Sunday, August 3, 2014

Black Sabbath - Seventh Star (1986)

You might be thinking for yourself while gazing at the at the cover for "Seventh Star", "why does it say featuring Tony Iommi? Isn't he a member of the band?". Yes he is, in fact, he was the only original member left in the band around this time. "Seventh Star" was actually supposed to be Tony's first solo release, but thanks to the record company and band manager, it became a Black Sabbath album instead. The reason to that decision? Milking out more money out of the Black Sabbath name! Damn those money loving bastards.

To no ones surprise, that ultimately was a bad decision since the music in "Seventh Star" was way different from the normal Black Sabbath sound. This album is not metal, it is just 80's rock that more resemble Whitesnake and Deep Purple than Black Sabbath. Speaking of Deep Purple, former member of the band Glenn Hughes helped with the vocals on this album. Other players were Geoff Nicholls on keyboard, Dave Spitz on bass, Eric Singer on drums (Singer later became the drummer of KISS), and of course, Tony Iommi on guitar.

There are a couple of songs that are fine and could fit in with another Black Sabbath album. The title track is long and has an overall nice groove to it while "Danger Zone" works with its catchiness (despite the Van Halen riff), and "In For The Kill" does its job well and Iommi does his best performance here. A small shout out also to the excellent "Turn To Stone". With a little fine tuning here and there, all of those songs could easily fit in any other Sabbath record.

But now, we come to the rest of the pack, songs that I understand why Tony would release them in a solo record, but does not in any circumstance fit in a Black Sabbath one. The track that causes the most sickness for me is "No Stranger To Love". It is a typical 80's rock ballad that is more than likely to bore the crap out of you. Seriously, these kinds of songs were outdated even before they became popular. Then we have "Heart Like A Wheel", a blues song that is the longest track in this album. I can see if some fans of the band would enjoy this song, but I cannot. It has the same effect on me like a sleeping pill. The two final songs, "Angry Heart" and "In Memory", are just bland. They have more or less nothing that could change my mind over this album. A very disappointing ending to "Seventh Star".

I do not think my view on this album would have changed if "Seventh Star" was a solo record. I do understand that Tony wanted to test his musical writing beyond his band and that this album had potential of becoming something interesting outside of his normal sound. No, the blame for "Seventh Star" goes instead to Warner Bros. and Don Arden, who persuaded Tony of making this under the Black Sabbath name. If they really wanted the best for the band, they would know that this could not be a Black Sabbath album. I can only imagine all those fans who bought the album on release day and heard it. Oh, the disappointment.

Let this be a lesson to record companies, big and small. Don't do this to band that you have under a contract, ever. Got it? Probably not.

Songs worthy of recognition: Seventh Star, In For The Kill, Turn To Stone

Rating: 3,5/10 Danger Zones

No comments:

Post a Comment