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24
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Eternal Idol (Deluxe Edition)
Format: Audio CDChange
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2011
Have only just got into the Tony martin era of Sabbath. man ive missed out, this is an awesome album with monster riffs and great vocals.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2011
The mid-to-late 1980's is an often overlooked era in Black Sabbath's long and chequered career, and in addition to 1989's Headless Cross, 1987's The Eternal Idol is probably the band's most underrated album.

Die-hards will disagree, of course, but once you get past the impression that no line-up without Ozzy Osbourne should be called Black Sabbath, you will soon discover that there was some pretty good stuff released under the Sabbath name even when Tony Iommi remained the sole original member of the group. Songs such as "The Shining," "Ancient Warrior" and "Eternal Idol" easily beat anything from the dismal Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die albums, and, frankly, most of the stuff on Sabotage.

Long-time Sabbath aficionados already know that prior to the release of The Eternal Idol, vocalist Ray Gillen abruptly left the group, having already nearly completed the album. This led to the hiring of Tony Martin, who re-did all the vocals with very short notice. Up until now, the original Ray Gillen versions have only existed in various bootleg formats, but now finally get an official release on this 2-disc deluxe edition, which features both versions of the album.

This release offers some solid evidence of both Gillen's and Martin's undeniable vocal abilities. Comparing the two singers' renditions of the same songs and listening to them back-to-back is great fun. Although the vocal melodies on the different versions of the songs are often very close to one another, both singers have their own style and bring their own flavour to the Sabbath sound.

In a way it's a shame that things didn't work out with Ray Gillen, but then again, Tony Martin did a great job and deserves to be on the album. With this re-release, everyone wins.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2008
This is a wonderful album by Sabbath. It doesn`t matter how many producers or bass players they went through on this album, the end result is a magical ride through the world of metal.Iommi had lost non of his riff brilliance and Eric Singer (now with Alice Cooper) does a magnificent job on his pounding drum set. Bob Daisley of Rainbow also has a hand in this quite magnificent and under rated heavy metal masterpiece. If you have any fondness of all things Sabbath, this is an absolute must, Iommi has never put a foot wrong and this is no exception.
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on 21 November 2014
It was so amazing to hear the Ray Gillan contribution to the album. Ray recorded it first but the album was re-recorded again with the new vocalist. In my opinion, I prefererd Ray's vocals and phrasing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2012
It must be singularly ace, being Tony Iommi.

How any bloke can crank out quite so many sensational, chord progressed entrees is extraordinary; some gift.

That the birth of 'Idol' was so difficult only adds to its magic; no hard rocking story is complete without a healthy dose of strife and to a connoisseur of Metal, the odyssey behind this chapter in Tony's Progress makes for the kind of tasty side issue the likes of Malcolm Dome, or a Jerry - Bloom or Ewing - might deign to outline in some welcome analysis of suitable obscurity focusing on The Martin era, perhaps.

Whatever. For when this bugger burst forth in 1987, I recall the sense of relief associated with so venerable a restitution of the form (Metal) being delivered against the burgeoning effluence of contemporary rock n roll lettuce from LA's much feted 'Strip' that was plaguing our wee fiefdom.

It was an album that defined an unapologetic flexing of something hallowed (and yes, I've heard critics employ disparaging words like 'generic' and 'formulaic,') so that if you mentally flicked through the halls of your collection, would persuade you that it genuinely existed in some properly rarefied company, to become a veritable cornerstone or reference point, such was its impact on your correctly honed, metallic sensibilities.

Every year from 1969 can be populated with individuals' preferred fodder and so often, popularity is confused with success, something upon which I once recall The Master of Stratocastery remarking. Certainly, Martin epoch Sabbath is about as criminally obscure as a Candlemass lp signing session behind 'The Riverside' in Newcastle Upon Tyne but like Messiah Marcolin's cassock flailing led vocal lunacy, thoroughly deserving of infinitely more reverence.

Yet, among my brethren in matters of the mistiest of morns, I know of none who at launch, denied this album nor reacted to initial exposure in enthusiastic terms any less naturally wrought than "Holy ****, what was that?!"

The oft suggested Tony Martin - Dio vocal connection is misplaced; indeed, I was strangled by the former when suggesting, in banal jest, post show, that very thing - Martin 'soars;' Dio 'soars' but come on! Listen to 'A Light In The Black' then perhaps the title track from 'Idol' and we have two fundamentally distinct tonalities but both spectacularly wonderful.

Moreover, the endless debate over whether it is or isn't Sabbath? As someone else comments in contemplation of either this or another Martin Sabbath appearance, it is the presence of Tony Iommi that matters, whose ability to marshal multiple permutations of Heavy Rock's Greats into a particular ensemble is evidently the critical, significant, Sabbatical catalyst and whatever the lawyers may concoct in contractual agreements, his appearance - more than Oz, the late Ronnie or anyone else - is the essential factor to morally proclaim 'Sabbath,' if he so desires.

I'm not quite sure how strong a riff has to be before folk submit in complete and willing supplication to its pummel but the opening moments of 'The Shining' were as captivating in hypnotizing power as had been other, seminal, moments in Metal.

The original production values (howsoever shared in the mixed making) came out crisp, sharp and with the sort of blood curdling venom I hadn't encountered since Priest's 'Defenders Of The Faith' three years earlier; it was a no holds barred, Metal tour de force and it didn't deviate from its mission to carpet bomb the senses and invite a full formation mosh with your metallic coven.

Neck strain is often a fair gauge to Metal worth and having witnessed TM spec Sabbath thrice, some of the closest calls with the physio have followed the requisite attendances; yes, this is sucker punch grade invigoration and as unapologetic in down the line Metal intent as a Genghis Khan post abstention party unleashed in a Persian Nunnery.

A few minutes ago, I drank in the frenzied abandon of 'Lost Forever;' you just don't get this intensity of Metal any more. Furious but thoroughly melodic, it is a form of fizzing Zen that leaves you shaking, energized and euphoric.

Of course, numerous such zeniths in Metal exist and many of our heroes have notched their credentials (in steel) on The Molten Totem Pole of Immortal Glory (a song I'm penning for submission to a well seasoned troupe of fur lined, Norse loin fetishists and their next opus's track inclusion) but in like manner, so 'The Eternal Idol' and the stupendous, vocal input of Tony Martin should be recognized and honoured with the best of 'em.

I suspect Gillan would not disapprove.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2011
I didn't grow up with Sabbath, so I don't have the 1970-78 prejudice a lot of their lifelong fans do. However, I do love me a bit of Sabbath and while this album does indeed have a ludicrous recording history the bottom line is regardless of what fans, rivals and the music press made of the circumstances surrounding this album the finished product is an absolute blinder. One of my all time favourites actually.

If you're just a fan of good heavy music in general you will love this. It has solid vocals, inspired riffage and an overall solid sound typical of a late 80's heavy record release. This record is a real triumph, particularly for a band 13 albums in to their career and for all the crap they had to get by to get it finished.

I guess it boils down to a simple divide. If you're the sort of fan who won't hear any praise for a Sabbath album that doesn't have Ozzie or Dio in it then you won't like this. Equally, if you're say a Metallica fan who insists Load and Re-Load are 'not' Metallica albums, then you probably won't like this.

Don't fear the difference. This isn't typical Sabbath maybe. But it's bloody brilliant all the same and would probably have done a hell of a lot better if it hadn't the Black Sabbath on it at the time. Taken on its own merits with, no presuppositions etc of what a Black Sabbath is/was/should be, this is a cracking album and I highly recommend it.
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22 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2010
Tony Martin Era of Black Sabbath First off the bonus tracks & main reason for buying this is : 'Some Kind Of Women' & 'Blackmoon' Blackmoon was at first gonna be a instrumental because noone could finish the lyrics. Until the very end when Tony Martin and Nicholls were albe to do it. It's original working title was 'Gypsy Warning'. Also the song was the only one where Nicholls played bass on a Sabbath record. Biggest diiference between this version and what was used on 'Headless Cross' is the guitar is heavier and the keyboards are very low. 'Some Kind Of Women' bass parts are from Dave Spitz. It was left out because it didnt fit in with everything else. Tony Martin wrote and recorded the lyrics so the song could be included on the 12in LP record single of the 'The Shining'. 2nd Bonus disc is the Ray Gillen tracks he recorded but left the band soon after.
Track Listings cd 1:
The Shining
Ancient Warrior
Hard Life to Love
Glory Ride
Born to Lose
Nightmare
Scarlet Pimpernel
Lost Forever
Eternal Idol
Extra Tracks:
Some Kind of Woman
Black Moon
Track Listings cd 2
Glory Ride
Born To Lose
Lost Forever
Eternal Idol
The Shining
Hard Life To Love
Nightmare
Ancient Warrior

Tony Iommi - Guitar
Tony Martin - Vocals
Dave Spitz and Bob Daisley - Bass
The album list both but only Bob Daisley played on the album.
Dave Spitz was signed on to play live with the band.
So he was given credit to connect him to the band live and the album for continuity sake.
Eric Singer - Drums
Eric plays all the drums for the most part.
Bev Bevan - Percussion
Bev just did some extra work on the album. Nothing really major.
Geoff Nicholls - Keyboards
Produced by Jeff Glixman, Vic Coppersmith-Heaven, & Chris Tsangerides
Recorded at Air Studios, Montserrat & Battery Studios, London
Mixed by Chris Tsangerides.
Singles/Music Videos - The Shining
Best Chart Postition - No.67 on the US charts
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2014
While the album in itself isn't too bad. Sounds a bit like a lighter version of Iron Maiden (and of course much worse vocal) It shows that by this time Sabbath was down to only one of the original members. While nowhere close to the ozzy era, this album is pretty decent, basically you run-of-the-mill heavy metal with substandard vocals. Listen before buying so you know what you are getting yourself into.
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on 19 October 2014
it's worth buying it. Very good edition.
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on 8 March 2015
good album, still sounds good today
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