny B. Goode", which was a flop by all accounts. Some of the lyrics are silly but not as bad as Turbo. But too many songs are about metal and rock and roll. Singing about your own genre is kind of cheesy.
Judas Priest has never made a truly bad record (except for Rocka Rolla) but Ram It Down is not essential listening for casual fans. Serious Priest fans will enjoy it for the most part. But get anything else by them except for Turbo, Point of Entry and Rocka Rolla first. It probably deserves a 3.5 instead of a straight 3 stars.
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