Hear a Snippet from Judas Priest’s ’80s Cover of the Stylistics’ ‘You are Everything’
A few moments of Judas Priest's brief late '80s collaboration with pop production trio of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman have surfaced online.
Long discussed but never released, the tracks — recorded during some downtime while the British metal vets were working on 1988's Ram It Down LP — found Judas Priest working with the hitmaking team behind pop sensations such as Rick Astley, Bananarama and Samantha Fox. The sessions produced three songs: Judas Priest versions of a pair of Stock Aitken Waterman originals, "Runaround" and "I Will Return," as well as a cover of the Stylistics' 1971 hit "You are Everything" – the latter of which can be sampled via the roughly one-minute clip above.
At various points over the years, members of Judas Priest have indicated that the Stock Aitken Waterman sessions were nothing but an experiment that they never really intended to release. In a 2014 interview with the Aquarian, guitarist Glenn Tipton mused, "I don’t think they’ll ever see the light of day."
Meanwhile, Rob Halford told the New York Post that he'd "love to release them, but there’s a different consensus within the band. Our rendition of 'You are Everything' is just beautiful. It’s an ’80s megarock ballad, with big drums, big vocals, sweeping strings. People are a lot more open-minded now, whereas in those days it could have created a bit of push-back, maybe even some damage to our reputation."
It was, Halford admits, his idea – and an exercise he still thinks was worthwhile, despite the fact that the results remained filed away.
"We signed a piece of paper that says when we’re all dead, they can release them," Halford joked to the Aquarian. "I personally love those songs. They’re f---ing great. We’ve never been afraid to try everything. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. And the exercise of those songs totally worked, but they were completely wrong for us, if that makes sense. In the manner of the adventure of going to Paris for three days. … I’m totally responsible for that because I just said to Glenn one day, ‘What you think about this deal?’ ‘Let’s do it.’ We never shut each other down. Even the most ridiculous things sometimes are ridiculous, but you don’t know until you carry the exercise. That’s what we did. We went over there and had a blast."
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