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  • Availability of Tony Martin Era Albums

    The reason I thought I'd start this thread is because I think it would be interesting to hear some views on the very strange fact that much of the Tony Martin era isn't currently available - as far as I can tell - on either CD or digital.

    Just the other day I bought a brand new, factory sealed, copy of 'Tyr' for a pretty reasonable price all things considered, and it felt like a bit of a miracle. I know that 'The Eternal Idol' is also out on CD and I bought that new a few years ago, and I've just seen a sealed copy of 'Forbidden' on ebay but don't know if it's genuine. But I've searched high and low and can't find a new copy of 'Headless Cross' or 'Cross Purposes' anywhere.

    Perhaps even more alarmingly from a distribution perspective, none of the Tony Martin albums are available for download on Apple Music except for 'The Eternal Idol'. Which is really strange, because it's almost inconceivable that one of the biggest and most important metal bands of all time would have officially released studio albums that are simply unavailable.

    Can anyone shed any light on this beyond what seems like an obvious attempt from certain personages to remove the memory of these releases in the first place? But if that was true, why is 'The Eternal Idol' broadly available? Also, how many years does it take to remix and remaster 'Forbidden'?

    It's all a mystery to me and a great injustice. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    An interesting idea to post another discussion about the availability of the Tony Martin albums again (hopefully the moderators wonīt roast us))).

    From what I remember, all the Sabbath albums up to The Eternal Idol were originally released through Warner Brothers and so when they started offering rereleases of the Ozzy and Dio albums, I think it just made sense to do the whole lot as they were all in the catalogue already. I think if they had stopped after Mob Rules or Born Again or even Seventh Star, some people would keep questioning why The Eternal Idol would never get a rerelease.

    The other albums from Headless Cross to Forbidden were released through IRS records which went bust years ago. The sole exception was that Dehumanizer was under some kind of joint deal with Warner Brothers so that is why they were able to release that album along with everything up to The Eternal Idol.

    We have heard here and there, that apparently Tony Iommi is working on remixing the Forbidden album, has been in discussions with Tony Martiin about doing new tracks together and is allegedly doing some solo album work. The Sabbath reunion with Ozzy ended over three years ago so I do wonder what is really going on behind the scenes. This has been the time when Tony Iommi has been the most unproductive in terms of updates in his whole career. Perhaps it is because of his treatment and he is older now means he isn`t able to be productive the whole time.

    I have wondered as well that perhaps the albums from Born Again to The Eternal Idol when they were rereleased, did not sell as well as everyone was hoping. To be frank, it is only die hard Sabbath fans who really pay much interest. I know people who are casual metal fans who like Sabbath but will only listen to Ozzy songs or maybe Dio. The rest of the eras, I find I always have to explain the background to each album and sometimes the reactions I get are "that`s not Sabbath!" Also just look at these forums, they are nowhere near as active as they were in the past :(





    Last edited by sin - lum; 04-01-2020, 04:00 AM.

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    • #3
      The short answer is there's very little demand for those albums to be reissued. They didn't sell very well during their initial release, to be kind. Be that as it may, there are some gems here and there during that time.

      Let's not forget that Iommi shamefully dragged the Sabbath name through the mud with all the lineup changes that occurred throughout the 80s. Too many assembly lines in a band's history doesn't bode well for its legacy. As a result---fairly or unfairly--- the band's credibility went south.

      Having said that, perhaps someone will buy the rights to the material (most of it on IRS Records) and release a Martin-era "best of" compilation first. Honestly, I can see a label like Rhino signing up for that to "test the waters", so to speak, before reissuing the albums proper.

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      • #4
        One word... Sharon! The Dio band has too much credibility in metal circles for her to be able to erase them from history, try as she may, and the mid-80s albums sold too well to be completely airbrushed but by the time of Headless Cross, Sabbath's profile had gone down (ironically enough, thanks also to Sharon) and it's easier. Still Tony has said he would like to reissue them at some point. Personally, I would love to see all the Martin album reissued followed by an Iommi Martin band tour a la Heaven And Hell in 2007.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by popeyebonaparte View Post
          One word... Sharon! The Dio band has too much credibility in metal circles for her to be able to erase them from history, try as she may, and the mid-80s albums sold too well to be completely airbrushed but by the time of Headless Cross, Sabbath's profile had gone down (ironically enough, thanks also to Sharon) and it's easier. Still Tony has said he would like to reissue them at some point. Personally, I would love to see all the Martin album reissued followed by an Iommi Martin band tour a la Heaven And Hell in 2007.
          Popeye, I agree wholeheartedly with you that $haron is indeed a piece of shit. However, she has no say regarding the Martin albums being reissued.

          I also agree with you that her (and Ozzy) have gone out of their way over the years to dismiss Dio-era Sabbath in not-so-subtle ways---- and failed miserably! Your 100% spot-on about that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Requiem View Post
            It's all a mystery to me and a great injustice. Any thoughts?

            The MARTIN era! Five of Sabbath's extra exceptional releases ,, I look at these gems , due to experience from others , to attract the more intelligent listener .... each of these 5 albums are part of the Sabbath legacy where we find more "color" if you will ... Sabbath had great diversity around this time , with beautiful choices and courageous lineup changes , that made the Sabbath "tree" so much more credible and exciting , taking it to a level of "greatness" they would have never achieved otherwise .... this is one of the many things that puts the Sabbath legacy at such an unattainable level for any other band to even try to match.

            All 5 these albums actually sold fairly well , and in many cases very well ... sales were never a problem worldwide for these releases .... The reason THE ETERNAL IDOL is so readily available is simply that it falls within the same record label parameters as all the previous releases , again the same reason the SEVENTH STAR masterpiece is so readily available now ,,, a cool sidenote , is vocalist Ray Gillen , in his own way was part of the 7th Star/Eternal Idol legacy - The greatest part of HIS musical career!

            With the other spectacular releases (Headless Cross , TYR, CP , Forbidden) , the only reason they are not readily available , is simply due to the record label "I.R.S" , nothing more .... I hope this accurate proper information helps give you the answer you were looking for as you enjoy the impeccable Martin Era journey for the astute listener.

            Stay safe and God Bless!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BACK TO EDEN View Post
              With the other spectacular releases (Headless Cross , TYR, CP , Forbidden) , the only reason they are not readily available , is simply due to the record label "I.R.S" , nothing more ....
              Yeah but Dehumanizer was on I.R.S. as well and they still reissued it in 2011 along with the other Dio era albums.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by popeyebonaparte View Post
                One word... Sharon! The Dio band has too much credibility in metal circles for her to be able to erase them from history, try as she may, and the mid-80s albums sold too well to be completely airbrushed but by the time of Headless Cross, Sabbath's profile had gone down (ironically enough, thanks also to Sharon) and it's easier. Still Tony has said he would like to reissue them at some point. Personally, I would love to see all the Martin album reissued followed by an Iommi Martin band tour a la Heaven And Hell in 2007.
                Not sure what power Sharon would have over the reissue of these albums. It doesn’t even make sense that she would unless she bought the rights to them herself so not to have them released which we would’ve heard of if that was the case. I think Sabbath Historian summed it best. Just not enough demand.

                As for a tour with the two Tony’s. No way Tony Iommi would put himself through the rigours of touring just to play clubs and small venues. He went out on the highest note possible. Reunion albums and tours with Dio and Ozzy and a subsequent farewell tour.

                Besides, Tony Martin’s voice isn’t in the best of shape for touring these days anyways.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BACK TO EDEN View Post


                  The MARTIN era! Five of Sabbath's extra exceptional releases ,, I look at these gems , due to experience from others , to attract the more intelligent listener .... each of these 5 albums are part of the Sabbath legacy where we find more "color" if you will ... Sabbath had great diversity around this time , with beautiful choices and courageous lineup changes , that made the Sabbath "tree" so much more credible and exciting , taking it to a level of "greatness" they would have never achieved otherwise .... this is one of the many things that puts the Sabbath legacy at such an unattainable level for any other band to even try to match.

                  All 5 these albums actually sold fairly well , and in many cases very well ... sales were never a problem worldwide for these releases .... The reason THE ETERNAL IDOL is so readily available is simply that it falls within the same record label parameters as all the previous releases , again the same reason the SEVENTH STAR masterpiece is so readily available now ,,, a cool sidenote , is vocalist Ray Gillen , in his own way was part of the 7th Star/Eternal Idol legacy - The greatest part of HIS musical career!

                  With the other spectacular releases (Headless Cross , TYR, CP , Forbidden) , the only reason they are not readily available , is simply due to the record label "I.R.S" , nothing more .... I hope this accurate proper information helps give you the answer you were looking for as you enjoy the impeccable Martin Era journey for the astute listener.

                  Stay safe and God Bless!!
                  This \m/ \m/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by popeyebonaparte View Post
                    Yeah but Dehumanizer was on I.R.S. as well and they still reissued it in 2011 along with the other Dio era albums.
                    Correct and incorrect .... Dehumanizer was released on both IRS and Reprise (due to the Dio connection) , making it readily available on Warner Records (Reprise is owned by Warner Music Group) .... Many Sabbath albums are furnished by multiple label connections ,, IE) Born Again , for a more current (relatively speaking) example.


                    ronn , GREAT TO SEE YOU! ... and thank you brother , I enjoy facts , not just words ... waiting for a challenge on record sales , so I can show just how in demand these releases were , are and would be on a re release ..... Stay well and Blessed!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Tony Martin fronted albums aren't readily available because it's undisputed FACT that they are the biggest selling and most popular albums of all time and they all sell out as soon as they hit the racks.
                      As evidenced by Tony Martin's wildly successful solo career (coming to an arena near you) THE CAT is a household name and legions of fans SNAP up these cds in an instant.

                      Only Sabbath legend Neil Murray's pink bass is as synonomous with the most beloved era of any rock or metal band ever.



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                      • #12
                        You’d think Tony Martin could make a decent living assembling a kick ass band and just playing his era of Sabbath if it was that in demand, but he just doesn’t....Why is that? Instead he’s decided to tour with a Magnum cover band
                        Last edited by Big Black Shape; 04-04-2020, 01:48 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Considering the tens of millions of copies of albums like Headless Cross and TYR have sold Tony Martin obviously never has to work again.

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                          • #14
                            I think as Born Again through to The Eternal Idol were rereleased, they might have been used as a benchmark to monitor sales and it`s very possible they sold less than everyone was anticipating. Let`s be honest, only real die hard Sabbath fans are going to buy the Tony Martin albums. I was surprised when I started other threads that many of the users here have not even looked into getting Tony Martin`s solo albums or even Bill Ward`s solo albums for that matter. If people already have on their "hard to find" CD copies of the Tony Martin albums, then what difference would it make to rerelease them unless of course you are talking about the die hard collectors.

                            On aother note, Tony Iommi is supposedly working on a new mix for Forbidden, and alledgedly had discussions with Tony Martin about making new songs, and supposedly working on another solo album. Itīs been over 3 years since the whole Sabbath thing died down with Ozzy and these 3 years have been the most unproductive in Iommi`s whole career. Obviously he is older now and possbily is still undergoing treatment but it is odd that there does not seem to be much in the way of solid news these days from anybody.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sin - lum View Post
                              I think as Born Again through to The Eternal Idol were rereleased, they might have been used as a benchmark to monitor sales and it`s very possible they sold less than everyone was anticipating. Let`s be honest, only real die hard Sabbath fans are going to buy the Tony Martin albums. I was surprised when I started other threads that many of the users here have not even looked into getting Tony Martin`s solo albums or even Bill Ward`s solo albums for that matter. If people already have on their "hard to find" CD copies of the Tony Martin albums, then what difference would it make to rerelease them unless of course you are talking about the die hard collectors.
                              .
                              My good man ,, BA , 7TH STAR , TEI and Dehumanizer all sold "well" on re release , each of those have also seen repackaging of the 2010 release during 2012 - 2014 , along with the Ozzy 2010 re releases ,, something only done due to approved sales numbers.


                              @Everyone lacking the understanding of how the music industry works ...

                              THE SABBATH RE RELEASES WERE PUT TOGETHER BY THE RECORD LABELS , that are still in our existence , with very little help and input from Iommi and company (tho surprisingly the Sab's did have some pull with the 2010s , not a ton , but some) ... HEADLESS CROSS , TYR , CP , FORBIDDEN are "owned" , if you will , by IRS (no , not that IRS ​ ) , who went away , don't exist , loooooooong before any re releases had a chance ,, 1996.

                              Believe it or not in early 2011 , thro EMI it was reinstated with a chance of survival ,, hence why YOU ALL WERE HEARING SO MUCH ABOUT THE MARTIN ERA REMASTERS coming to fruition ,, but then once again in mid 2015 IRS went goodbye , and that was the major reason you no longer heard all that much about the Martin remasters , if you will.

                              Sales numbers on all 5 of the Martin releases were very respectable for the IRS label (esp in the UK and outside of the U.S.) - here's hoping Iommi can find the time and strength to help another label profit from these Sabbath gems , and us fans as well!!


                              Big Black Shape 'aka' , great to have you back on the forums ... anyway , obviously Martin's vocal ability (which is actually quite strong right now) would not be a reason for Iommi not to stand along side him on tour ,, ie) Iommi has shown on Iommi's latest 2 tours with Sabbath , it's not all about vocal strength if you will ​ .... if that was the case he would be on tour with Sabbath vocalist GLENN HUGHES - the undisputed vocal king of the past decade for 1970 vocalist , and it's not even close.


                              Great thread guys , let's keep learning ON the Sab's , , God Bless!

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