Re: Black Sabbath reunites

Oh, no. I wasn't finished. It's Headless Cross time, bitches.

Let's recall 1989: Rick Moranis shrunk the kids, the Exxon Valdez lost some oil and Tony Martin recorded his second album with Black Sabbath. Perhaps miraculously given that previous singers got pink slips almost as quickly as they contracted the clap, ol' T.Mart did not find his sorry ass fired after the Eternal Idol tour. Nay, he had a new lease in life, and the band's lineup was further appended by the presence of Cozy Powell on drums. Neil Murray would join on bass later for the tour, thus cementing the, uh, THIRD most-popular lineup in Sabbath history. (Bronze is metal.)

Headless Cross
Released in 1989
1.) "The Gates of Hell": A Geoff Nicholls keyboard intro, no doubt composed under the mistaken impression that it was in fact meant to be the theme for a Friday the 13th sequel.
2.) "Headless Cross": Lots of Beelzebub to go around here. "There's no escapin' from the power of Satan." T.Mart sounds more of an "oooh baby, give me all your love" (oops, that's Whitesnake) kind of guy, but darn it, he wants to croon about Old Nick.
3.) "Devil & Daughter": More devil.
4.) "When Death Calls": More Satan! Still a satisfying Dio-ish epic, complete with a Brian May guest appearance.
5.) "Kill in the Spirit World": Eh... it's all right. Martin sings like someone snapped his genitals with a bear trap.
6.) "Call of the Wild": This is from the audition tape to be Ozzy's band in the '80s. ... No, wait, I'm wrong, apparently this was Sabbath after all. Weird.
7.) "Black Moon": The "bluesy" one.
8.) "Nightwing": Very nice. Moody, well-paced album closer. I honestly can't be snarky here. Of course, the lyric "Oh I can feel his beating wings" is best not stewed over for long.

This actually resembles the work of a functioning band, as opposed to a recording of Iommi dragging around session musicians. Big, dark, heavy sound. Good continuity and flow. Easy to see why it's considered the best of the Martin records.

On the other hand, the lyrics are best ignored as much as possible — people gave Dio crap for cheesy lyrics, but he was fucking poetic in comparison to Martin's devil hooey.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

Some reunion! Bill Ward this week said he won't participate unless he gets a "signable" contract. The three others have basically said, "Fine, we're continuing on without you; hope you change your mind."

If I were Rick Rubin, I wouldn't make time in my calendar for producing duties on this "album" just yet.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

i fully support ward in this. he doesn't need the money and doesn't want to rearrange his life for some on again-off again bullshit. if you're going to do it, get serious about it or don't bother me. good for him. he's not 17 anymore. this is life and a business.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

We're back! Let's tear into some TYR. Is it pronounced "tear"? "Tuhr"? "Tire"? Mysteries abound.

The Sabs entered the '90s with the most stable band lineup since the Mob Rules era and high off the relative success of Headless Cross. (It was big in Europe, not so much in the States.) Why, with a roster of sturdy players at hand and the onset of a new decade, there was nothing to stop them now! Ahem.

Released in 1990
1.) "Anno Mundi": My, someone's feeling ambitious. One of those dynamic, multifaceted opening tracks to let you know things are totally fucking serious. The intro even features chanting in Latin. Ya dig?
2.) "The Law Maker": Perhaps, seeing how well things worked out for his friends in Queen, Iommi, too, wanted to contribute to a Highlander soundtrack?
3.) "Jerusalem": Ah, never mind, I get it — The Last Temptation of Christ.
4.) "The Sabbath Stones": We're on pretty familiar ground here: plodding pace, sinister riff, pseudo-religious lyrics.
5.) "The Battle of Tyr": Geoff Nicholls imagines he's on level 5 of Super Mario 2.
6.) "Odin's Court": Tonight on Showtime, Patrick Swayze in Steel Dawn!
7.) "Valhalla": Arrr, we're vikings now! But why not pirates?
8.) "Feels Good to Me": And now a gauzy power ballad that in no way must've sounded dated in 1990.
9.) "Heaven in Black": Cozy gets a drum solo to remind everyone he's back there and ends the album in forgettable fashion.

The band never toured the States for this release. By the next year, Tony Martin was out of a job, re-recording "Jerusalem" for his solo album. (No, really.) "Yeah, I did three albums with Sabbath. Three. THREE."
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

In a development that NO ONE saw coming, :roll: the Sabs' heavily hyped marriage of convenience with Dio imploded in late '92 after the wee one concluded he'd rather polish latrines with his tongue than play opening act at Ozzy's farewell concerts. Though it seemed to many that a path had been thus cleared for a reunion of the original Sabbath, it didn't happen — yet.

Proving he either was a glutton for punishment or inexplicably believed the heavens had kissed him twice, Tony Martin quickly accepted the invitation to sing on the Cross Purposes album. Iommi managed to keep Geezer in the fold despite the fact that Geezer was soon to discover that Tony Martin "hates all heavy music." Ex-Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli rounded out this incarnation.

Cross Purposes
Released in 1994
1.) "I Witness": I witness Tony Martin keeping the shrieking to a minimum. I witness a bass-and-drum combo making themselves heard for once on a TM-fronted album. I witness ... OK, enough.
2.) "Cross of Thorns": Geoff Nicholls bangs random keys on his Casio, and Geezer remembers he's glad he didn't play on TYR.
3.) "Psychophobia": Grease it up a bit and you'd almost swear it was "Hole in the Sky."
4.) "Virtual Death": People say it sounds like Alice in Chains. And ... it does!
5.) "Immaculate Deception": Typical Sab plodder, then at the chorus it's all assholes and elbows.
6.) "Dying for Love": Sabbath sings Barry White's greatest!
7.) "Back to Eden": Geezer's doing his damnedest to toughen up TM. Cue the makeover montage!
8.) "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle": The "single." The video on YouTube features a dozen random yahoos banging their heads frenetically, no doubt having been told they'd be paid in Natural Light.
9.) "Cardinal Sin": Wouldn't be Sabbath without a pretentious, ponderous religious rock psalm or 12.
10.) "Evil Eye": Fun fact: Eddie Van Halen jammed on this one. Not-as-fun fact: He's apparently not on the actual record.

Even though the original bassist was lurking around and ready to crank it, this ended up the most colorless of the TM albums (note I didn't say worst). They chucked the cheesy '80s trademarks (No Satan, Cozy Powell or Norsemen!). What's left is merely pleasantly generic.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

Iommi says in his memoir that CP sold OK, and so Sabbath toured America with Motorhead and Morbid Angel (!!) in support. The band dug into the back catalog and dusted off "Symptom of the Universe" and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." But grumpy guy Tony Martin felt shortchanged on setlists that leaned so heavily on Ozzy and Dio cuts and largely overlooked "his" songs.

Rondinelli split before the tour wrapped, and the band summoned none other than Bill Ward for the remaining South America dates. The Black Sabbath Online fan site claims, without attribution, that the forthcoming album was to be an Iommi/Butler/Ward/Martin affair — something I've seen repeated nowhere else, certainly not in Iommi's book.

Geezer decided that one record with Martin was quite enough, thank you very much, and off he went to join Ozzy's band. Bill returned to obscurity, leaving the Tonys free to ring up Cozy Powell and Neil Murray once more. Yeah! The TYR lineup, baby!

For an extra hip producer, the band enlisted Ernie C, Ice-T's guitarist in Body Count. Because when everyone heard "Cop Killer," they all thought, "These motherfuckers should totally hook up with Tony Martin."

Released in 1995
1.) "The Illusion of Power": Where to start? The Ice-T cameo? The stock "scary doom" riff? TM's attempts at free-form, stream-of-consciousness I-don't-know-what? The nonexistent production values? What the hell, man?
2.) "Get a Grip": It's about street violence? This is what happens when keepin' it real goes wrong.
3.) "Can't Get Close Enough": Hey, we're Pearl Jam! A frumpy alt-rock exercise mostly undone by TM's inability to incorporate the slightest amount of poetry, imagery or wordplay into his obvious lyrics.
4.) "Shaking Off the Chains": Iommi's worst-ever riff? A sure contender, anyway. This must have been one of those bad ideas people think they can "flip," so they keep reworking and rehashing it and only succeed in worsening it.
5.) "I Won't Cry for You": Not wretched as ballads go, but it wouldn't have killed Martin to expend a smidgen of effort. He may as well be singing about the world's best egg salad recipe.
6.) "Guilty as Hell": Someone left a microphone on in the rehearsal room and caught them on a rare good day. But Martin sings with the passion of a man who only moments before had been calculating his tax deductions.
7.) "Sick and Tired": Hey, we're Steve Perry's solo band!
8.) "Rusty Angels": And now an upbeat number about old airplanes in a junkyard. Well, OK then. Why not guinea pigs chewing on a plastic pet igloo, as mine are doing right now? Maybe I'll write that one. I'll call it "Toothy Critters."
9.) "Forbidden": Ooooh, the heavy one. Not exactly Deicide, and it would've benefited from some bass (any bass, please) and a vocalist who doesn't hate all heavy music.
10.) "Kiss of Death": The consensus is the album is Sabbath's worst — Iommi calls it "crap" — but even haters tend to view the last track as a majestic relic of "Sign of the Southern Cross"/"Megalomania" proportions. Though certainly it aims higher than anything else on the record, it meanders much too long before delivering the "For Those About to Rock" goods — and then the climax plays out like the similarly nonexistent big finish in John Carpenter's Vampires.

Read any interview with Martin and he's extremely bitter to this day and calls Forbidden a throwaway to fulfill obligations, sack the musicians and get on with the Ozzy reunion. Which no doubt explains the cheap-liquor whiff of "fuck it" permeating the proceedings, as though the band planned to quickly hit the road supporting Foghat.

Not counting the The Devil You Know — released by H&H, but just as much a Sab record as Mob Rules — and whatever Rick Rubin-produced thing that Ozzy, Geezer and Iommi put out this year, Forbidden stands as the last studio effort under the Black Sabbath banner. But unlike, say, Never Say Die, it doesn't even possess the decency to embrace its truck-stop-bargain-bin stench and start screaming, "We fucked it all up! Jazz Odyssey, bitches!"
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

Geezer Butler is pretty fond of claiming that certain Sab albums originally started life as something else entirely. Born Again with Ian Gillan? A supergroup project, he says (though Gillan disputes that). Cross Purposes? Nay, that was supposed to be an Iommi/Butler release — though one that also happened to feature a vocalist who'd already sang on three official Sab albums, with a fifth still to come.

But no arguments exist about the lineage of Seventh Star. This long-gestating would-be Iommi solo album ran afoul of label execs who insisted that it carry the unwieldy moniker "Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi." So last-minute this decision apparently was, the cover art only depicts a solitary Iommi, adrift in a cocaine buzz and marooned out West. And no doubt wondering where Doc parked the DeLorean.

Iommi padded out the lineup with ever-faithful Geoff Nicholls, future Kiss drummer Eric Singer, Dave Spitz on bass and Glenn Hughes on vocals.

Seventh Star
Released in 1986
1.) "In for the Kill": Iommi and Hughes invade the Whisky a Go Go! Head over to Google and check out the publicity shots for this lineup. They sound exactly the way you'd expect.
2.) "No Stranger to Love": A ballad with a history of inspiring ritual mass suicide. So they say! I think it's nice.
3.) "Turn to Stone": Mick Mars swears he wrote this.
4.) "Sphinx (The Guardian)": A lead-in to the next track — seemingly a recording of a windy day in Death Valley.
5.) "Seventh Star": Someone forgot to turn up Spitz's bass — it could've been a slow-crawling Iommi creepfest with a nudge.
6.) "Danger Zone": That demon cocaine. Makes otherwise talented players spend their days thinking they're Sammy Hagar.
7.) "Heart Like a Wheel": Iommi wrote this when he heard Stevie Ray Vaughan might be in the market for an opening act. (I made that up.)
8.) "Angry Heart": Jon Lord swears he wrote this.
9.) "In Memory": More of a soulful outro to "Angry Heart" than a proper song. Too short! Ends the album on such a devastating note that it briefly seems like it said something profound about loss and heartache.

Left to his own devices in the mid-'80s, Iommi produced frustratingly middle-of-the-road Aqua Net rock. Nicholls has since claimed he wrote much of the album — which is a bit like someone taking credit for having written a Carl Weathers movie.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

The Sabs scraped the last granules of their best coke off a mirror, invited Ian Gillan over for a bender and promptly locked themselves into the studio in such a fucked-up state that no one realized the "recording equipment" in fact consisted of some fine twine, a Speak & Spell and one of those kid's teddy bears that plays back loving messages. Not only were they so high they let the "Smoke on the Water" guy front the band, they even rolled poor Bill Ward out of whatever ditch he'd been rotting in since bailing out during the Heaven and Hell tour.

Born Again
Released in 1983
1.) "Trashed": THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP. Ah, the trademark of Born Again. THUMP THUMP THUMP. Lots of bass. THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP. And a guitar tone that's the equivalent of having been dunked in water and left out in the sun to rust.
2.) "Stonehenge": Another of those eerie "E5150"-type meanderings. For the tour, the band dragged out a giant Stonehenge set that at times couldn't fit into concert halls. Everyone — including Sabbath — takes for granted that this inspired the gag in Spinal Tap, but I don't know that the filmmakers have ever confirmed it.
3.) "Disturbing the Priest": The Deep Sabbath collaboration starts to pay off here: waves of evil Iommi riffage, Gillan howling like on "Highway Star."
4.) "The Dark": A lead-in to the fifth track. It may be a recording of the elusive Sasquatch mating call.
5.) "Zero the Hero": The beast of the album. Cannibal Corpse even covered it. Groovy, heavy, ornery. Obligations require that we mention the often-commented similarity to GN'R's "Paradise City."
6.) "Digital Bitch": Just a fast, sloppy rocker. Moving right along...
7.) "Born Again": A bizarro breakup song, with head-scratching lyrics about "grey and plastic retards all floating in circles."
8.) "Hot Line": Coverdale-ish raunch epic.
9.) "Keep it Warm": But not so raunchy here, all warm, wistful glances and shoulder rubs.

Gillan had a rendezvous awaiting in the form of a Deep Purple reunion, so it seems this lineup was never meant as anything other than a one-off. Ozzy himself reportedly liked the album. Put aside the inexplicably swampy sound mix, the weirdness of Gillan fronting Sabbath — the album's chock-full of Mack Truck heaviness.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

O-dot wrote:Still to come: Born Again, plus the four Dio and eight Ozzy albums.
Make that SIX Ozzy albums, since I already discussed Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die. ;)
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Black Sabbath reunites

In 1992 no songs from the Martin/Hughes/Gillan era were played. The set focused almost entirely on Dio-era material with a few Ozzy tunes thrown in for good measure Black Sabbath, War Pigs, Paranoid, Iron Man. In fact apart from its respective tour I dont think any tracks from Born Again have been played live.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

Correct, the band never played the Born Again material again after the tour. Tony Martin sang one of Hughes' songs at a charity event in the late '80s, but that's the only time any of those tracks ever surfaced after the Seventh Star tour.

Dio never sang the Martin songs, though Iommi says Rob Halford was willing to do so (though ultimately did not) when the band opened for Ozzy in 1992.

Ozzy, of course, only sings the same 10 songs largely from the first three albums when he performs with Sabbath these days.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites

TC wrote:i'm sure now if they deviate at all he's fucked.
The "reunited" band had their first gig last night in England. Tommy Clufetos sat in for Bill Ward. The setlist contains a few selections I wouldn't have expected:

01. Into The Void
02. Under The Sun
03. Snowblind
04. War Pigs
05. Wheels Of Confusion
06. Electric Funeral
07. Black Sabbath
08. The Wizard
09. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
10. N.I.B.
11. Fairies Wear Boots
12. Tomorrow's Dream
13. Sweet Leaf
14. Symptom Of The Universe (intro only)
15. Drum Solo
16. Iron Man
17. Dirty Women
18. Children Of The Grave


19. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (intro only)
20. Paranoid

Twenty bucks says they drop the Vol. 4 tracks (except Snowblind) and revert back to the old War Pigs/NIB/Fairies/Sweet Leaf/Iron Man/Children of the Grave/Paranoid set before this is all over.
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.

Re: Black Sabbath reunites


First single due out tomorrow. I'm sure you've all heard the snippet above. Riff sounds like a Sabbath Bloody Sabbath-era outtake, which isn't the worst point of inspiration imaginable. I could do without the "nowhere to run, nowhere to hide" lyric. :ohdear:
This is a snakeskin jacket. And for me it's a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom.