THE ARCHIVE: Judas Priest Single Cuts limited edition boxset (2011)

This is Judas Priest’s ‘Single Cuts’, a limited edition box set consisting of 20 of the band’s singles on 20 CDs including all original b-sides, making a total of 52 tracks. The compilation contains all 20 of the songs Judas Priest released as singles on Columbia Records and CBS Records between 1977-1992 in the UK. It was announced on 7 June 2011, for release on 25 August, later delayed to 17 October because of “technical reasons”, with free magnets being offered as a compensation for the delay to anyone who pre-ordered the box set.

Roughly 90% of the images in the boxset sleeve show items which belong to Steve Grennan’s collection. Steve worked together with illustrator Mark Wilkinson (who produced much of Priest’s original album/single artwork) to pick out items which were then photographed and used to produce the boxset sleeve artwork. The two men actually met at the Home of Metal opening night!

Rather shockingly Steve was never formally thanked by the record company in the boxset sleeve for his contribution, which understandably he was disappointed by. Neither was Steve payed for his help and the use of memorabilia. Steve mentions however that the record company did at least give him a copy of the boxset as well as a couple of other single cds which acted as a ‘fee’ of sorts.

All the images of the CBS (later Sony) singles seen in the boxset sleeve belong to Steve. Steve notes that the band’s cover of the Chuck Berry classic ‘Johnny B. Goode’ (reaching #64 for Priest on the UK Singles Chart in 1988) is missing from boxset. This is presumably as this single was released on another label and the current label was reluctant to pay for its inclusion here.

Even though this boxset aimed to accurately reproduce each single in CD format, Steve notes a few missing elements which he thought would have made nice touches for bigtime Priest fans. This included a missing pull out poster in one single and the fact that the Breaking The Law single was not in gatefold format as it had been originally released.

This boxset retailed for approximately £60 when initially released.

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