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Judas Priest and the writing team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman teamed up in 1988 for a handful of songs that you (or anybody else) have never heard before. Which sucks considering Stock Aitken Waterman is responsible for massive ’80s hits like “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” and “Never Gonna Give You Up”, so you know those Priest tracks are radio bangers.

The tracks recorded were a cover of “You Are Everything” originally by The Stylistics, as well as two originals named “Runaround” and “I Will Return”. In an interview with NME, Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford addressed Waterman‘s 2023 comments that the “You Are Everything” cover would’ve been the team’s biggest hit.

“I kind of agree with him, ’cause I’ve got that on my phone somewhere, and it sounds great. I mean, look what happened to Kate Bush with Stranger Things and ‘Running Up That Hill’, one of the greatest songs ever written. That’s what I’d love to see with those Stock, Aitken and Waterman tracks. It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to say this is from Judas Priest. It’s a song. Let the song do its job. What’s the other two called?”

Halford later owned the sessions as his idea, noting that he wouldn’t mind if they got leaked at some point.

“I said to the guys, I go, ‘What do you think about doing something with Stock, Aitken and Waterman?’ [And they thought] ‘He’s at it again. Why does he do these things?'” said Halford. “And I go, ‘No, just, let’s just [try it]. If it doesn’t work…’

“I’ve always had this thing about, if you don’t have a go, you don’t know. You can’t talk about something unless it’s been created, until you’ve gone through the motions. You can’t sit there and go, ‘Well, that ain’t gonna work.’ Well, how do you know it’s not gonna work? You’ve gotta go through the experience. We went through the experience.

“I still love those songs even now. And it would be… in my lifetime, I would just love to see ’em get leaked. Leak ’em for all I care. Let’s just see where those songs take us. ‘Cause it sounds great. You can hear the voice, you can hear the guitars. They’re really fun, fun, fun pieces of music. So, yeah. I haven’t seen Pete in living memory. And maybe I can just say, ‘Just leak these. Send a file off to some place. Send a file off to TikTok and just see where it takes us.’

“He’s a lovely guy, Pete. He’s very respectful. Maybe he’s waiting for somebody to go, ‘Do what you want with them, Pete.’ So, I’m at NME. Do what you want with them, Pete. Because Priest has become this indestructible, invincible shield. If suddenly a Stock, Aitken and Waterman track is released, I don’t think it’s gonna be the end of the band. People listen to music differently now.”

Here’s “You Are Everything” in case you’ve never heard the track before, which admittedly I had not. And to Halford’s point, yeah – releasing these Judas Priest songs in 2024 isn’t gonna derail the band. Judas Priest has zero left to prove to anyone, and a look at some archival stuff done damn near 40 years ago wouldn’t exactly tank their legacy.

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