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A very Purple That Metal Show

Tony Iommi was a featured guest on the last episode of VH1’s That Metal Show, but despite of that most of the show revolved around Purple. Or maybe not even ‘despite’, given the rather incestious relationship between the two bands.

Iommi discussed past experience with Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes as singers in Sabbath. He also discussed the WhoCares recording and working with Gillan again. They talk about Black Country Communion. He actually shares that his favorite “replacement” singer for Sabbath was Gillan. Then there was a ‘Whatever Happened to Ritchie Blackmore’ segment, when the hosts of the show discuss the fact about Ritchie being involved with Blackmore’s Night and Renaissance Music for the past decade and then they, along with Tony Iommi remark loudly “Ritchie, Come Back to ROCK!”

This episode will be airing throughout the next month and beyond.


Thanks to Tracy Heyder and Daniel Bengtsson for the info, and to shireanharrison for the video.

42 Comments to “A very Purple That Metal Show”:

  1. 1
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Actually what’s even funnier or even more worthy a statement is that when the question about Ritchie Blackmore came up regarding his present status doing Renaissance Music, the loud and clear statement from the penance was……”STOP”!!!!!

    You have to watch the show. Must see Purple TV.


  2. 2
    Bob says:

    I am a fan of the show, but it irks me that the TMS hosts have largely ignored Deep Purple, especially mkII. That fact that not one of them nominated “Made in Japan” as a top 5 live album, and that they think that mkIII & IV were better lineups than mkII shows a high level of ignorance. However the guests bring Deep Purple up so often that it is clear that they would be among the guests’ top 5 influential bands.

  3. 3
    ozzie says:

    Gillan, No doubt.!

  4. 4
    buttocks says:

    enjoyed the show, it was good to see tony express nice comments regarding ex-Purple, Sabbath members in the band. Would love to see tony work with ian again possible born again two album……..can only dream.

  5. 5
    George Fotis says:

    Tony should really get Glen Hughes back & reform Black Sabbath. His vocals matched his guitar quite well.
    I thought Black Sabbath & Tony said Ian Gillan with the band was the worst thing they ever did .
    When’s Ritchie going to start playing music like Down to Earth again. The Stranger In Us All album is the final cd of his that i have. The Fireball & Stormbringer album’s sound much better then he thinks.

  6. 6
    Al says:

    Yeah Ritchie ,enough of that shoe shine music.Make a rock album mate!

  7. 7
    Chris says:

    This was a good one.

  8. 8
    Roberto says:

    Iommi prefer Gillan over Dio too?

  9. 9
    Eirik Solum says:

    Gillan is Iommis favourite “replacement” singer in Sabbath? Ok, I’m a Gillan fan.. But was’nt Dio more the guy for Sabbath? Think so.

  10. 10
    AndreA says:


  11. 11
    AndreA says:

    oleeee Gillan is the winner!!! and I love this but I have to say that tony martin has been a great surprise for us all..I love his stuff with B†S ( the only one I miss is Forbidden: how do you all find this Lp? I have read that Cozy Powell Iommi hate his production made by an american rapper from BodyCount band so that sound is bad..).

    Dave Donato..ahahaha..I’ve never listened his singing….
    Hughes is grat vocalist of course but he is not evil like others were in B†S, he is a bit too lighter…

    ciao people

  12. 12
    scott says:

    i saw this show and it was quite good. i found it strange though, that the woman who wrote in would say ” i LOVE ritchie blackmore so whatever happened to him?” surely if you LOVE ritchie blackmore then you would have a clue that he has had BN going on for 14 years now!

  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    Why do people keep going on about Gillan getting back with Iommi? It is not 1983 folks! Gillan’s voice would never stand up to those riffs these days, & I am talking playing live, not recording in the studio!
    As far as Iommi saying who his favourite vocalist in post Ozzy Sabbath is? Well, it could depend when he is asked that question & how sentimental he is feeling I would imagine! Forget Hughes totally! No way is he suited to Iommi’s riffs, as the nasally whiny vocals on the Fused album show!

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    Oh & I have to comment on the “Ritchie come back to rock” comments! Why, so he can repeat all the smame riffs over & over & over again? Iommi ran out of riffs years ago folks! You can only play so many & then turn them around, inside out & backwards even, for so long!
    These two men in black are two of my favourite guitarists, period! I only purchased Blackmore’s first 2 Night albums, nice for something different, but she annoys me big time! Maybe Iommi should do something different like he said he was going to back in the 90’s, but then pulled the plug on it & reverted back to where he feels safe!
    Time to move on people, well father time will sort that one out anyway! RIP Dio, he was the one!

  15. 15
    The Holy Chair says:

    It’s official :

    I can now safely put Iommi on my flipflopperlist.

    Long Live Tony Martin!!!

  16. 16
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Point of clarification regarding Tony’s favorite Sabbath Singer. That didn’t include Ozzy or DIO. It was pointed at the others besides those 2. He remarked that Gillan was the consummate professional.


  17. 17
    PK says:

    IOMMI/Hughes album “Fused” is some really great rock. Would love to hear more of that!

  18. 18
    StratKat (a.k.a. 'T') says:

    A close listen to the clip reveals that Gillan–as good as he was–won this “throw-down” by default. Both Ozzy and Dio were not included in the debate, and Iommi does not consider Glenn Hughes as a former official member of Sabbath. That aside, it was great to hear such an intense discussion of Purple-related issues on an American program.

    At heart was the criterion “best replacement”. I would have to agree that Gillan held that rôle in the greatest sense in that his style most agreed with the original line-up of the band: loud, with screaming and sardonic laughing.

    Since its release, I have regarded Dio-era’s Heaven and Hell as the “lost” Rainbow album–the follow up to Long Live Rock & Roll in both style and content. The participation of Craig Gruber on Heaven & Hell merely solidifies the argument: closer to Rainbow than Sabbath. The follow-up Mob Rules did not have these Rainbow characteristics. Hughes had a great performance on Seventh Star, but was only a “member” by proxy.

    Gillan’s contribution, however, often described as “bare knuckled” was closer in attitude and philosophy to the original band; however, I think fans on the Sabbath side had difficulty accepting the upstart from traditional rivals Purple in the same way Zeppelin fans have difficulty with Glenn Hughes in BCC.

    The recent fundraiser songs continue to illustrate the potential of a Gillan-Iommi collaboration. The Hughes-Iommi combination is already tried-and-true across several albums. I just wish that kind of energy and enthusiasm would be brought into a new Purple album.

  19. 19
    The Holy Chair says:

    I felt the same about Long Live Rock And Roll and Heaven and Hell since the release : )

    ” A consummate professional” would not destroy his God sent voice with trucks full of tobacco and oceans of alcohol.

    Glenn Hughes may not be an ” intended official BS singer” but he made a CLASSIC album with power and melody worthy of any BS release.
    Since then Iommi made several excellent albums with Martin.
    I dont know much about Martin’s lifestyle but he, to me, seems more an true professional than OZZY and Gillan, indeed both worthy of the stereotypical Spinal Tap behaviour than the others.

    Not to mention the great Ronnie James Dio, who oozes CLASS consistently and not sometimes, always the professional and friendly towards the one who support him.

  20. 20
    AndreA says:

    i don’t like FUSED, mainly hughes on it.

  21. 21
    Philip says:

    I doubt very much that RB watches said show so will have missed that message for him. Time to move on kids.

  22. 22
    stoffer says:

    Dio’s one of a kind voice made everything sound Rainbow-like, not the band just RJD. Man I miss Rainbow MKII, A Light In The Black…………….it doesn’t rock much harder than that.

  23. 23
    Made in England says:

    “I just wish that kind of energy and enthusiasm would be brought into a new Purple album.”

    Do you think Iommi would want to join DP?

  24. 24
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:


    I would have to agree with you whole heartedly here, every step of the way. Gillan without a doubt was the true ‘fitting standout’ replacement for both Ozzy and DIO. Tony Martin did a great job continuing the DIOesque style and partook in some great albums. ‘Headless Cross’ in particular is one of my favorite Sabbath records. Very DIO, yet indulged into his own style as well, but always maintained more of the DIO influence. Gillan on the other hand took the helm as the conductor of self-influence and put his signature on the band and when performing live, made the old classics something new and grandeur. He didn’t sing the Ozzy tunes like Ozzy. He didn’t sing the DIO tunes like DIO. He put his amazing gift to work and redefined those songs in a way only he could do. Since he was the ‘first’ replacement singer to follow DIO, there were only songs from those 2 singers he had to cover along with doing his own from ‘Born Again’. I have always fantasized about him instead, following later on behind Tony Martin and Glenn Hughes, and thereby singing their songs as well. Would have loved to hear his take on the ‘Seventh Star’ and ‘Headless Cross’ tunes. I was lucky enough to witness both the Gillan and Martin shows live, along with Ozzy and DIO. I must say, hand over foot, the Gillan show was much more bombastic and epic. From the first “Gillan Scream” to the last ‘cringing laugh’, he thoroughly amazed me with his presence and performance on the Sabbath songs. I’d have to describe him as looking right at home there, and had you not known the prior Sabbath history, you would have thought this was the original line-up. Had that been the case, the reception would have been entirely different, which leads to the next issue.

    As you stated, there was the ‘Sabbath’ followers being turned off by the Gillan issue. Much of this was due to the unwise inclusion of ‘Smoke on the Water’ during the encores at the live shows. Had they not done that, and continued on with a follow-up album and tour, I believe the line-up would have been accepted and recognized as probably the Best Sabbath of all. Especially if Bill Ward had returned on the drums for the live shows and for a second record. “Reborn Again” would have been the perfect title. I’d still love to see it happen. Yes I know, Big Ian can’t quite hit those notes he used to, but doing a new record in his present status, maintaining it around his present range, along with his ability to manipulate his voice in ways that still make songs of old work well, I believe the ‘nay-sayers’ would be pleasantly surprised, and by all means, judging by the ‘WhoCares’ tracks, it’s a Win Win.


  25. 25
    AndreA says:

    sorry but also Dio deserve

  26. 26
    StratKat (a.k.a. 'T') says:

    Re: #21

    I can’t speak for Tony Iommi and only he knows what he would do. My personal opinion is no, Iommi would not join Purple. The fact that DP already has a guitarist aside, I feel that Iommi would not abandon his Sabbath roots to step into a rôle that has already been so profoundly defined by both Blackmore and Morse. I just cannot see Iommi as a “replacement”.

    Having said that, I do believe that if Purple were to fold, Iommi would have no trouble recruiting Gillan for a totally NEW band–or to work with him in an extra-purplicular project. The Who Cares material demonstrates a musical chemistry between the two that is difficult to deny.

  27. 27
    Roberto says:

    Gillan was the best and he showed it on the live bootleg worchester ’83…none will ever come close to his rendition of ‘black sabbath’, ‘war pigs’ ‘paranoid’ and ‘heaven and hell’…not to mention the ‘born again’ album which include the merveillous ‘trashed’ ‘disturbing the priest’ and the masterpiece title track…

  28. 28
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    AMEN Roberto. Every time I listen to live recordings of the Born Again shows I am amazed at how incredible Gillan worked those songs. Again, I do believe that had he not left for the Purple Reunion in ’84, and thus stayed for another album and tour, he would have become the permanent singer for Sabbath and the fans would have by then warmed up to the fact and accepted the greatness….(as long as SOTW was dropped from the live shows).


  29. 29
    MacGregor says:

    Some people commenting here seem to not get the reality picture at all. In interviews I have read over the years with Gillan regarding his tenor in Sabbath, he stated repeatedly that he couldn’t stand the lyrics & it just didn’t feel right at all.
    They gave it a try & I wish Born Again could be remixed big time, as it needs it more than any other album of theirs! There was never going to be any more Gillan fronted Sabbath, period! His voice & as wee as Hughes, just doesn’t fit with Iommi’s riffs like Ozzy. Dio’s & Martins in my book. I am talking about the vocal melody & key (pitch) fitting in with the riff, some things work wonderfully well in music & some things don’t. Regarding this anal rave re; Iommi in Purple, well it is just that!

  30. 30
    The Holy Chair says:

    Wasn’t it Iommi that, while talking about his year with Gillan in BS, said :

    ” It wasn’t fair to both of us.” ?

  31. 31
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    There are tons of statements from ALL parties in the various bands that either contradict or excuse different situations. Usually for political reasons. I am not interested in those comments. I don’t give a hoot what remark was made regarding the points these musicians make about each other or about the past. If it works they are positive, if it doesn’t they are negative. It’s the music I am interested in. The performances. Not the politics or the banter between parties.

    My point regarding Gillan in Sabbath stands the same. No it wasn’t the best received BS album. That’s not the issue. You can’t deny the fact that Gillan’s part was incredible. Seeing and Hearing is believing. As I stated, I saw every Sabbath line-up live except for the Hughes quickie. I have seen video though. Gillan’s performances were by far superior. His and Tony’s statements about the ending of it are typical when things go that way. I still say that even though there are contrary statements that abound, had Purple not rejoined, Gillan would have stuck it out for another go. Thus we will never know and Born Again stands alone and stands up to the best of Sabbath. The live shows especially. For those who missed it, Trust me. Do some searching for quality bootlegs. There a few of them out there. Crank it up and sit back and partake in the remarkable takes on the Sabbath Classic, Gillan style. It really doesn’t get any better.


  32. 32
    The Holy Chair says:

    Ok then, what about Ritchie Blackmore then?
    What about Jon Lord then?
    What about Ian Paice then ?

    BRING ON MK III !!!! : )

    Right now I m listening to a 2010 REMASTER of Made In Europe.

    I do own Live In Paris and The Final MK III concerts but I still love this album.

    The feelings alone for the LP cover!!!!

    The problem is it only lasts 45 minutes.

    It’s time for a reappraissal for this album.I think if it would have been a DOUBLE as originally intended it would rank high between all the other classic doubles.

    I know Jon is seriously ill and getting on in age but hell, I d almost cut off an arm a leg to watch a show.

    Very soon they ll all be gone and so many opportunities missed in the end : (

  33. 33
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Chair, that is the typical pessimist seeing a glass Half Full….

    Your last statement is as clear as it gets.
    “Very soon they ll all be gone and so many opportunities missed in the end : (”

    You see, I see it different. They have taken Many opportunities over the years. There are hundreds of recordings of All types from these blokes. Actually, forget the Missed opportunities. They accomplished more overall material for us to enjoy than we deserve. Especially the ungrateful slobs that constantly complain that they don’t do just like they want it….Ring any bells???


  34. 34
    Roberto says:

    I don’t give a damn what Fans, journalists, Iommi or Gillan himself think about ‘Born Again’ and the tour that followed…Yes, Ian Gillan was not confortable with every single Sabbath song but with most of them he showed he was the best rock singer…just listen to the songs and versions I mentioned before…

  35. 35
    Larry R. Toering says:

    Different times constitute different outlooks… the very last words Tony Iommi said to me were, and I quote: “Well all be dead in another ten years, mate.” -sinister indeed of him… 6 more years to go, Tony.

  36. 36
    Roberto says:

    @35 a word without Purple and relatives family and it will be over even for us…

  37. 37
    Soonpush says:

    Candice is the best singer for Richie so that Ozzy was the best partner for Iommi. Blackmore’s Night albums sold well in Germany and Russia. Candice learned music from her family in her childhood, so she wanted to become pop singer. She releases her first solo album “Reflections” in October. http://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Candice-Night/dp/B005B641JY

  38. 38
    soonpush says:

    Candice is best singer for Ritchie such as Ozzy was best partner for Iommi.
    She learned music from her family in childhood so she wanted to become pop singer.
    She releases first solo album “Reflections” in October.

  39. 39
    soonpush says:

    Candice is best singer for Ritchie, such Ozzy was best partner for Iommi. She learned musice from her family in childhood. She releases first solo album “Reflections” in October.

  40. 40
    KIDD PURPLE says:

    The guys at That Metal Show continue to be baffled by Purple’s influence.Deep Purple is mentioned quite a bit . Any one catch Michael
    Anthony telling them he learned to sing to Child In Time ?

  41. 41
    jeff says:

    Nice reminiscences, though the musical world moves on and some things are just not going to happen eg the return of the MIB to Purple, Gillan continues to roll on, though his voice is a shadow of its best times and he appears comfortable in Purple til it eventually shuts up shop.

    IMHO Dio was best for Sabbath as a ‘replacement’ for Ozzy though point taken, if Gillan had persisted, and dropped SOTW from the encore, he may eventually have gained more acceptance and comfortability with BS and the fans at that time, though not now, as his voice is not up to it any more.

    What it illustrates is that Purple and its offshoots has had a profound influence in the hard rock/ metal sphere and to date that has not been generally acknowledged or officially recognised eg Hall Of Fame while greatly inferior acts ( in my opinion ) have been inducted.
    cheers all.

  42. 42
    ashkat says:

    Macgregor, mate I agree with most things you say, but in regard to Hughes
    Not being suited to Iommi,s riffs well as I think fused is absolutely
    Awesome.take another listen.

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