If you ever listen to oldies radio, you’ve likely heard Philadelphia soul group The Stylistics. In the early ’70s, they racked up 12 top ten R&B hits, including “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” “Betcha By Golly, Wow,” and “You Are Everything.” What are we doing writing about a ’70s soul group on Metal Insider? Well, in 1987, the latter of those songs was covered by Judas Priest, and it was almost released.
Priest got together with S/A/W, a trio of songwriters and producers, Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, to spend four days in the studio with them. The producers were best known for producing the likes of Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and Bananarama. The sessions resulted in three tracks, the Stylistics cover and two S/A/W songs, “Runaround” and “I Will Return.” In a 1989 interview with Guitar Magazine, the band’s Glen Tipton said “I don’t know whether it will ever be released.” The cover hasn’t been yet, but last week, snippets of it leaked online.
However, the rest of the band is less dismissive than Tipton was. K.K. Downing said “we did a little work with them for experimental reasons. It was great to work with them because they are very professional and very good producers.” Rob Halford is even more excited about the cover, according to an interview he did with the New York Post:
I personally would love to release them, but there’s a different consensus within the band. Our rendition of [the Stylistics’] “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.
We’re curious – we’d like to hear the whole thing once and then probably never hear it again. In case you’re unfamiliar with the original, here it is.