One of my favorite reissues released in 2010, is the Deluxe Edition of Black Sabbath’s Seventh Star. Seventh Star was originally released in January of 1986. The story behind Seventh Star has been well documented. This was supposed to be a Tony Iommi solo CD, but the record company pressured Iommi to release this a Black Sabbath CD. That is abridged version of the story, but if you check out the booklet that is included in this two CD set, it will tell you the complete details about Seventh Star. There are also some cool pictures of the band as well.
How is the music on Seventh Star? I wouldn’t call it unSabbath like. It isn’t as heavy, or doom laden as most of Black Sabbath’s stuff but it is very good. The bass from Dave Spitz is nowhere near as heavy as that of Geezer Butler, but due to the nature of the music, it works, and works well. Tony Iommi’s riffs are awesome as always, and Glenn Hughes vocals are perfect. While this CD may not be as heavy as other albums in the Black Sabbath discography, it is awesome in its own right.
The song “In For The Kill” is an excellent tune. It is a shame that this tune doesn’t get more airplay. This hard rocking number ought to be up there with Sabbath’s best. “No Stranger to Love” is a powerful slow number. Geoff Nicholls keyboard work on this song brings the classic Sabbath album Heaven and Hell to mind. Eric Singer shows off his mad drum skills on the rocker “Turn To Stone”. Tony Iommi may have been a genius nabbing Glenn Hughes to sing on this CD. His vocals are as good as it gets. I have always been a fan of Glenn Hughes since his Deep Purple days, but I think Iommi’s playing may complement his voice even more. If Black Sabbath doesn’t reunite with Ozzy Osbourne, Glenn Hughes ought to be given a strong look. Needless to say, I have no problem listening to Seventh Star over and over again. It is a very underrated recording in the Sabbath discography.
With the newly reissued Deluxe Edition, you get a really cool fold out digipack case with band pictures, and a nicely put together booklet. The second CD features the late Ray Gillen (Badlands) singing with Black Sabbath Live at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1986. The Live recording isn’t what I would consider pristine, but it something I have looked forward to owning for years. It has only been available in bootleg formats prior to this release. Gillen’s vocals sound fantastic on both the Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio, and Glenn Hughes tracks. For my ears, the second CD alone is worth the price of admission. The audio quality isn’t the greatest, but it preserves a piece of Metal history, with a singer who should have been one of Metal’s biggest stars.
If you are a Black Sabbath fan, and have never picked up Seventh Star before. This is the version to own! It may not be the preferred Black Sabbath lineup, and the original recording is somewhat short, but it is still a very solid effort from Tony Iommi and company! Recommended!
1. In for the Kill
2. No Stranger to Love
3. Turn to Stone
4. Sphinx (The Guardian)
5. Seventh Star
6. Danger Zone
7. Heart Like a Wheel
8. Angry Heart
9. In Memory…
10. No Stranger To Love (Alternate Version)*Bonus Track
Black Sabbath is:
Tony Iommi – Guitars
Glenn Hughes – Vocals
Eric Singer – Drums
Dave “The Beast” Spitz – Bass
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards
Gordon Copley – Bass on “No Stranger To Love”
Ray Gillen – vocals (on – Disc 2)