I was lucky enough to get this set in the mail yesterday, and I got a chance to listen to the finally remastered Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings Of Destiny. These are my thoughts, copied and pasted from elsewhere because I’m lazy.
I’ve had a chance to listen to both Rocka Rolla and Sad Wings Of Destiny and, in my opinion, they are worth the price of admission alone. What surprised me was not that they were louder (they are) but how much spatial sense and clarity it brings to each instrument. The drums finally sound like they move a volume of air, the guitars attack when called, punching in hard and clear.
Besides the Koch/Gull cd releases and these new remaster, I have a third, different mastering of a few of the tracks: “Victim of Changes” and “The Ripper” are also on The Essential Judas Priest, while “Never Satisfied”, “Deceiver” and “Tyrant” also appear on Metalogy. I’m guessing that Jon Astley, who remastered all the Columbia JP records and the Metalogy box did the two tracks on Essential, likely at the same time and they were left off for other reasons (EJP gives no credits). Regardless of that, the EJP and MTGY remasters are closer in sound to the later Columbia records, which means louder and clearer than the shoddy Koch/Gull ones; however, they don’t seem to have the same feel of the room that is so present in these new masters, and have a flatter sharper punch like the 80s Priest recordings.
Vic Anesini, who did the the work for these two records on the Complete box, did a wonderful job making these sound like the band they were and not the band they would become.
Short version: BUY IT NOW WHILE IT’S CHEAP