Judas Priest once recorded a trio of tracks with pop songwriters and producers Stock Aitken Waterman, and Rob Halford says he’d love to see those songs leaked even though the band initially decided to shelve them.

In speaking with NME, Halford recalled the ’80s-era session with the songwriting and production trio, revealing his desire to see the songs eventually see the light of day.

The songwriting and production trio were definitely on a hot streak in the ’80s, having yielded such hit singles as Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Kylie Minogue’s “I Should Be So Lucky” and producing Bananarama’s chart-topping cover “Venus.” But pairing the metal legends with the pop hitmakers might have seemed like an odd union, which may be why the material never made it past the studio.

What Pete Waterman Recalled of Sessions With Judas Priest

In 2023, Pete Waterman, one of the trio often referred to as SAW, told NME of the sessions with Judas Priest, “We covered Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye’s ‘You Are Everything’ with them and it would have been our biggest-ever record. We had great respect for each other.”

“Matt [Aitken] ended up playing more rock guitar than they did! We went for it. We were more rock ‘n’ roll than Judas Priest! They kept saying, ‘No, we want more SAW,’ while we’re going, ‘Fuck SAW, we want to do more rock ‘n’ roll!’ It was my birthday and we went out to this huge place in Paris and Cristal champagne was flowing. Mike Stock got off the plane the next day, with no memory of coming home.”

Waterman added, “When we played the song, they said, ‘It’s a No. 1 record – which is the last thing we want!’ They missed a trick because now you have the Foo Fighters covering Rick Astley and anything goes, but their manager was frightened that it was going to end up as the biggest song of their career and 16-year-old girls would start turning up to their stadium gigs.”

READ MORE: 11 Ways Metal + Pop Really Aren’t That Different

What Rob Halford Had to Say About Judas Priest’s Collab With Stock, Aitken, Waterman

When told of Waterman’s comments that “You Are Everything” could have been their “biggest ever record,” Halford agreed with the assessment.

“I kind of agree with him, because 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 our Stock Aitken Waterman tracks,” said Halford to NME.

“I still love those songs even now,” he added. “In my lifetime I’d just like to see them get leaked. Leak ’em for all I care. Let’s just see where those songs take us, because it sounds great. You can hear the voice, you can hear the guitars, and they’re really fun pieces of music.”

The Judas Priest frontman added, “I haven’t seen Pete in living memory, but maybe I can say [to him]: ‘Just leak these. Send a file off to TikTok and see where it takes us.‘”

Most Played Cover Songs By 50 Big Hard Rock + Metal Bands

We combed though setlists of the biggest names in rock and metal to find out their most played cover songs. (OK, so we actually used Setlist.fm. What, did you think we had a pile of setlists sitting around?)

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

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