BLACK SABBATH – Seventh Star

Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi – Seventh Star [Remastered] (2004, Sanctuary Midline – UK Import)
Original Release: 1986, Warner Bros. Records

1. “In for the Kill” (3:48)
2. “No Stranger to Love” (4:28)
3. “Turn to Stone” (3:28)
4. “Sphinx (The Guardian)” [instrumental] (1:12)
5. “Seventh Star” (5:20)
6. “Danger Zone” (4:26)
7. “Heart Like a Wheel” (6:36)
8. “Angry Heart” (3:06)
9. “In Memory…” (2:36)

Glenn Hughes – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Dave “The Beast” Spitz – Bass
Eric Singer – Drums
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards

Additional Musicians:
Gordon Copley – Bass (“No Stranger to Love”)

Produced by: Jeff Glixman

I usually don’t mess with imports because there’s usually a high cost involved, but at $14 and some change, how could I resist owning one of my favorite Sabbath albums when all I had before was a bootleg?

Everyone knows the story of Iommi originally intending this for a solo album and the label forcing him to slap the Black Sabbath name on the cover, thus giving us the added “featuring Tony Iommi” bit as a compromise between Iommi and Warner Bros. In fact, some Sabbath fans refuse to even recognize this as an official Sabbath release. Whatever helps you sleep at night. I don’t have any real connection or affinity for the Ozzy era, so I’m able to accept this album as another quality release in the Black Sabbath catalog, regardless of Iommi’s intentions. In fact, I’ll happily take any non-Ozzy Black Sabbath album, thank you very much. The band delivered all the way up until they dumped Tony Martin in favor of the Ozzy reunion.

Some more back story on this album: Glenn Hughes was not the initial choice to sing… or was he? Jeff Fenholt (who later became an evangelist and hosted programs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network) claims he was a member of Black Sabbath the first half of 1985. Tony Iommi has disputed this claim saying Fenholt was “trying out” for his solo project. Reportedly, Iommi says Fenholt didn’t get the job because he couldn’t come up with any decent lyrics, but Jeff blames his exit/not being hired on arguments with then Black Sabbath manager Don Arden. Eric Singer backs up Iommi’s side of the story. Either way, there is a bootleg of demos floating around titled Star of India featuring Fenholt on vocals and the rest of the Seventh Star line-up playing the songs that would later evolve into Seventh Star.

Seventh Star is right up there as one of my favorite Black Sabbath albums. I love Glenn Hughes’ voice and as I said before I’m not bothered by the change in style. The sound here is influenced greatly by the blues and the L.A. metal scene at the time and it’s working for me. There’s not too many uptempo songs, but given Hughes’ soulful it all works out on songs like “Heart Like a Wheel”, “Angry Heart” and “In Memory…”.

It’s unfortunate Iommi & Black Sabbath seemed so cursed in the ’80s: only a handful of shows into the Seventh Star tour, Hughes was fired due to extremely poor performances (the side effects of a nasty drug habit). Future Badlands vocalist Ray Gillen stepped in and finished up the tour.

All told, this is a pretty impressive Sabbath lineup. Eric Singer would later go on to play in Badlands, KISS and with Alice Cooper, Dave Spitz (brother of ex-Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz) has worked with Lita Ford, Great White, Nuclear Assault and White Lion and then of course, we have Geoff Nicholls getting his first official credit as a Black Sabbath member!

Highlights: All of it.



Posted on August 11, 2009, in Black Sabbath and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. >I’ll happily take any non-Ozzy Black Sabbath album

    As for me, I love Ozzy-era Sabbath and Ozzy’s solo albums.
    Seventh Star” is the only non-Ozzy Sabbath album I’ve ever bought.

  2. Great album but it got shit on back in the day, especially after the “reunion” at Live Aid in ’85 and talks being that the band would reunite officially in ’86. Hughes was a good fit for a Tony Iommi solo record, check out THE 1996 DEP SESSIONS and FUSED for more solid music from the two.

    Back to 7th Star……I had this when it came out because it was Sabbath but I knew it wasn’t anything like the Ozzy or Dio eras, even the Gillan record. I remember the band was coming to Providence with WASP and Anthrax and I tried to go but no one wanted to join me. My mom wouldn’t let me go by myself so I missed out. WASP cancelled and Anthrax played a longer set and this was the next to last show for Glenn Hughes on the tour. Good memories of this album.

    Heavy Metal Addiction

    • I just added DEP SESSIONS and FUSED to my CD Universe/Rate Your Music wish lists last night! Probably will get one or the other this coming paycheck (I’ve been ordering so much music lately).

  3. Anything that Iommi was involved in was just brilliant

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