Tag Archives: Black Sabbath

BLACK SABBATH – Top 10 from the Tony Martin Era

Tony Martin joined Black Sabbath in 1987 for The Eternal Idol album, replacing Ray Gillen. Gillen went on to Badlands with Jake E Lee, but not before working on an album that would become The Eternal Idol. Martin would go on to sing & write on 4 further Sabbath albums, with a break when the band reunited for 1992’s Dehumanizer album with Dio. During Tony Martin’s era, there were a few line-up changes, and though it wasn’t a huge commercial successful period for the band (at least not in North America), many Sabbath fans enjoyed this era. Unfortunately, it didn’t end on a high note, and these albums have become harder to find on CD & LP! The era has also been brushed aside by some as the band carried on with a reunion of the original line-up (with and without Bill Ward), as well as a further reunion with Dio (as Heaven & Hell). And with all the reissues, box sets, etc.. that have been coming out steady over the past several years from the bands Ozzy and Dio eras, a Tony Martin set of proper reissues is long overdue, and are (hopefully) going to happen this year! (see article link below). Tony Martin also released an excellent solo album in 2022 titled Thorns. Below is a list of 10 great tracks from the Black Sabbath albums with Tony Martin. *check out the links below

The Shining

The first song and single from The Eternal Idol, a Sabbath classic. Written before Tony Martin joined. His writing contributions would begin on the next album. The Eternal Idol featured a number of players, notably Bob Daisley (who would co-write a lot of the lyrics), Eric Singer, Bev Bevan, and longtime Sabbath member Geoff Nichols (RIP). A lot of good tracks on this album!

Devil & Daughter

Headless Cross came out in ’89, co-produced by Iommi and new drummer Cozy Powell! The line-up on record also included Nichols, and bass player Laurence Cottle. A bit of a different approach in production, with space left between guitar for vocals, often at times over top of keys. But plenty of good songs on this one, all credited to Black Sabbath. “Devil & Daughter” is my favorite track here, and was also the single — a one-sided single (credited to Iommi, Powell and Martin).

When Death Calls

Also from Headless Cross, This is classic dark and evil sounding Sabbath. Highlighted by a Brian May guitar solo,


The last track on Headless Cross. Although this is solid heavy album, it does feature some different approaches, such as this ballad, featuring plenty of acoustic guitar, a few changes in pace, and a great vocal.

Anno Mundi

Opening 1990’s TYR album with acoustic guitar and light choir vocals before Tony Martin’s voice comes in and eventually the band kick in for a killer track. The song comes back to the acoustic guitar with organ and harmony accompaniment. I gotta say, this is the dark horse in the Black Sabbath catalogue for me. I never really got in to it when it came out, but over the years this has grown on me more than any other Sabbath record. Great album, making it difficult to just pick few tracks here. Love the cover art as well.


Another great rocker from TYR! This would’ve made a great single; love the production on this album. Neil Murray on bass!

I Witness

And here we get to my favorite album from the Tony Martin period. As much as I loved the first Dio era, I wasn’t a fan of Dehumanizer, so for me, it was a shame to have that break with Tony Martin because Cross Purposes (IMO) is a fantastic album, and I played the crap out of this when it came out in ’94. This one saw Geezer Butler still with to the band (after Dehumanizer), as well featured new drummer Bobby Rondinelli. Anyway, “I Witness” revs up and kicks in, a great driving rocker and opener.

Cross Of Thorns

Well, probably my favorite track from this era. Again, something a bit different with the quieter acoustic / vocal beginning, before the heavy build up, and returning softer verses. Dig the build up to Iommi’s solo, and an awesome song for Tony Martin’s vocals. This would’ve made a fantastic single, a shame as there appears to have been no commercial single from this album.

Hand That Rocks The Cradle

Another killer track from Cross Purposes that begins softly with acoustic guitar and keyboard before the band kicks in. Lots of light and shade on this track and album, and I feel Tony Martin’s best contributions (writing and vocally). Pretty decent album cover to boot.

Rusty Angels

So, Geezer Butler leaves to join Ozzy (briefly), making way for Neil Murray to return, and Cozy Powell returns on drums. But, not sure who was steering the ship here as Body Count (Ice T) guitarist Ernie Cunnigan is brought in to produce Forbidden. WTF!? I’ve never given this album much play, probably due to that rap connection, but hearing it now, it’s not all that bad! I picked “Rusty Angels” here, a pretty straight forward rocker, with a good chorus. Forbidden would be the last to feature Tony Martin, Geoff Nichols, Neil Murray, and Cozy Powell (RIP).






Snakecharmer – Anthology, 4-CD Box Set Feat. former members of Whitesnake, Wishbone Ash, & Thunder

British Hard Rock Supergroup Snakecharmer Anthology 4-CD Box Set Feat. Former Members of Whitesnake, Wishbone Ash, and Thunder Available for Pre-order

An awesome line-up of veteran British rockers, Snakecharmer put out 2 albums in 2013 and 2017. Both albums are full of British classic rock ala early Whitesnake, Bad Company, and the other respective bands some of these guys were a part of. Really, just excellent British rock, as you’d expect Founding member and original Whitesnake guitarist Micky Moody left after the first album to be replaced by Simon McBride, a much younger player who has recently been named the new permanent guitarist for Deep Purple! This 4-disc set comes with bonus tracks, as well as 2 live shows recorded a year apart, featuring the band’s own favorites, as well as a number of Whitesnake classics. *Check out the press info below, track-listing, and links below!

British hard rock supergroup Snakecharmer was formed in 2013 by former members of Whitesnake, Wishbone Ash, and Thunder.

The resulting line-up is a veritable who’s-who of classic hard rock: Vocalist Chris Ousey (Heartland), Guitarist Laurie Wisefield (Home/ Wishbone Ash), Drummer Harry James (Thunder/ Magnum), and Keyboardist Adam Wakeman (Ozzy Osbourne) Guitarist Micky Moody (Whitesnake)

Given the band’s pedigree, it was inevitable that the music would sound like good-time, classic melodic hard rock with a blues edge, their eponymous debut was released in 2013 by Frontiers. The response from fans and critics alike was rapturous, and the band toured to wide acclaim.

In 2015, Moody left the band, replaced by young Irish-born virtuoso Simon McBride (now of Deep Purple). Snakecharmer’s follow up album, Second Skin, arrived in 2017.

This 4-CD box set collects the bands two studio albums as well as two live shows from Milton Keynes which show the band at work in a live environment, the booklet has notes by Classic Rocks Dave Ling talking to the band about their career as well as newly mastered studio albums done by Tony Dixon.

Chris Ousey – Vocals
Simon McBride – Guitar
Laurie Wisefield – Guitar
Adam Wakeman – Keyboards
Neil Murray – Bass
Harry James – Drums
Micky Moody – Guitar

Track list:
DISC ONE: Snakecharmer
My Angel
Accident Prone
To The Rescue
Falling Leaves
A Little Rock & Roll
Turn Of the Screw
Smoking Gun
Stand Up
Guilty As Charged
Nothing To Lose
Cover Me in You
White Boy Blues
A Breath Away – Japan Only Bonus Track

DISC TWO: Second Skin
Sounds Like a Plan
That Kind of Love
Are You Ready to Fly?
Follow Me Under
I’ll Take You as You Are
Hell Of a Way to Live
Fade Away
Dress It Up
Punching Above My Weight
Forgive And Forget
Where Do We Go from Here?
On My Way – Japan Only Bonus Track

DISC THREE:  Live at The Stables, Milton Keynes 26/01/2014
Guilty As Charged
A Little Rock & Roll
Ready An’ Willing
Accident Prone
Walking In the Shadow of The Blues
Falling Leaves
Moody’s Blues
Slow An’ Easy
My Angel
[Band Introductions]
Cover Me in You
Nothing To Lose
Here I Go Again
Fool For Your Loving

DISC FOUR: Live at The Stables, Milton Keynes 17/01/2015
Guilty As Charged
A Little Rock & Roll
Ready An’ Willing
Cover Me in You
Accident Prone
Falling Leaves
Walking In the Shadow of The Blues
My Angel
Moody’s Blues
Slow An’ Easy
Nothing To Lose
Here I Go Again
Take Me with You
Fool For Your Loving

To pre-order: https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/snakecharmer-snakecharmer-anthology-4cd-box-set/



DIO – Donington ’83

Recently picked up the Donington ’83 release on CD. It’s a reissue of the 2010 release (that couple it with the Donington ”87 show). I haven’t picked up much of the barrage of Dio re-issues and archival releases that seem to keep coming out, but Donington ’83 was a must have as that is the Dio ‘band’ for me! A couple of these tracks did appear way back on the B-side of the “Hungry For Heaven” 12″ ep. It is the original Dio band – like the original Blizzard of Ozz band that were ‘it’ for me, and like post BOZ LPs, I slowly lost interest in Dio albums beyond this era. Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain (RIP), Vivian Campbell, Claude Schnell, and RJ Dio himself – was THE band! Having said that, I am happy to have this, it’s a great recording featuring 4 tracks from Dio’s debut Holy Diver and filled out with excellent renditions of Rainbow Black Sabbath classics. And looking at my old Dio 12″ singles which contained live tracks, it is noteworthy that there seems to have been a few shows properly recorded from that era (I presume most of these are already out there bootlegged or otherwise), so I hope we’ll get more from the 83-86 period. Also available on vinyl this time (as is Donington ’87). Looking forward to the next Last In Line (band) album now.

BIBLE BLACK: 80s Recordings featuring members of Rainbow, Manowar, Anthrax

BIBLE BLACK was a New York based band that featured former ELF / RAINBOW members Craig Gruber and Gary Driscoll, who after playing alongside Ronnie James Dio in the ’70s, formed their own band in the early ’80s. The band survived a few years, fronted by such singers as Jeff Fenholt (Joshua, Driver), Eric Adams (Manowar), and Joey Belladonna (Anthrax) and recorded a number of tracks with them. Keyboard player Mickey Lee Soule (also ex of Elf) was also in the band at one point, though there’s not a lot of keyboards here. This was a great heavy 2 guitar band, as evidenced by the songs here. Standouts include “Gone”, “Down On The World”, “Ain’t No Crime”, and “Deceiver”. Highly recommended as a great set of early ’80s American metal, and not just for the big name connections here. More in tune with the NWOBHM stuff happening at the time, along with ’70s Judas Priest and Dio than what was happening in the US at the time (IMO).

Press Release:

Bible Black was an East Coast American band formed by former Elf/Rainbow musicians Gary Driscoll and Craig Gruber, along with Andrew “Duck” McDonald.
 The bands longest tenured singer was Jeff Fenholt, well known for his very brief stint with Tony Iommi/Black Sabbath and his work with the band Joshua.
 The band also featured in its ranks 2 well known vocalists:
 Lou Marullo who later became known as the one and only Eric Adams…and Joey Belladonna who of course went on to join Anthrax.
 All three vocalists recorded demos with Bible Black between the periods of 1981-1983. This cd for the first time compiles all recorded works of the band in one place.
 Sadly Gary Driscoll, Craig Gruber and Jeff Fenholt have all since passed away, making this release a fitting epitaph to their time together as Bible Black.
 Restored and remastered by Patrick Engel and licensed directly from the last surviving member Andrew “Duck” McDonald” we can now hear one of the great “lost bands” and a piece of Heavy Metal history.

Track list: 1. Gone, 2. Metal Man, 3. Back To Back, 4. Down On The World, 5. Ain’t No Crime, 6.Fighting The Wind 7. Back Door, 8. Paint It Black, 9. Fires Of Old, 10. You Got Me Where You Want Me, 11. Deceiver, 12. Midnight Dancer, 12. Gone (Jeff Fenholt vocals), 13. Metal Man (Jeff Fenholt vocals)





KJ, 02/’22