Born Again Release Date

UPDATE: That was quick.  The UK date has been sorted.  It’s 12 Sep 1983, as proven by Kerrang Issue #50.  Now to find the US date.

UPDATE 2: Now I’ve discovered that 12 Sep was the intended date, but delayed – how much?  Not sure. The search goes on.

As anyone who knows me knows I care about getting things right.  So when I discover I’m part of a problem I figure I should say something.   The problem is this.  The generally accepted release date of 7 Aug 1983 for the Born Again album IS WRONG.

I started this site back in 1995, and when I first put it together, my info was gleaned from whatever existed then.  There was no Wikipedia, there was not much of anything.  27 years later, I can’t remember what my source for this was – I probably pulled it from some magazine or article I read or SOMETHING.  While my site has had a few coats of paint over the years, the underlying data like this has been there all this time.  I’m very confident of release dates of anything after I started the site, because I put it there myself when it happened.  But for things that happened before I launched my site, I had to pull info from somewhere.  In this case, the somewhere had “7 Aug 1983”, so I used it.  And then didn’t think about it much after that.  It was what it was – became the defacto release date accepted by everyone (news articles, Wikipedia, etc).  But it’s wrong.

Why is it wrong?  Well, if you look up a calendar from Aug of 1983, you’ll find out that the 7th was a Sunday.  No record label anywhere ever released anything on a Sunday.  Release days have varied in the United States over the decades.  Was Tuesday for awhile, it’s Friday now, and it’s mostly always been Friday in UK/Europe.  I know there’s exceptions for some notable releases on other days.  But whatever it was, Sunday was most definitely NOT a date that albums got released on.  This was pointed out on Twitter by Mitch Lafon.  7 Aug is obviously wrong – and I have been perpetuating this myself for quite awhile now. Well, shit.

We also had a conversation started by Nathan Beaudry and John ‘Warmed Rat’ Mottola over at the Deep Purple Podcast to try and crowdsource the release date for Born Again.  With 7 Aug now out the window, the question turned to what the actual release date really is.

After some conversation, and some digging by Mitch, the conclusion was reached that the release date for Born Again in the United Kingdom was 9 September 1983.  This was a Friday, and far more realistic in the UK.  This was, however, likely NOT the release date for the US/North America.  The problem is we can’t find anything which indicates what the US/NA release date actually is.  So, is 9 Sep the true release date?  We think so, but are not 100% positive.  The way I tackle that is simple.  Whatever region has the earliest release date is the “real one”, because of one simple matter.  They were first.  For example, the 13 album was released on 10 Jun worldwide, except 11 Jun in US/North America. But the real release date is 7 Jun, because it was released in Australia there.

So..  In the absence of release date information for Born Again in the US, for now we have to go with 9 September unless some information turns up that shows US/North America is earlier.  If you are reading this and have VERIFIABLE PROOF of what the Born Again release date for US/North America is, I want to hear from you.  I don’t want you to just link to a website (especially Wikipedia, they’re wrong) randomly, I don’t want you to just say “I heard it was..”  You need to be able to prove it.   Have some magazine something that backs it up, some industry trade proof.   Drop me an email, I’d like to get this sorted.  Mitch did find an article which lists a release date as “late September”, and others that seem to imply “early October”, but nothing that proves a US/NA date, just vague remarks like this.  If these are right, or even close to it, than 9 Sep really is the true release date, but until we get a proper US/NA date, it remains a “probably” for me.

I’ve also contacted Iommi’s people about all this as well as someone I know at Rhino/Warner.  I might be able to talk him into digging into the Warner archives to see what he can find.  It’s gotta be buried in their vaults somewhere.  Just have to dig it out.

The main reason I wanted to get this sorted is there’s still a possibility we might get a Deluxe Edition of Born Again at some point given they’ve discovered the original multi track master tapes. I’d hate for the wrong date of 7 Aug to make it out there in documentation for that set.

Speaking of proof, here is a clip from Music Week from 3 Sep 1983 showing a bunch of things released on 9 Sep 1983.  Mitch has way more than this, but it seems the most conclusive evidence there is of everything he dug up.

Comments

  1. Interesting. I live in Canada, and my parents took a trip to London, U.K. in Sept. 1983; while there, they visited some record stores and I still recall my Mom calling me while she was there and asking if I had heard of a new Black Sabbath album, Born Again, having been released. Back then (in the pre-internet/social media ‘Era’) I used to visit my local record store quite frequently but I hadn’t seen a new Sabbath there album yet. So my parents bought me the U.K. issue of Born Again for a present, and I still have the LP to this day.

    Based on this, it appears that the album may not have been released in Canada until later in Sept. 1983, at least. This leave open the possibility that BA could have been released earlier in the U.S., i.e. Sept.9/’83.

    Ted

  2. TheEternalFine says

    Here’s hoping for a Deluxe Version of Born Again! Would love for instrumental versions of the songs to be included too!

  3. Joseph D'Agostino says

    It definitely was not released on August 7. I had already (but just) started my freshman year of high school when it came out and we didn’t start the school year until very late August or early September. I always knew that date was wrong, but never knew the correct date.

  4. Jannick Nielsen says

    Hi Joe,
    You have posted my ticket and the news paper add for the 24th August 1983 Copenhagen show, and I am quite certain that I had bought the album prior to that show.
    Was it released earlier in Scandinavia?

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