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The bottle took a beating

Born Again has turned 30, and black-sabbath.com is celebrating the anniversary with an extended article, which includes the cover art story straight from its author Steve Joule, among many other things:

Magazne that was used for Born Again cover "inspiration"OK let’s put this baby to rest once and for all. The Black Sabbath ‘Born Again’ album sleeve was designed under extraordinary circumstances; basically what had happened was that Sharon and Ozzy had split very acrimoniously from her fathers (Don Arden) management and record label. He subsequently decided that he would wreak his revenge by making Black Sabbath (whom he managed) the best heavy metal band in the world, which, of course they are but back then in the early ’80′s they weren’t quite the International megastars that they had been in the ’70′s. His plans included recruiting Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan, getting Bill Ward back in on drums and stealing as many of Sharon and Ozzy’s team as possible and as I was designing Ozzys sleeves at the time I of course got asked to submit some rough designs. As I didn’t want to lose my gig with the Osbourne’s I thought the best thing to do would be to put some ridiculous and obvious designs down on paper, submit them and then get the beers in with the rejection fee, but oh no, life ain’t that easy. In all I think there were four rough ideas that were given to the management and band to peruse (unfortunately I no longer have the roughs as I would love to see just how bad the other three were as sadly my booze and drug addled brain no longer remembers that far back), anyway one of the ideas was of course the baby and the first image of a baby that I found was from the front cover of a 1968 magazine called ‘Mind Alive’ that my parents has bought me as a child in order to further my education, so in reality I say blame my parents for the whole sorry mess. I then took some black and white photocopies of the image (the picture is credited to ‘Rizzoli Press’) that I overexposed, stuck the horns, nails, fangs into the equation, used the most outrageous colour combination that acid could buy, bastardised a bit of the Olde English typeface and sat back, shook my head and chuckled. The story goes that at the meeting Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler were present but no Ian Gillan or Bill Ward. Tony loved it and Geezer, so I’m reliably informed, looked at it and in his best Brummie accent said, “It’s shit. but it’s fucking great!” Don not only loved it but had already decided that a Born Again baby costume was to be made for a suitable midget who was going to wear it and be part of the now infamous ‘Born Again Tour’. So suddenly I find myself having to do the bloody thing. I was also offered a ridiculous amount of money (about twice as much as I was being paid for an Ozzy sleeve design) if I could deliver finished artwork for front, back and inner sleeve by a certain date. As the dreaded day drew nearer and nearer I kept putting off doing it again and again until finally the day before I sprang into action with the help of a neighbour, (Steve ‘Fingers’ Barrett) a bottle of Jack Daniels and the filthiest speed that money could buy on the streets of South East London and we bashed the whole thing out in a night, including hand lettering all the lyrics, delivered it the next day where upon I received my financial reward. But that wasn’t the end of it oh no, when Gillan finally got to see a finished sleeve he hated it with a vengeance and hence the now famous quote “I looked at the cover and puked!” Not wanting to sound bitchy but over the years I’ve said the same thing about most of Gillan’s album sleeves. He also allegedly threw a box of 25 copies of the album out of his window. Gillan might have hated it but Max Cavelera (Sepultura, Soulfly) and Glen Benton (Deicide) have both gone on record saying that it is their favourite album sleeve.

Read more on black-sabbath.com.

Thanks to Nigel Young for date correction.

77 Comments to “The bottle took a beating”:

  1. 1
    Nigel Young says:

    I think you’ll find that Born Again was released on Friday 9 September 1983. It entered the UK album charts for the week ending 24 September 1983, i.e. for sales in the week to 17 September. Those who attended the early gigs (a week in Scandinavia) and festivals on the tour (Reading and Dublin) in August may recall the album delay. The tour then continued in September.

  2. 2
    AL says:

    The album deserves a proper mix,if that is ever going to happen,The album was remastered again a few years back with some improvement,but still not remixed.I am still waiting for that day to come,to restore the sound to this very underrated album.

  3. 3
    cyclone says:

    Best Sabbath album. Hilarious stories about the tour. Should be in paper back form.

  4. 4
    crab says:

    its is also the best black Sabbath album

  5. 5
    Dr. Bob says:

    Born Again is one of my favorite albums, tours, and rock lineups. The melding of my two favorite bands was a dream come true for me 30 years ago. The live 2nd disc in the reissue has Gillan in top form bringing new life to the old Sabbath tunes with his screaming and cackling. Love it.

  6. 6
    Daniel says:

    -i do not find it amusing or in good taste to mock the sacred beliefs of any religious group indirectly or through any manner. that is not classic rock, but classic sense of feces in your face.

  7. 7
    Oleg says:

    One of the best metal/hard rock records !

  8. 8
    MacGregor says:

    AL@2- Correct indeed, why hasn’t this horribly mixed album been remixed? Don’t they still have the master tape or is it tied up in some contractual legal crap! It is one of the worst sounding albums, but could sound much better no doubt!
    cyclone @ 3 – & crab @4- it is a good Sabbath album, but in no way the best! I can mention half a dozen better if not more, maybe your favourite Sabbath album though?
    Hard to believe it is 30 years since all the excitement of hearing & reading about Gillan joining the Sabs! I like the album, but from the live ‘bootleg’ recordings of the odd concert I have heard, it sort of didn’t work out that well. No doubt much better if you were there at the ‘live’ gig though. Not to worry, there are some great tracks on it & where would Spinal Tap be today, if it wasn’t for this albums ‘Stonehenge’ tour?
    If you ever want to annoy your neighbours (that is if you don’t get on with them of course) play “Disturbing The Priest” really, really loud! It does the trick! Cheers.

  9. 9
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @2, @8: Joe Siegler writes on the piece linked above that the multi track tapes apparently are gone. There has been several attempts to locate them but no luck.

  10. 10
    EtelBerta says:

    Born Again is the best Sabbath album, Gillan one of the best Sabbath voices, and no matter what Steve Joule told (hell with him 🙂 )

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    Svante @ -9- cheers for that info, I visit Joe’s site often, but not for a few days now, so I hadn’t read that lost master tape info. Bummer about the lost tapes, as predictable as that often is, it is disappointing indeed. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Al says:

    @ Svante I read that story too man,and it is really messed up!Whether it is true or they just going to wait a few more years until,they decide to do it,I don’t know,but I found really weird and unprofessional,that the multi tracks are not to be found.By all means not the best Black Sabbath,a good solid album,but not the best.I suspect the business side of it.We ve been told for years for many concerts missing,but all of sudden out of the blue,the record companies issues them.

  13. 13
    T says:

    Ironically, the best Sabbath albums are those with do not have the original singer and which are infused with Deep Purple and Rainbow-related components, namely Ronnie James Dio fresh from his tenure with Blackmore. He, along with some Craig Gruber influences–make Heaven & Hell the follow-up to Long Live Rock & Roll…at least in my book.

    Born Again follows Heaven & Hell on the heavy end, but the faux Sabbath Glenn Hughes-led Seventh Sign remains among the best written and most easily accessible albums under the Black Sabbath name. Further Iommi-Hughes collaborations are likewise outstanding.

    Without Ozzy, Sabbath becomes a kind of Rainbow-style band. The Gillan/Lord/Iommi collaboration of late is especially indicative of what could have been. Unfortunately, these non-Ozzy line-ups never stabilized…kind of like a couple of other bands I like. 😉

    Ozzy can’t be described as a great singer–one of a few that uses electronic enhancements such as delay, phasing, and chorus on a regular basis to cover weakness of voice and who becomes more incomprehensible over the years. Early Sabbath albums are simply crude endeavors relying on darkness, shock, and image in place of musicality and virtuosity.

    It wasn’t until Dio that the band realized their true potential. The addition of Ian Gillan to Sabbath made the band a kind of Gillan on steroids.

  14. 14
    big al says:

    mocking religious groups are what the sabbs and mr gillan do best. born again is a fantastic record, bill wards last full album and gillan’s vocals are immense. the new 13 cd is good but nothing compared to born again!

  15. 15
    Svante Axbacke says:

    Yes, the missing multi tracks can be a record company thing but really – this particular album, which so many seem to hate, would they really save a remix for the 40th anniversary edition?

    I can totally understand if the tapes are gone. We fans now may think it’s a disaster but for a record company at the time, or some guy in charge of cleaning up a warehouse later, it may have been nothing to save.

    Reminds me of a story that some important stuff from our national tv here in Sweden is gone because in the early days of video, the tapes were so expensive that they simply used them again and recorded over the original once it was broadcast, thinking no one would be interested in the future…

  16. 16
    Al says:

    @ 13

    I kind of agree with your points,but the Seventh Star album,it is not a Sabbath album.was never meant to be,but the record company wanted to sell the album under the Sabbath’s name.But to go as far and to say that is the best written album,it is a little bit too much,nevertheless people go with their own taste and nostalgia.The album is too much in 80’s sound and production,and has nothing to do with the Sabbath sound! It is the worst by far from the Hughes/Iommi collaboration,but this is only my opinion.Different periods,different singers,Ozzy’s period is the best Sabbath and I love both Gillan and Dio!


  17. 17
    Daniel says:

    Top10 Album for me, but after that tour, Gillan´s voice was no longer as before….

  18. 18
    T says:

    If we are talking about tapes used by a radio or TV broadcasting company to record a live performance, it is understandable and a matter of routine that these tapes could be wiped and re-used to save cost.

    However, master tapes for a record album are supposed to be archived in the event they are needed to re-cut acetates and metal masters for subsequent stamper runs. These tend to wear out eventually. Didn’t anyone make a safety copy of the master tape?

    Multi-track tapes are not generally wiped clean for re-use since each time the erasure head clears a track and it is re-recorded, the tape loses fidelity. Those of us who routinely used cassette tape as kids found out that the life of magnetic tape is finite. This is especially true of the old Fostex-style four-track cassette-based machines. After a few takes, the sound starts to degrade.

    The master tapes are the property of the record label and should be archived–somewhere. If they were destroyed, it was because of incompetence and carelessness. The completion of the recording process is not the last step in making a record–especially in the days of vinyl.

    A two-track master should still remain. Instruments cannot be mixed since the parts have been put together, but some sound work could be done to improve the sonic quality using modern equipment. It all depends on how one defines “re-mix”. Most people use this term to refer to EQ qualities instead of instrument balance ratios.

    I agree that Born Again probably isn’t economically viable to invest a large amount of time and resources into it. While it is an important album to Purple fans, Sabbath fans are not generally enthusiastic about it.

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    Svante @ 15 – Yes, there are many reasons the original master tapes are not available, it reminds me of this story.
    The re issued Tommy album from The Who, released back in the late 90’s, was taken from the original IBC eight tracks, according to the albums liner notes. Apparently, back in 1969 after hearing the first take cut to vinyl at the albums completion of the final mastering & declaring it a ‘masterpiece’, Kit Lambert (The Who’s producer)’ceremoniously’ burnt & destroyed the original master tape.
    There must be so much original music, movies & the like, missing because of other peoples actions, some deliberate, some not so deliberate. Cheers.

  20. 20
    Ivica says:

    I was disappointed as a fan when Gillan dissolved band and went to Black Sabbath. Purple all the family then
    Gillan, Rainbow and Whitesnake
    Gillan band was the closest I was Deep Purple sound, best offer ex DP though Rainbow and Whitesnake more selling, Gillan was the origin, the most similar because of his distinctive voice.
    amazing keyboardist Colin Towns, and rhythm section “hellish” John Mc Coy and Mick Underwood
    Guitarist Torme” punk fury” and passion Hendriks
    “Mr. Universe,” “Glory Road,” Future Scook “great albums, great music width, energy, melodies, passionate music, great Ian’s singing, lacked one real live album / Reading 81 poorly produced /
    “Double Trouble” and “Magic” a little weaker

    Black Sabbath.. “Born Again” with Ian Gillan as a singer
    another metal album BS
    For me, Ian much more … one of the biggest Rocen roll singer, and” persona”

    “Perfect Strangers” came the next year

  21. 21
    Jeff Summers says:

    Amazingly, what makes Born Again so good is Ian’s voice. His banshee. devilish wailings and wicked laughs suit Iommi’s writing so well. The riffs are good too, but the material is not as good as during the Dio era and neither is the production. IG used one portion of his magnificent voice for most of the album and dropped the subtlety and melodic phrasing for most part…Most appropriate I think…Cheers 🙂

  22. 22
    purplepriest1965 says:


    Did they also erase, like in the Netherlands 30 minutes of Deep Purple on tv?!

  23. 23
    Deeperpurps says:

    Read the latest issue of Classic Rock Magazine #187. It devotes 4 pages in its Buyer’s Guide (usually only 2 pages for most bands) to Black Sabbath…..unfortunately it lists the Gillan-led Born Again album as one to AVOID. I disagree totally but then likes and dislikes, taste, etc are personal and subjective. I do think however that it is a much stronger album than the Ozzy-based albums Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die which the article describes as GOOD and WORTH EXPLORING. Though the article does give favourable nods to the DIO-era albums, the writer appears to have a strong bias towards the Ozzy version of the band. Typical!

  24. 24
    AL says:

    @21 Indeed Jeff,but as much as I love Gillan’s voice and what he is done on this album,I always wondered about the subtle side of it,I love the production and the quality of Dio era,and I don’t know why this one is so muddy and horrible sounding?
    @Mcgregor Hlas if the tapes are gone,we never going to see that proper Re-mix we’ve been hoping for such a long time.


  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    AL @ -24- no it doesn’t look good for the master tape & remix. One big reason this album could be so muddy in it’s production, probably could be the inebriation that was going down at the time. If they are smashed off their faces big time, then anything could sound good to them at that time. But as we know, when we return to out ‘normal’ state of mind, the reality kicks in.
    Comments like ‘what the f..k is this sh..’! Or ‘I don’t remember doing that’ or ‘can’t we record it again’? Or maybe even ‘who gives a toss anyway, it sounded good on the day we did it’! Something along those lines perhaps? Too late after the event, therefore we end up with a full on ‘in your face’ album, but with a woeful mix & production etc. Trashed anyone? Cheers.

  26. 26
    Jeff Summers says:

    @ Al, 21…the subtlety is saved for DP and his solo work, Sabbath have always lacked Purple’s “musical sensitivity” (Ozzy couldn’t sing a ballad to save his life) and that is one of the many things that separate DP from the rest 🙂

    Cheers 🙂

  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    Jeff @ 26 – Haven’t you heard the song ‘Changes’ from Volume 4? I could mention others but I would be wasting my time. If you think Sabbath lacked ‘musical sensitivity’ as you call it, then obviously you don’t know what ‘musical sensitivity’ is!
    Planet Caravan anyone.
    I could go on & as for others also to absurdly state that Ozzy Osbourne cannot sing properly or melodically, they are also totally out of touch with melody! It is that simple! Black Sabbath songs are more melodic than Purple’s in many ways!
    People I know from decades ago were into Sabbath’s songs more than Purple or Zeppelin. I asked them why & they simply stated that they hear more melody & stronger songs with Sabbath. They were not big fans of those 3 bands at all, but they heard enough to hear enough, according to them. People hear different things in songs that others may not. But for anyone to state that Osbourne cannot sing, well enough said! Maybe they need to clear their ears, or should I say clear their bias!

  28. 28
    Jeff Summers says:

    @27 I certainly know what musical sensitivity is and have been lucky enough to work with some great musicians on many levels and projects. Sabbath were Clumsy in comparison to DP and LZ That expression of musicality comes from greatness. How can you be explosive if you have no sensitivity? I love the early Sabs albums and am very familiar with them thank you. And do not require any references. Ozzy is not a singer, he is a very restricted stylist at best and the shame of it is that he is so famous compared to his peers of the time (Gillan Pant and Rodgers) if you think that Ozzie is a great singer, then I believe it is you who should clear out your ears,,,

  29. 29
    MacGregor says:

    Jeff @ 28 – Where did I say Ozzy was a great singer????????Read again & you will see the word melodic? Not my problem if you cannot hear Osbourne’s melodic vocal on Sabbath’s songs. Why do many other people hear melody as well? We must be all tone deaf then?
    But I know we are not! Sabbath did the acoustic instrumentals, orchestral arrangements & other musical styles. Why would Rick Wakeman & Don Airey record with them if they were clumsy? Or are you talking about ‘live’ performances from somewhere?
    “Ozzy is not a singer” great comedy that! I have already discussed your comments with a few rock music followers from the ‘golden’ era & they are amused indeed. The ‘reference’ that you mention is in response to the “couldn’t sing a ballad to save his life” comment.
    So what is the song Changes then? Not a ballad or not singing or not singing melodically? That is as good as any other ballad you will hear from other ‘rock’ bands.

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    Jeff @ 28 – If you could elaborate on the meaning of ‘clumsy’ that would be good. And ‘musical sensitivity’ also perhaps? Do mean Sabbath’s arrangements, odd meter rhythms, light & dark, quiet to heavy, heavy to quiet or verse & chorus etc. I am curious that is all.
    It will give me something to ponder whilst at work today or even tomorrow. Lovely weather here on the east coast of Oz at the moment.

  31. 31
    Deeperpurps says:

    Gentlemen, this particular thread and the one which precedes it “Classic Rock Awards Poll Open” are sure stirring up some very lively debate on the topic of Ozzy versus Gillan, Dio, Hughes, et al.

    Ozzy in his time, in the early years of Sabbath and in his 3 first solo albums did produce some memorable tunes and melodies, albeit with a relatively limited vocal range.

    I see this debate divided between those who prefer Ozzy’s style and those who appreciate Sabbath singers which far greater range, dynamics, power, vibrato, phrasing, expression, etc in their vocal style.

    There is no right, there is no wrong….it is all a matter of personal taste. Of course many of us who contribute to this particular thread might lean towards Gillan, Hughes and Dio, as this is a Deep Purple fan website after all.

  32. 32
    AL says:

    @27 Mc Gregor
    lol funny stuff and a friggin good point of seeing that!
    @27 Jeff I kind of agreeing with you about DP subtlety you re right,but comparing it with Sabbath is like saying who is better,Apple or Oranges,so I don’t know about that man.Ozzy is what he is,not the greatest singer in rock,but I guess his voice is appealing to a lot of people and fitting to the style of the band,with all gloom and doom,but he has some great ballads and Tommy’s body of work is impeccable.And Ozzy got his “God” status from his solo stuff,which I don’t like and care at all.He became the bubblegum face and the poster guy for Hard Rock music.Needless to say a lot of my female friends,who never listened to a shred of music and song from Ozzy knows him! He is the poster guy and his antics of course.

  33. 33
    AL says:

    Hey Mc Gregor just read on facebook dude that there is a special edition of Made in Japan coming out in November 2013 ! I’m curious to see what’s in store this time.

  34. 34
    purplepriest1965 says:


    I m so happy with the non Ozzy albums, it is incredible.

    Everyone hankering on OZZY days saying that everything after him was less, should take an earcheck.

    They absolutely made classic stuff on those first Ozzy albums, but a lot of it is mediocre and or crap as well. DP in the 70’s did not have that IMO.

    But those sensitivities you re talking about, they are definitely in the Iommi led incarnations after 1979.

    I must admit I like more albums by BS since 1979 compared to what the Purps produced. Only Perfect Strangers stands out.

  35. 35
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Btw, I always felt that old Sabbath was more dark compared to later BS albums.
    The latter had more light and warmth, and yeah thats the way I like it.

    Gloom and doom, one can only have so much of it before it depresses the hell out me.

    Dio, Hughes and Martin gave Iommi albums with vocals that also gave hope instead of ” we re all living in a dark submarine” 🙂

  36. 36
    MacGregor says:

    AL @ 33 – don’t know anything about that release, maybe a 40th anniversary or something perhaps? Will have a look around the net & see what we can find. Cheers.

  37. 37
    MacGregor says:

    pp1965 @35 – It isn’t everyone hankering on about the Ozzy days, it is just an Ozzy rave at the moment because some people are ascertaining that he cannot sing etc, that’s where it took off from. I like all the Sabbath era’s & maybe Bill Ward let them down a little on the drumming side of things. Purple & Zeppelin were extremely lucky in the drumming department. Maybe that is what Jeff means by clumsy, I don’t know, but Ward was a more thrashy sort of drummer at times & that is not to my liking, but he did do some interesting things at times also. The production on the drums was also muddy sounding. Anyway, as I say each to their own.
    Regrading the post Ozzy being a little less doom & gloom, I don’t know about that as I think Mob Rules has that hanging over it, certainly the album cover does. But the most full on ‘dark’ album in my book is ‘Headless Cross’. Now that has some doom & gloom overtones on it big time, but what an album it is! Our old friend ‘Lucifer’ gets mentioned a few times on that album, well actually it is more than a few times, but not to worry. Dehumanizer also can be ‘dark’ as well. Cheers.

  38. 38
    purrfect stranger says:

    The ironic thing is how BIG Purple was compared to Sabbath during 1973 and 74. Purple headlined at Cal Jam in front of 375 Thousand People I was there. Even without Gillan. Now fast forward to the present. SABBATH would be the HEADLINERS and Purple would be opening for them. As far as the Born Again album besides the Cover this is a very good album. In fact Ian Gillan was at his peak at this time an UNSTOPPABLE VOCALIST. I will agree with an earlier post that somewhere during this incredible tour Ian tore up his vocal chords and has never been the same, but it sure was good while it lasted. Gillan indeed wiped the floor with most of the vocalists on the planet from about 71 to 83. He was the KING of the hard rock vocal.
    As far as Ozzy is concerned, the early Sabbath work is up to and including Sabbath Bloody Sabbath some of the most important music Metal has ever known. In fact the Paranoid album is EPIC. Even later Sabbath got better, Symptom of the Universe is just about as priceless of a track one will ever hear. Sure, once again Gillan and Dio are technically better vocalists but when it comes to song creation Ozzy and Plant have never ceased to amaze the masses. I will leave Plant out of it for now but Ozzy in his solo career has advanced to an ever higher level. Over the Mountain, Crazy Train, No More Tears, even through different musician combinations has excelled immensely. Not sure how many albums Sabbath has sold but Ozzy solo seemingly may have surpassed Sabbath. I prefer the early Sabbath, Mark Two Purple, and Rainbow with Dio but we all have our favorites and as much as we question the singing ability of Ozzy he and the original members of Sabbath created something the world will never forget. I am looking forward to the Irvine Meadows Concert August 28. So before I turn this into a extended essay great recognition should also go out to the Down to Earth crew, and Tony Martin and Cozy Powell on the Headless Cross absolutely impeccable, Dio on Dehumanizer was almost Godlike and Coverdale with Page were putting on a clinic.

  39. 39
    Deeperpurps says:

    Building on what Perfect Stranger says at @38, there was a huge amount of great music which sprang up from the dissolution of both the original Sabbath and the Mark 2 & 3 versions of Purple. Without Blackmore leaving Purple and then forming Rainbow, it is unlikely that Dio would have risen to such prominence. And Ozzy leaving Sabbath gave us the chance to hear a great new style of Sabbath led by Dio. Ozzy in his own right created a couple of stellar albums in his first couple of years, albeit with the help of Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley (a Rainbow alumni who wrote all of the lyrics), and Don Airey on keys.

    We were spoiled for choice back then – if a Rainbow album didn’t quite measure up to our expectations, we could count on Sabbath to fill in the gap for us. Or conversely if Sabbath’s latest wasn’t necessarily our cup of tea, we could reach out for Whitesnake, or Hughes/Thrall, or Gillan who were all delivering great albums back then.

    Look at all of the musicians who passed through the various incarnations of Purple / Rainbow / Whitesnake and Sabbath / Ozzy. They were all from the same talent pool. Of course when you have such excellent musicians moving from one camp into the other, there will be a lot of cross-pollination of styles and skills. Out of all that came a lot of great classic hard rock music.

    Ian Gillan once remarked that Deep Purple’s Family Tree isn’t a tree, it is a “Jungle”! Very true, and that melting pot of musicianship has continued to this day, and has given us both Black Sabbath’s 13 and Deep Purple’s Now What?!

  40. 40
    MacGregor says:

    Deeperpurps @ 39 – Yes I agree there, it was a great era indeed, those bands weaving in & out of the hard rock genre. I think with Bob Daisley, he wrote a fair bit of the music as well, with the late, great Randy Rhoads. I don’t think Ozzy was capable of anything back then. Well, I suppose he did sing the songs in the end, but without Rhoads & Daisley & even Lee Kerslake also on a few songs, there would not have been anything for his Ozzness to sing on! Cheers.

  41. 41
    purrfect stranger says:

    Thank you DeeperPurps@39 and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MR. IAN GILLAN

    Thank you for the greatest hard rock vocals of all times.

  42. 42
    MacGregor says:

    purrfect stranger @ 38 – well said, enjoy your Sabbath gig. I am reading excellent reviews from the current tour, especially now after Ozzy has warmed up his tonsils. If it is as enjoyable as the gig I attended in Brisbane back in April, your going to love it! Cheers.

  43. 43
    Jeff Summers says:

    @ MacGregor…Difficult to define musical sensitivity as it normally only occurs in Classical pieces. Switching effortlessly from the bombastic into an unrelated chord and melodic sequence like the middle 8 section in “Woman from Tokyo” for instance… That particular M8 personifies DP on many levels as it explodes into the riff again at the end. The way it is sung is exceptional also. Ian expresses the melody with such sensitivity that he whispers in your ear. Bearing in mind that in the same song, third verse he hits the most ethereal and powerful note on the line “I get high” and even synchronizes his vibrato with the bass drum, all in the same song!!! now that is musical sensitivity 🙂 The Sabs are a different kettle of fish, in the early days they desperately wanted to be considered on DP’s level, musically (that is evident in TI’s use of various members of the DP family) Tony Iommi has written some of the most important and influential riffs in the history of Heavy Metal. the Sabs are a HM band, Purple are not and have never been (too musical). Compare Rudolph Nureyev to the Geordie dancer and you have the definition of clumsy, but on a musical delivery level. Ozzie has very few of the tools required to be a great singer. He suites early Sabs stuff very well of course, but that says more about the bands approach to music than it does about him as a singer. Singing a ballad and SINGING a ballad are two very different things. Ozzie may have sung a balled or two in his time, but i would more than likely say that he put his voice onto a ballad style song. Can you imagine him singing “Soldier of Fortune” Rainbow Eyes” or When a blind man cries?” No?, neither can I. He would quite simply destroy them, even when he was at his peak…I hope this gives you an understanding of the way I hear it. Cheers 🙂

  44. 44
    MacGregor says:

    Jeff @ 43 – I thought that is what you were meant with the musical sensitivity comment. Hence my mention (in a nutshell) of the light & dark reference. There are many musicians past & present who can present it at different times in many a musical journey.
    Regarding Ozzy on vocals for the 3 tracks you mentioned, no I cannot imagine that at all. Those songs (lyrics & melody) would have been written by the vocalists that you mentioned, so a different melody etc. Dio is a class act, Gillan also & Coverdale on ‘Soldier’ say no more. Three entirely different singers for three entirely different songs. I have never considered Ozzy a great vocalist, I don’t compare any of them, they are all good at what they do on the songs that they sing on. Trying to not be pedantic, but Sabbath are not a metal band, a hard rock band indeed, even Iommi cringes at the HM label. But each to their own. Cheers.

  45. 45
    MacGregor says:

    Jeff @ 43 – Now I am home from work, I will respond with a slightly longer comment than the quick reply earlier today. I am not so sure of the Sabs ‘wanting desperately to be considered up to’ Deep Purple’s level. Maybe Iommi was impressed by
    Purple no doubt & did want to step up a little in those early years. Some musicians take a little longer to get it right, some are very critical of themselves & others, some don’t really care it seems.
    The fact that Iommi ended up playing with certain ex Purple & Rainbow members is irrelevant in my book. Musicians do things like that, seeking out other musicians & or songwriters for different reasons.
    Tony Iommi doesn’t need Deep Purple or any other band to define a decent song or album in rock music. He writes the music usually & as with Deep Purple & Led Zeppelin, the guitarist & to a lesser degree the keyboard player write with the bass player & or lead vocalist. If you want to call Sabbath metal when they are not, then go ahead. But just like the media over the decades call Deep Purple metal & Led Zeppelin also, I don’t, but for some ‘reason’ the metal tag has been branded upon these three British bands?

    Regarding the clumsy rave, all those early bands sound ‘clumsy’ in some aspects, in the studio & or live. But the big ‘Three’ are 3 of my favourite bands.
    If you want to talk about a more serious side to rock music, then let’s talk ‘progressive rock’! As Blackmore has always said, Purple have nothing on Jethro Tull, a band that he still perceives as the ultimate ‘rock’ band, as they had everything. Musical sensitivity, yes Tull have that also, as do Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer & the mighty King Crimson & 70’s Genesis also! There are others as well, but these ‘prog’ bands have the songwriters, the players & the vision to step outside the box big time! Are these ‘prog’ bands ‘clumsy’ though? That would depend on ones definition of the word ‘clumsy’!

    ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ stands next to any of the iconic albums of either Purple or Zeppelin easily. There should not be any comparisons though, even as we do tend to ‘compare’ for whatever reason. It is what people like or do not like, period. I don’t like every album from any of my favourite bands, some are majestic, some ok & some weak and best left gathering dust. But the next person will say ‘ I love that album, I can’t believe you don’t like it’ & I will say, I cannot understand how you can like that album, I have never liked it’.
    And on & on we go, commenting, criticising, judging, comparing etc, etc! We all know what most of the classical trained musicians think of rock musicians though, don’t we?
    Where does it end one thinks to oneself? It really doesn’t matter, it’s only rock n’ roll, but I like it! Cheers.

  46. 46
    mitch5501 says:

    I agree that Ozzy is not really a singer on the same level as RJD or IG or DC for that matter.And I understand that he would hack songs like Rainbow Eyes or Soldier of Fortune.Though I think maybe he could pull off WABMC,the lyrical content would be right up his alley,it would sure be interesting to hear.However Ozzy does have a very distinctive and instantly recognizable voice.A sort of mournfull moan that can be very expressive ie She’s Gone,Changes.How would Ronnie or Ian go with those two? On the other hand there is Sabotage with the most pissed off sounding riffs and Ozzies angry wailing.Iommi dominates Sabbath’s sound as a rule but on Sabotage it’s Ozzies singing that does most of the heavy lifting IMHO.That’s sayin’ something considering the titanic sound of Iommi.Ozzy has recorded some stunning vocals over the years,just not as many as RJD or IG etc.

  47. 47
    Jeff Summers says:

    @ MacGregor, you are merely describing light and shade. Most musicians learn that stuff early on. Musical sensitivity, articulation. Harmony, counterpoint etc. cannot be described or experienced unless you have a deep knowledge of music. You don’t necessarily have to be a musician to experience and interpret these terms, but it helps. I realise that you love Sabs work as do I, but it is very different on a musical level to DP’s. It doesn’t make them a worse or better band, just different. As most people know its all about opinions.

    I don’t want to get involved in talking to you in depth about your preferences. If you can’t hear it, you can’t hear it. That’s cool! Enjoy what you listen to and that is all that matters…

  48. 48
    MacGregor says:

    mitch5501@46 – excellent comments indeed. I haven’t forgotten about the epic Sabotage, what an album, majestic Sabbath in their prime. Cheers.

  49. 49
    MacGregor says:

    Jeff @ 47 – I didn’t mention other rock bands to open up the discussion any further, believe me. Just to add a little ‘light & shade’ in the so called comparisons of different music & artists & where does that end? Oh by the way, I CAN hear it, no problems there! Cheers.

  50. 50
    Jack says:

    Born Again is a great Sabbath álbum!!! Somber, bloody heavy!!! Gillan and Sabbath rules!!!

  51. 51
    Deeperpurps says:

    Jeff Summers, MacGregor et al! I am really enjoying your perspectives on the finer points of Purple and Sabbath music. This has been one of the best streams I have seen on Highway Star Blogs in a long time – lots of writing, lots of detailed music information. We may have our differences in opinion but our passion for Purple and Sabbath shine through.

  52. 52
    Tracy (Zero the Hero) Heyder says:

    Great overview and expose regarding clearing up the artwork. I personally loved it along with the album. Yes, the mix is quite sub-par, but the music more than makes up for it. Though most of the ‘Sabbath Worshippers’ detest it, I would have to state that it is the closest thing to the Ozzy era Sabbath of all the post Ozzy albums but on steroids. Seeing them Live was incredible. Night Ranger opened for them at the Sunrise Musical Theater in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Night Ranger was great. Then came Sabbath….. Holy Crap!!!! Gillan blew me away, I remember articles around the time he quit his Gillan Band stating his vocal cords were damaged and he couldn’t sing or scream anymore. HOG WASH!!! He made a ‘remarkable recovery’ and surpassed anything he had done prior when he made Born again and toured it. His renditions of the older Sabbath tunes Live were hand over foot better than the original singers. War Pigs, Heaven and Hell, Children of the Grave, Black Sabbath, Neon Nights….. INCREDIBLE!!!! I recorded that concert. I posted it on ‘Purple Hub’. This album stands right up there at the top of the list of my favorite albums and concerts. Gillan gave it his all during those shows. Probably too much because I don’t think he ever performed as well with Purple after the reunion. Though I was quite pleased that Purple was back together, I was also disappointed Gillan left Sabbath. If I had my way, I would have rather seen a follow-up to Born Again and postponed the Reunion. The Purple reunion was inevitable anyway I’m sure. A second Sabbath album should have fallen in between. Plus, maybe they could have coaxed Bill Ward into doing the second album AND tour it. That would have been something to see for sure….. I must admit though that it was quite an awesome couple of years. Seeing Gillan with Sabbath in 1984 at the Sunrise Musical Theater, then a year later with Purple at the Hollywood Sportatorium was incredible to say the least.


  53. 53
    al says:

    @Mac Gregor @ Jeff

    Gentlemen:I’ve been reading your comments about the topic of sensitivity,who’s better or who sings better. and such.It is a very interesting conversation and entertaining,you guys,both make good points on the topic.I,myself just love the music and I don’t play any instruments myself,unfortunately,so my expertise is not a ‘professional one”just a passionate listener,who is been following,rock music and particularly Deep Purple for many many years.enjoys interviews and professional analyses from band members and other people.
    Years back in Paris,I was a big fan of Deep Purple and old bands,but coming out fresh from the period of Hairy Metal, I was still enjoying bands like Ratt,Motley Crue,Bon Jovi ,Cinderella and the whole shebang.I was very much a fan of Dio solo stuff and kind of obscure on Sabbath’s stuff =,Ozzy era especially.A friend of mine,older than me introduce me to Sabbaths albums,Nazareth,Zappa,Roxy Music,Bowie,Nazareth,Urah Heep (early stuff ) and boy I was ready and hungry to listen to that.We ex changed music and gave him some of my stuff I was into like Whitesnake and Dio albums,he came back the next day with disgust and disdain and said that he hated this cheesy,pretentious,epic kind of style and “look at me’ what a great singer I am .He said I should listen to Ozzy and Ramones,the real rock,not this clowns ! It kind of shocked me and rocked my taste of music at the time,but I started to listen to that old Lizzy,Sabbath( Ozzy albums and Heep and boy I never stopped from that point on.Of course I go back to certain stuff like old Whitesnake albums and maybe a few Dio solo stuff,but I think whether you are a musicians or just a fan like myself,you always going back the greatness and those stand out albums like ;In Rock,Sabotage,Volume 4,War Pigs,Made In Japan,Strangers in the Night (UFO ) and you kind of move away from all the so so mediocre temporary stuff.People always going to be split in taste and opinions,but it doesn’t matter if to some Ozzy is not a real singer or he cannot carry a tune,he knows how to sing and his voice has that remarkable appeal,He may not be a Paul Rodgers,DC,Lou Gramm kind of singer,but he is like my friend at the time would say “a meat and potatoes ” kind of singer.Some could argue that Coverdale is just a cheese ball,female kind of singer,with cheesy lyrics and crappy music( which I agree to certain degree).we could sit here and say this and that,Ozzy,Glenn,Ian are all great singers and we were lucky to hear them with Sabbath sound,but Ozzy belongs to Sabbath.I think that Sabbath early stuff with Ozzy is much more important in terms of music and what is more to come than Dio stuff, and I love Heaven and Hell and Mod Rules) but there some mystique and subtlety and sensitivity of that early period that I don’t find in the Dio’s Sabbath,who is more Modern Hard Rock and epic .I have so many things to say,but I kind of lost my train of thoughts and drifted away of your topic sorry lol

  54. 54
    Tracy (Zero the Hero) Heyder says:


    Thanks for sharing that. It shows you as somebody whom has a mind open enough for actual reason and observance. Your candor and ability to express the importance of truly listening to the music in depth enough to make a decision about its relevance and importance and even to the point of changing you entire view of it all is astounding. Bravo my man, Bravo….


  55. 55
    al says:

    I was reading an interview back in 95,when Ritchie just came out with “Stranger In Us All”,and when the interviewer asked him about Dio,He said he got bored with Ronnie singing the same way,in every song and album,not too mention the lyrics and sword and sorcery themes…what I’m trying to say is that,we can all sit here and argue about taste and music,and find ” flows” on every singer,my friend at the time said that he is sick of Dio singing,that cock rock kid of style .I think the singer who encompasses all of this is Ian Gillan.For me he is the best singer!

  56. 56
    MacGregor says:

    Tracy @ 52 – I thought Gillan had an operation to remove vocal cord polyps or nodules after the Gillan band. I remember reading something along those lines back then & when he joined Sabbath, he was back to ‘normal’ again, raring to go. When I went to the Gillan gig in Sydney in 1982, he was going off big time vocally. Born Again was obviously a good test for him again & of course he went off big time again.
    He certainly didn’t hold back in those days!
    I have heard bootleg recordings of ‘live’ Sabbath on the tour, & whilst obviously not decent recordings, I could hear enough to determine an opinion based on those recordings. I have always thought his voice didn’t suit Iommi’s riffs in certain ways, it is good in places but sort of not working in other areas, to my ears at least. The same with Glenn Hughes, good for the solo Iommi ‘Seventh Star’ album, but not for Sabbath.
    Gillan singing Ozzy Sabbath songs didn’t work in my opinion & also didn’t work for the Dio Sabbath songs. I don’t think Gillan ‘loved’ doing those gigs, or at least those songs. I may be wrong there, but it ended up a mismatch in many ways. I remember reading an article where he stated he ‘hated’ the lyrics & couldn’t get into the songs & when presented with a copy of the new album, he threw it out the window. Something along those lines anyway. It was an interesting period in Sabbaths history. Were Iommi & Butler ‘clutching at straws’ in talking Gillan into joining Sabbath at an all night drinking session? No harm in trying something out though & I do like some of the Born Again tracks, & enjoyed Gillan being in the band back then when I was a younger hard rock devotee!
    No doubt your live gig on the Born Again tour would have been a memorable concert though, & a once in a life time one also! Cheers.

  57. 57
    al says:

    @ Tracy 54
    Thank you man! You know as a from of art music connects people in a strange way.It is subjective and we cannot change that.I felt throughout my life,that it made my day,a good song,a good album.a good band.I always wondered why we do this,why we run to the store and buy the Cd’s Dvd’s to our favorite bands? Are we wasting our time,is it adulation ? Are we stuck in our mind with the same bands,same music ,same style? And I realize,there is nothing wrong with me,just a rocker in heart who likes 60-70,some of the 80’s and 90’s.I can remember and relate to every song,and remember where I was,what was doing,who I was with and such.Frankly never had a bond with my older brother,him being older than me,and we both are very opinionated,but we always communicated through Purple Free Bad Company ,Rainbow,Satriani,Dream Theater,Motorhead,Metallica.the awkwardness and fights we had,just subsided through music.The reaction of a friend or g/f when you play songs like Catch the Rainbow,When the Blind man Cries,Bleeding me,Wasted Sunsets and the joy you get when people loves em,of course the ones that loves music and rock music .I am an actor,but my regret is that I never had the chance or the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument,like Guitar,or piano or drum,cause I felt that is the best form of art than music,the connections and the appeal on people,soundtrack of your life,riding the subway in NYC at midnight and feeling lonely but not alone,when you play Be My Friend of Free,or Simply Quite absurd.I feel that was a great period of Classical music who never will be repeated with Bach,Mozart,Beethoven,and there is the late 60 and the peak of early 70’s that will also never be repeated.I mean what an amazing times to have a great band like Purple cming back with a great album and music and we having the chance to catch up with these giants!My wish is that if there is another world after this one,when I’m gone,I hope I am a musician.,meantime just waiting for the band to tour Canada next year !


  58. 58
    Jeff Summers says:

    @ Al, Tracey, Deeperpurps, MacGregor…Of course, music is all about individual opinions, whatever turns you on. Right? So many great opinions here and varying all from a bunch of fans brought together by the love of one band…Maybe, we have all been educated by said band and have been lucky enough (subconsciously or otherwise) to open our listening perspective and become more discerning. I’ve found that DP fans, generally have a very rounded musical appreciation: Classical, Jazz, Blues, Metal, pop, soul, Musicals etc. I personally pursued other genres after listening to: JCS, Concerto, IGB, Butterfly Ball, Trapeze, Whitesnake etc. So much variation borne from one nucleus of musicians. DP, though often seen as pompous, never lost sight of the importance of composition, whichever genre they worked in. I feel they were often perceived as pompous, because they were such extraordinarily good players who all learned from each other as they developed musically 🙂

  59. 59
    Tracy (Zero the Hero) Heyder says:


    Great entry again. I can state that I was one of those close minded music listeners over the years. Because there was so much music offered from the ‘Purple Family Tree’ along with a couple of other favorite of mine ‘Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Grand Funk, Bad Company, etc. There was neither time, nor need for any other band pretty much. Everything changed for me when I got involved in my ‘covers band’, ‘LOzT CAUz”. Check us out doing ‘Warpigs’ (someday I will upload more stuff)…


    We had to branch out and partake in the research and the learning of a wide variety of music in order to be successful in entertaining the masses whom frequented the ‘watering holes’ we played in. In doing so, I found myself enjoying a lot of more current bands that I never would have given a second thought about. Bands that we wound up covering and also finding interest in. ‘Godsmack, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, G&R, Stone Sour, Audioslave, Velvet Revolver, and tons more. We were known for having a really wide range of music to offer. Hell we even did a version of the Christina Aguilera song “Beautiful”. Yeah, I actually sang it. Yes, up until then I was so close minded regarding my small yet huge selection of music. Yes, all those ‘Purple Splinter Groups’ along with my other favorite bands added up to tons of listening, but all in the same genre and faction. There are some amazing musicians outside the Purple Related World. Old and especially New. You just have to open the mind and ears and dig around. It’s there. But in the end, when it is all said and done, Purple will always be my Rock in ROCK.


  60. 60
    Deeperpurps says:

    Jeff Summers @58. Very good points you make there. In the early 70’s the first albums I bought were by Grand Funk Railroad, Chicago, Doobie Brothers, Nazareth, Slade, BTO, etc. Then I bought Machine Head and that was a total revelation. Next up was Made in Japan, for me the ultimate record, for me the ultimate desert island disque. I have upwards of 1500 albums of music of all types of genres: rock, funk, soul, pop, world, metal, alternative, singer-songwriter, bebop jazz, hard jazz, rock jazz, etc…..But nothing speaks to me more than my collection of Deep Purple music.

    The most appealing aspect of Purple for me is their gift for improvisation based on years of musical experience and technical virtuosity….that is why I am so drawn to Made in Japan, Made in Europe, and their latest album Now What?!…..when they let fly, it is absolutely stunning. That love of improvisation has led me on a search for other bands who are masters of their instruments and have a gift for composing on the fly……it has brought me right round to 1970’s Miles Davis…..if you ever have a chance to listen to his live albums Agharta and Pangaea you will see what I mean. It is hard rock jazz fusion, very intense, I am sure lots of Purple fans who sit down to it with an open mind would love it. The guitar player on those albums (Pete Cosey) is excellent with a very unique style. Miles Davis at that time was a pariah in some quarters of the jazz world because he dared to break from the traditional. Back then he was trying to create the ultimate rock band….he even had designs on bringing Hendrix into the fold, but that all crashed when Jimi died in 1970. So he brought in John MacLauglin for awhile. There are some good Miles jazz rock albums with him on it too.

    And through my search for the holy grail of guitar improvisation, I picked up a compilation album of jazz rock fusion a few years ago….I heard a track on it by drummer Billy Cobham called Stratus…..I wondered who the amazing guitarist was….read further it turned out to be Tommy Bolin! I couldn’t believe it, 25 years earlier I had totally written him off as unworthy to replace Blackmore in Purple, but 25 years of a developing a wider musical palette and appreciation for other styles of music, I found myself searching out all things Tommy Bolin too. And that brought me back to Deep Purple from another direction.

    So all the different shades of Purple, the various line-ups, the side projects they have worked on, the other bands they have worked in; all that has led me to many different discoveries. For me all roads lead to and from Purple!

  61. 61
    purplepriest1965 says:


    I d surely love a When a drunk/stoned man cries by OZZY 🙂

  62. 62
    al says:

    @59 great cover Tracy ! wow ,keep it coming dude,upload more for the Deep Purple family.
    You guys rock! Hey Tracy I remember a few years back in NYC,working with this guy great friend of mine,musician,that introduce me to The Smiths sound! and man was I blown away! I mean,here Iwas at 35yo and listening to pretty much classic rock and of course some 80 music,and 90,starting with TOOL,Alice in Chains,Soundgarden and he just throws on me The Smiths.I used to listen to the Cure and loved Robert Smith,but Smiths opened up a new window for me,and I think the duo Morrisey-Marr it is one of the best duo in rock history.@ 60 deeperpurps.It is funny dude,listening Made In Japan in cassette,back in 1986 with my friends playing cards,and we were blown away! we all would wait for the interaction part Btw Gillan-Blackmore and play it for many years to come! I always wondered how in God’s name Gillan could sing like that live,is it live or studio this album?! lol.We would around in high school and whistle that,and the other guy would pick it up and you’d turn your head and smile and be happy for ‘spreading the good music” to your friends!

  63. 63
    purrfect stranger says:

    Iommi and Gillan were on Rockline somewhere after Born Again and Gillan did say he disliked the cover of the album. He did say he threw the album out the window, but he also said he loved singing the OLD SABBATH songs and he felt it was easy easy easy just like putting on an old coat. So I am almost sure he loved the tour and the album. It was an incredible time for all us who loved Purple and Sabbath. And I will agree with an earlier comment from one of you, that it would have been an incredible situation had we a second album from Gillan and Sabbath.
    We should be thankful for what we had then and what we have now with Sabbath touring and Purple doing quality recordings again. Not only that we have Van Halen back with DLR on vocals. We dont have to ask Where Have all the Good Times Gone for the moment they are with us right now.
    Long Live Rock and Roll as Ritchie once wrote, so let the good times roll.

  64. 64
    purrfect stranger says:

    Just a quick word on the Sabbath Show at Irvine on the 28th. Sabbath was SUPERB. Ozzy was having some vocal soreness but overall this was one of the best shows I have seen in years. This show was totally sold out and for good reason. Even though I am a diehard Purple fan, Sabbath just might have the upper hand at this point in time. No offense to what Purple is doing right now, I love the new album, but it seems Purple has lightened up over the years whereas Sabbath continues to stay hard and heavy. I hope these guys do another tour next year with another album. Maybe if Blackmore was in the band again (unlikely for sure) they could give Sabbath a run for their money but at this point in time Sabbath Rules.

  65. 65
    MacGregor says:

    purrfect stranger @ 64- I have been wondering what your Sabbath gig was like. Superb is just one word for those guys indeed.
    Iommi & Butler will never let anyone down & his Ozzness does the job big time. Great to see & hear those songs from that ‘golden’ era & the new material as well. Old school rock, it will never be surpassed! I know what you mean with the Blackmore comment.
    I finally purchased the Led Zeppelin O2 2007 gig, what a performance & for a one off gig, they did very well indeed. Jimmy Page & those riffs with ‘that guitar’ sound, & those songs. John Paul Jones what a musician & Plant was great vocally. Jason Bonham would have been blown out doing that gig! Awesome. Glad you liked the Sabbath gig. Old School Rock Rules! Cheers.

  66. 66
    purrfect stranger says:

    Mac@65 It was fantastic to see Ozzy with Sabbath again. OK lets be realistic Ozzy aint Gillan or Dio but as you said Mac for the early Sabbath which is the quintessential Sabbath, Ozzy is the man. I am telling you the crowd was loving every second of the show. Young and old and in-between Sabbath pleased everyone. I saw both Sabbath and Purple back in 74 at Cal Jam (Ontario Motor Speedway) and even though Purple might have been slightly better because of Blackmore and Lord it is amazing how awesome Sabbath sounds even now.
    >> The drummer Sabbath has now is amazing, he did a solo about ninety minutes into the show and the building SHOOK. Mind you Irvine Ampitheater is an OUTDOOR VENUE. I tip my glass to Sabbath for an incredible US TOUR and say thank you for all the years of EPIC Music.
    >> As for Page my feelings have never wavered. The guy is a genius. People yak about how his solos are sloppy, yadda yadda. Sure, every once and a while he misses a note but his production, riffing and songwriting are impeccable. Phsycial Graffiti and Led Zeppelin One could well be two of the best albums ROCK has ever known just like Made in Japan and Machine Head. Here is hoping that someday Blackmore does one last rock album preferably with Purple since Dio is gone and Bonnet aint done much in years and then we can say the wait was worth it.

  67. 67
    al says:

    @ Mc Gegor
    great musicians indeed Led Zeppelin,but creatively ,they”borrowed” too much,but I don’t want to open “the Pandora Box”.One thing that I cannot swallow and stand is that you “lift “the whole song and you don’t even give credit to the author! I know the influences and stuff like that,but to blatantly sell others people music as your own is outrageous! No modesty at all! Page has disappeared and not doing anything creatively,that’s why I love Purple and Iommi,cause they haven’t run out of the ideas and continue to make good music.

  68. 68
    MacGregor says:

    purrfect stranger @ 66 – You were at Cal Jam, that is mega, wow that would have been something indeed. I often watch the Purple performance & I rate it highly. A pity the Sabbath footage isn’t available like the Purple one is, I have seen the Sabbath clips on youtube though!
    Yes, Tommy Clufetos did power the drums at these recent Sabbath gigs, not my type of drummer, but he was powerful & really pushed them along very well indeed!
    His solo was thunderous also! There is no way Bill Ward, God bless him, would have been able to deliver for two hours at that level. Younger drummers have the stamina to push the ‘older’ guys along, although Iommi & Butler really don’t need any help there, they are awesome still to this day. Kudos to the Zeppelin comments also. Old School Rock, can’t beat it! Cheers.

  69. 69
    MacGregor says:

    al @ 67 – Zeppelin really only ripped off stuff on their first debut album. Not that I am condoning them for doing that of course, & yes they should have given credit back then & interestingly they have since been giving ‘credit’ on certain songs from their very early material. It is amazing what a threat of legal action or indeed getting the legal action pursued, can result in a ‘credit’ somewhere later on.
    After the first album I think they got their act together & definitely by Zep 3 they were cooking their own. I don’t hear any ripping off after 1971 or there about’s, definitely not on Zep 4, Houses Of The Holy, Physical Graffiti & Presence & In Through The Out Door!
    Every band has been influenced from somewhere, look at Purple, but that rave has been commented on before on The Highway Star & very recently. Cheers.

  70. 70
    al says:

    @ there is definitely prof even after 1971,and they have the arrogance to continue and totally dismissed the black blues men and folks singers,with the guidance of their infamous,intimidating figure of Peter Grant,we all know Mc gregor that times were different back then and a lot of black artists were completely ripped off and being taken “for a ride; with the royalties from their record companies.Jimmy Page and had map and lots of records and studio experience and knew exactly what to say to Plant and how to sing and such.Think about it was no goggle time back then,but whoever had the most of the record,had teh chance to hear and “copy” the other musicians…..the irony is that when other musicians wanted to “cover”their covers they went hard after people! nasty !

  71. 71
    Nigel Young says:

    Led by black-sabbath.com (and doubtless inspired by a rogue entry at w*k*p*d*a) there was a premature 30th anniversary celebration of the Born Again album’s release last month. It is now anniversary time.
    Born Again was released in Britain on Friday 9 September 1983 (a little later in the USA). It entered the UK album charts for the week ending 24 September 1983, i.e. for sales in the week to 17 September. Those who attended the early gigs (a week in Scandinavia) and festivals on the tour (Reading and Dublin) in August may recall the album delay and that they were hearing an album live that they had not bought yet. The tour then continued in September. Pictured, UK and USA test pressings dated 3 September 1983 and 12 September 1983 respectively (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151887007795908&set=a.67559430907.94632.734695907&type=1).

  72. 72
    purrfect stranger says:

    Thank you Nigel. You sure have all the INFO when it comes to historical data. AMAZING.
    Hey MAC @69 Cal Jam was an EVENT like no other. Would Have Been even greater if Gillan and the current bass player R.G. had been in the band. From what I recollect Iommi was standing in front of at least 5 or 6 full stack Marshall Amps and the sound was indescribable. I will never understand how ABC could loose the video from the Biggest Concert in the History of the West Coast. In fact they aired it on Channel 7 in Los Angeles for about a month every Friday or Saturday Night. They showed different bands every week so somebody has to have at least a VHS or Beta copy somewhere. Go Figure. I know the Stones played at Altamont so because that was a free show it is hard to tell, hard to tell the exact number difference between Cal Jam and that gig. The Hells Angels made sure one less person would be leaving alive that fateful day. Dont think those same Angels and the Jefferson Airplane exchanged gifts after the show neither.
    Happy Friday the 13th Everybody.

  73. 73
    MacGregor says:

    purrfect stranger @ 72- I have often wondered why the Sabbath & also the ELP footage isn’t available. I presumed it was possibly a contractual thing, whatever the reason, it is a shame indeed!
    The Iommi ‘wall of sound’ is indeed indescribable, as I experienced that 3 times in my life, but the most ‘intense’ was at the 2007 H&H gig in Brisbane from the 2nd row, directly in front of that ‘stack’! He had 6 Marshall amps with 12 cabinets, I think it was.
    I will attempt to describe it from my experience.
    Brutal, massive, belligerent, intense, monolithic, frightening in some aspects. But also wonderful, brilliant, ‘loud’ & possibly the ultimate sound for a hard rock guitarist? Anyway, it was great to be that close to that sound. Cheers.

  74. 74
    purrfect stranger says:

    MAC @73 So u have been experienced and witnessed the Iommi Wall of Indescrible Sound that u eloquently described in 73. It was amazing. As far as Cal Jam is concerned it has to be contractual as usual. ABC is owned by Disney so some SCHMO probably tossed the master tapes out in a dumpster about fifteen years ago. Definately a shame though because Emerson and Palmer were probably at their musical peak in 74 and although the band Black Sabbath presently is astonishing as ever Bill Ward was probably at his peak in 74 as well. Ritchie Blackmore probably peaked in 76 during the Rising Tour. I witnessed two of the greatest shows ever one at the Santa Monica Civic and the second at the Shrine Auditorium during the Long Live R@R Tour where Blackmore performed Gates of Babylon with footpedals and all. No offense to Page or to Clapton but during the time period of 73 to 76 Ritchie Blackmore was the most phenomenal guitarist on the planet. And to anyone that disagrees I will quote Jon Lord. I will have $30 dollars of whatever you are smoking.

  75. 75
    MacGregor says:

    purrfect stranger @ 74- Yes, the Rainbow 1977 tour to Oz, is one of my greatest regrets not getting to Sydney to witness that great band, performing those classics. Especially when the band didn’t last much longer & never reformed, to allow any further development in any way & to give me a much needed 2nd chance to catch them live in action!
    At least Purple MK2 reformed in 1984 & I had that chance to witness one of my favourite bands playing live. I managed to see Dio with Sabbath in 1980 in Sydney & again as I previously stated, in 2007 in Brisbane, what a band that version of Sabbath was!
    That Rainbow lineup with Cozy Powell playing the drums, was a very special rock band indeed! The fact that Powell & Dio have passed to the other side, is hard to comprehend at times. Cheers.

  76. 76
    purplepriest1965 says:


    I think you must have been on drugs as well during the rainbow show because AFAIK GOF was never played live.

    Do envy you though.
    First of all I never got to see the Dio led Rainbow shows and second…..appearntly, drugged or not, you had that GOF experience.

  77. 77
    purrfect stranger says:

    priest @ 76 I have three witnesses who attended the Shrine Concert with me. This was a bazaar end of the Rainbow with Dio ERA. On this night, on this tour Rainbow actually opened for REO Speedwagon. Almost half of the arena cleared out after the Rainbow set including yours truely. Not to make you feel more envious than you already are Rainbow also played Lady of the Lake on this night along with L A Connection. This was the Long Live Rock and Roll Tour and they featured songs from that record including Gates of Babylon. It was an amazing performance although the gig the year before at Santa Monica was the greatest live show I have ever witnessed. Tony Carey made a big difference when comparing keyboard players during the Rainbow years. In closing Nigel Young probably has the setlist from every Rainbow concert ever or if you get the opportunity to have a quick conversation with TMIB he will verify the specifics of this tour. Oh priest on the Rising Tour at Santa Monica both Tarot Woman and Do You Close Your Eyes were on the setlist including Stargazer followed by a Light in the Black. To make you feel a little better I had to endure the JLT Rainbow ERA just like everybody else.

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