Seventh Star

Last updated

Seventh Star
Black-Sabbath-seventh-star.jpg
Studio album by
Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi
Released28 January 1986
Recorded1985
Studio Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles, California
Cheshire Sound Studios, Atlanta, Georgia
Genre
Length34:55
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Producer Jeff Glixman
Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi chronology
Born Again
(1983)
Seventh Star
(1986)
The Eternal Idol
(1987)
Tony Iommi with Glenn Hughes chronology
Seventh Star
(1986)
The 1996 DEP Sessions
(2004)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [3]
Classic Rock Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Martin Popoff Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [5]

Seventh Star is the 12th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath. Released in January 1986, it features musicians Geoff Nicholls, Eric Singer, and Dave Spitz, playing keyboards, drums, and bass, respectively, and Glenn Hughes, ex-Deep Purple bassist and vocalist, as lead singer. The album was the group's first release without bassist Geezer Butler, who left the band in 1984 after the Born Again tour. It was originally written, recorded, and intended to be the first solo album by Iommi. Due to pressures by Warner Bros. Records and the prompting of band manager Don Arden, the record was billed as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi. Later releases label the album as simply by Black Sabbath. Despite the issues behind the release's production, it earned moderate commercial success, reaching #78 on the Billboard 200 chart. [2]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Geoff Nicholls English musician

Geoffrey James "Geoff" Nicholls was a British musician and keyboardist, and longtime member of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, until 2004. Nicholls also played in the NWOBHM band Quartz, before joining Black Sabbath. In the 1960s/early 1970s, Geoff played lead guitar for the Birmingham bands The Boll Weevils, The Seed, Johnny Neal and the Starliners and keyboards for World Of Oz.

Contents

Album information

As was the case with its predecessor, Born Again , this album was not intended to be a Black Sabbath record. Last-minute pressure from Warner Bros stemmed from the belief that it was likely to sell more with the famous name. Its sound is a drastic (and intentional) departure from the trademark Sabbath sound. Many of the songs have a very hard rock sound, while some contain a bluesy feel (especially "Heart Like a Wheel"). Seventh Star was the first album to feature long-time keyboardist Geoff Nicholls as an official band member. [6]

<i>Born Again</i> (Black Sabbath album) album by Black Sabbath

Born Again is the 11th studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in August 1983. It is the only album the group recorded with lead vocalist Ian Gillan, best known for his work with Deep Purple. It was also the last Black Sabbath album for nine years to feature original bassist Geezer Butler, and the last to feature drummer Bill Ward until he played the studio tracks on their 1998 live album Reunion. The album has received mixed to negative reviews from critics, but it was a commercial success upon its 1983 release, reaching No. 4 in the UK charts. The album also hit the top 40 in the United States.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

"It seemed to me like the band was on its last legs and my heart just went out to Tony," recalled former drummer Bill Ward. "I thought, 'God, how much more can he take?' or 'How much more does he want?'… What I saw was a great band I just felt was diminishing." [7]

Bill Ward (musician) English musician

William Thomas Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer of the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He also performed lead vocals on two Black Sabbath songs: "It's Alright" from the album Technical Ecstasy and "Swinging the Chain" from the album Never Say Die!. Ward is known for his very unorthodox style of playing the drums, often using snare-drills and tempo-drop to match both vocals and riff.

The promo-single and video version of "No Stranger to Love" had additional harmony vocals added by Hughes to make it more "radio-friendly". Actress Denise Crosby, who would later portray Tasha Yar in Star Trek: The Next Generation , was featured in the video.

Denise Crosby American actress

Denise Michelle Crosby is an American actress and model, best known for portraying Security Chief Tasha Yar in season one of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as Yar's daughter, the half-Romulan Commander Sela, in subsequent seasons. She is also known for her numerous film and television roles, and for starring in and producing the film Trekkies.

Tasha Yar fictional character on Star Trek: The Next Generation

Natasha "Tasha" Yar is a fictional character that mainly appeared in the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Portrayed by Denise Crosby, Yar is chief of security aboard the Starfleet starship USS Enterprise-D and carries the rank of lieutenant. The character's concept was originally based upon the character of Vasquez from the film Aliens (1986). Following further development she became known first as Tanya, and then Tasha. Crosby had originally auditioned for the role of Deanna Troi, while Rosalind Chao became a favorite for Tasha. After Marina Sirtis auditioned for the role, the series' creator Gene Roddenberry decided to switch the roles for the actresses, with Sirtis becoming Troi and Crosby becoming Yar. Chao would later appear on the series in a recurring role as Keiko O'Brien.

<i>Star Trek: The Next Generation</i> US-American science fiction television series from 1987–1994

Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. It originally aired from September 28, 1987 to May 23, 1994 on syndication, spanning 178 episodes over the course of seven seasons. The third series in the Star Trek franchise, it is the second sequel to Star Trek: The Original Series. Set in the 24th century, when Earth is part of a United Federation of Planets, it follows the adventures of a Starfleet starship, the USS Enterprise-D, in its exploration of the Milky Way galaxy.

A tour for the album featured Hughes only at the first few shows. He was fired five dates into the tour, and replaced by Ray Gillen, who completed the North American and European legs of the tour, though several dates in the US were cancelled. W.A.S.P. and Anthrax were opening acts on the North American tour.

Raymond Arthur Gillen was an American rock singer-songwriter. He is a best known for his work with Badlands, in addition to his stint with Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s and recording most of the vocals on Phenomena's Dream Runner album.

W.A.S.P. (band) American heavy metal band

W.A.S.P. is an American heavy metal band formed in 1982 by Blackie Lawless, who is the last remaining original member of the band. They emerged from the early 1980s Los Angeles heavy metal scene. The band's popularity peaked that decade, yet they continue to record and tour, making them one of the most enduring of the West Coast heavy metal bands. W.A.S.P. gained notoriety for their shock rock-themed image, lyrics and live performances. They have sold over 12 million albums.

Anthrax (American band) American heavy metal band

Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. The group is considered one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene from the 1980s and is one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer; Anthrax is the only one of the four from the East Coast, and often credited as one of the early thrash metal bands to emerge from there, along with Overkill and Nuclear Assault. As of April 2017, the band has released 11 studio albums, several other albums, and 26 singles, including collaborating on a single with American hip hop group Public Enemy. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, with worldwide sales of 10 million.

Hughes has performed "No Stranger to Love", "Seventh Star" and "Heart Like a Wheel" at some of his live concerts.[ citation needed ] "I really like Seventh Star," Tony Martin told Sabbath fanzine Southern Cross, "mainly because I admire Glenn Hughes' voice." [8]

Tony Martin (British singer) heavy metal vocalist

Anthony Philip Harford, better known by his stage name Tony Martin, is a heavy metal vocalist, best known for his time fronting Black Sabbath, initially from 1987 to 1991 and again from 1993 to 1997. Martin was the band's second longest serving vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne. He has since been involved in many other projects.

Fanzine magazine published by fans

A fanzine is a non-professional and non-official publication produced by enthusiasts of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest. The term was coined in an October 1940 science fiction fanzine by Russ Chauvenet and first popularized within science fiction fandom, and from there it was adopted by other communities.

Seventh Star was rereleased in Europe on 1 November 2010, as a two-disc special edition. Disc 2 includes a concert recorded in 1986, with Gillen on vocals. The single version of No Stranger to Love is a bonus track on disc 1. [9]

Reviews and reception

The album peaked at #78 on the Billboard 200 chart. [2] Some retrospective critical assessments of the album have been negative; for example, The New Rolling Stone Album Guide rated the release only two out of five stars. [3]

However, critic Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic has given Seventh Star a mixed to positive review, praising what he saw as the "fiery tunefulness" that makes "aggressive hard rockers like "In for the Kill," "Turn to Stone," and "Danger Zone" uncommonly catchy". However, he argued that the songwriting and vocal work fell flat on songs such as the album's title track. He stated generally that he found the release an "often misunderstood and underrated album". [2]

Reviews from the period were more positive. Popular Rock publication Kerrang! magazine gave Seventh Star a rare perfect 5/5 score. [10]

Track listings

Music by Tony Iommi; lyrics by Tony Iommi, Glenn Hughes, Geoff Nicholls and Jeff Glixman.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."In for the Kill"3:48
2."No Stranger to Love"4:28
3."Turn to Stone"3:28
4."Sphinx (The Guardian)"1:12
5."Seventh Star"5:20
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Danger Zone"4:23
7."Heart Like a Wheel"6:35
8."Angry Heart"3:06
9."In Memory..."2:35

2010 Deluxe Edition Disc 2

Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in London, England on 2 June 1986, featuring Ray Gillen performing vocals

No.TitleLength
1."The Mob Rules"2:59
2."Danger Zone"4:44
3."War Pigs"8:10
4."Seventh Star"5:01
5."Die Young"3:58
6."Black Sabbath"9:33
7."N.I.B."1:37
8."Neon Knights"4:36
9."Paranoid"3:17

Personnel

Black Sabbath

Additional Musicians

Release history

RegionDateLabel
United Kingdom28 January 1986 Vertigo Records
United States1986 Warner Bros. Records
Canada1986Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom1996 Castle Communications
United Kingdom2004 Sanctuary Records
United Kingdom2010Sanctuary Records/Universal Music Group

Chart performance

YearChartPosition
1986Sweden11
Finland12
Norway17
United Kingdom27
Germany51
United States78
Australia88

See also

Related Research Articles

Glenn Hughes British singer-songwriter

Glenn Hughes is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple, as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.

<i>Headless Cross</i> album by Black Sabbath

Headless Cross is the 14th studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Released on 24 April 1989, it was the group's second album to feature singer Tony Martin and the first of three to feature drummer Cozy Powell, along with Tyr and Forbidden.

<i>Dehumanizer</i> album

Dehumanizer is the 16th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in June 1992.

<i>Live Evil</i> (Black Sabbath album) live album

Live Evil is the first official live album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. The previously released Live at Last (1980) was not sanctioned by the band. Live Evil peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.

<i>Tyr</i> (album) album

Tyr is the 15th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in August 1990 by I.R.S. Records.

<i>Heaven and Hell</i> (Black Sabbath album) album by Black Sabbath

Heaven and Hell is the ninth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on 25 April 1980. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in 1979.

<i>Cross Purposes</i> album

Cross Purposes is the 17th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in January 1994.

Dave "The Beast" Spitz is an American musician best known for having played bass guitar for the heavy metal group Black Sabbath from 1985 to 1987, appearing on the albums Seventh Star and being credited for The Eternal Idol. Dave also helped discover Ray Gillen, the vocalist who joined Black Sabbath mid-tour in 1986, following the sudden exit of Glenn Hughes.

"Heaven and Hell" is the title track to Black Sabbath's ninth studio album of the same name. The music was written mainly by Tony Iommi, but as with almost all Black Sabbath albums, credit is given to the entire band. The lyrics were written entirely by then newcomer Ronnie James Dio. The song has been performed by several bands of which Iommi and Dio were members including Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven & Hell.

<i>The Eternal Idol</i> album

The Eternal Idol is the 13th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on November 23, 1987. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Tony Martin. It spent six weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at 168. It was also the last full album of new material by Black Sabbath to be released by Warner Bros. Records, and the final album through their original label Vertigo Records until the release of 13 in 2013.

<i>Forbidden</i> (album) Black Sabbath album

Forbidden is the 18th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in June 1995. This recording saw the reunion of Black Sabbath's Tyr-era line-up from 1990, with the return of Neil Murray and Cozy Powell. It was the last album to feature Tony Martin on vocals, Geoff Nicholls on keyboards, and the last by the band until 2013 when Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler returned for the album 13. The album sold 21,000 copies in the U.S in its first week and as of 2013, Forbidden has sold 191,000 copies in the US.

Jeffrey Craig "Jeff" Fenholt is an American singer best known for his performance as the title character in the original Broadway theatre adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar and for his appearance on the cover of "Time Magazine". In later years, Fenholt would gain notoriety as a Christian evangelist and singer, as well as controversy over his involvement with the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

<i>The Sabbath Stones</i> compilation album

The Sabbath Stones (1996) is a compilation album of Black Sabbath songs taken from albums ranging from 1983's Born Again to 1995's Forbidden. It was never formally released in the US or Canada, and was the last album to be released by Black Sabbath with I.R.S. Records.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (song) single

"Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" is the opening title track of British heavy metal band Black Sabbath's fifth album, released in 1973.

Quartz are a British heavy metal band.

<i>Return of Crystal Karma</i> album by Glenn Hughes

Return of Crystal Karma (often abbreviated to R.O.C.K.) is a studio album by former Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Trapeze vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes. The album was released 19 of June 2000 on SPV and Nippon records.

References

  1. "Ranking: Every Black Sabbath Album from Worst to Best". 9 March 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Rivadavida, Eduardo. "Seventh Star" at AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  3. 1 2 The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. 2004. p. 78. ISBN   9780743201698.
  4. Elliott, Paul (January 2011). "Black Sabbath – Reissues". Classic Rock . 153. London, UK: Future plc. p. 112.|access-date= requires |url= (help)
  5. Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN   978-1-894959-31-5.
  6. "Iommi with Glenn Hughes: The 1996 DEP Sessions". melodicrock.com. Archived from the original on 16 December 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  7. Schroer, Ron (May 1998). "Bill Ward & The Hand Of Doom – Part IV: Living Naked". Southern Cross (Sabbath fanzine) #21. p. 63.
  8. Southern Cross (ISSN 0966-5064), No.10, May 1993
  9. Siegler, Joe (15 September 2010). "Gillen Eternal Idol to be released – FOR REAL!". black-sabbath.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  10. Kerrang!, January, 1986 issue