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BLACK SABBATH – Death Called ’89

Black Sabbath – Death Called ’89 (CDR bootleg)
Recorded: June 9, 1989 at the Manchester Apollo in Manchester, England

1. “Headless Cross” … 6:39
2. “Neon Knights” … 5:35
3. “Children Of The Sea” … 6:01
4. “Die Young” … 6:29
5. “Iron Man” … 5:08
6. “When Death Calls” … 7:07
7. “War Pigs” … 7:09
8. “Heaven And Hell/Paranoid/Heaven And Hell” … 14:27
9. “Cloak And Dagger” … 4:36

Tony Martin – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Neil Murray – Bass
Cozy Powell – Drums
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards

A fantastic Black Sabbath live bootleg! I have such a fondness for Tony Martin’s run and a bootleg like this only helps to solidify the case that his time in Sabbath is extremely underrated. Taken straight from the soundboard, the quality is very good for a bootleg and Tony is in great vocal form and the rest of the band sounds like the accomplished musicians that they are. This was a great line-up and in 1989 Sabbath was on a creative roll having just released the excellent Headless Cross.

Of course, being that Sabbath has such a rich and popular history with Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio, Tony has to cover their material throughout most of the show. He does very well with the Dio material as there are similarities in their voices (even Dio himself has said that Tony Martin was ripping off his vocal style) but he falters when it comes to “Iron Man”, “War Pigs” and “Paranoid”. It’s not really his fault though. He’s too good of a singer to do those songs justice, if that makes sense. He sounds silly doing them just as Ronnie James or Ian Gillan always did. It just doesn’t work.

Other than that, really enjoyable live show and the crowd sounds fired up. Martin really shines on his songs “Headless Cross” and “When Death Calls”. Unfortunately those are the only songs of his own he gets to sing!

The final song on the album, “Cloak & Dagger”, is a studio track that was the B-side for the “Headless Cross” single.

This is a bootleg well worth seeking out and can easily be found online.

Highlights: “Headless Cross”, “Neon Knights”, “Die Young”, “When Death Calls”, “Heaven And Hell/Paranoid/Heaven And Hell”

BLACK SABBATH – Born Again: Unmixed Demos & The Fallen

Black Sabbath – Born Again: Unmixed Demos & The Fallen (CDR bootleg)

1. “Hot Line” … 4:54
2. “Keep It Warm” … 5:44
3. “The Fallen” … 4:28
4. “Digital Bitch” … 3:44
5. “Stonehenge” … 4:54
6. “Trashed” … 3:47
7. “Zero the Hero” … 9:09
8. “Born Again” … 6:33
9. “Disturbing the Priest” … 5:38

Ian Gillan – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar, Flute
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward – Drums, Percussion

Additional Musicians:
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards

Producer: Robin Black and Black Sabbath

Surfacing in 2004, this release is as the title explicitly states, a bootleg of the unmixed demos from 1983’s classic Born Again album. Demos usually don’t appeal to me because they are what they are: demos. An unfinished product. Not so in this case. These unmixed numbers are actually mixed a bit better than the final product (which reportedly was the victim of the master tape’s exposure to humidity) and darn near close to being complete other than a few extra solos and altered lyrics.

In comparison to the officially released album, there are only two major differences with this bootleg: the absence of the short instrumental called “The Dark” and the inclusion of “The Fallen”. “The Fallen” fits in well with the rest of the album so I’m not sure why the band decided not to include it on the official release. Perhaps they were saving some of their ammo for the follow-up which never occurred?

Click here for my thoughts on the official Born Again release.

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