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Ranking the Martin Era Albums!

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  • #61
    1. Headless Cross
    2. The Eternal Idol
    3. TYR
    4 -Cross Purposes
    5- Forbidden
    Saboid Dubh - “The sun, the moon, the stars all bear my seal”……“Have you ever thought about your soul - can it be saved”…… “I don't want no one to tell me where I'm gonna go when I die”……“I am the world that hides the universal secret of all time”……“Nobody will ever change my ways……“Here I go again from the start and to the end”……

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    • #62
      01. Headless Cross
      My favorite Sabbath album and two favorite Sabbath songs: CLOAK AND DAGGER & NIGHTWING

      02. The Eternal Idol
      Sabbath finds it's best singer

      03. Tyr
      Sabbath learns to be conceptual

      04. Cross Purposes
      Evil Eye and Dying For Love are great, the others "Meh"

      05 Forbidden
      "Rusty Angels" and "Loser Gets it All " are great, the others "Meh"

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      • #63
        This is quite easy to me:
        1. Headless Cross - Great sound and even greater songs!
        2. Eternal Idol - What an introduce for a new singer!
        3. TYR - Anno Mundi!
        4. Forbidden - Cozy Powell!
        5. Cross Purposes - ?
        "From memories of '68, when Wizard shook the world"
        by Halford in Made in Hell

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        • #64
          I fucking love Cross Purposes. Fantastic album from start to finish. A total band performance.

          Tyr comes in a close second. There's not one misstep on this album except for "Feels Good To Me", a needless attempt to score a power ballad hit. It's not an awful song, but it's not what I'd ever want to hear this band doing.

          The Eternal Idol comes next for me. Martin's performances on songs like "Hard Life To Love" and the title track are simply outstanding. It also contains some of Iommi's best riffs and solos from Sabbath's later era.

          Headless Cross is next. Regardless of how low I might rank this album in comparison to the others, I'll never doubt its importance in the band's history. This recording established that this band was still a viable recording and touring entity and began a period of much needed stability for the band. Musically, the album is very strong; "When Death Calls", "Kill in the Spirit World", and "Nightwing" are exceptional songs musically. In particular, "Nightwing" is one of the most underrated songs in the Sabbath discography. That being said, I find Martin's lyrics on this album to be a collection of ham-fisted, Spinal Tapish drivel that makes Dio look like Wordsworth in comparison.

          Forbidden has some moments of genuine glory, but overall, I hear it as a tired and uninspired effort.

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          • #65
            Headless Cross
            Cross Purposes
            Tyr
            The Eternal Idol
            Forbidden
            I make the devil laugh and angels wail. Forever I will reside beyond the pale.

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            • #66
              Cross Purposes
              Eternal Idol
              Headless Cross
              Tyr
              Frobidden

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              • #67
                Originally posted by sabbozzy
                All of the Tony Martin records suck, and Glen Hughes.
                I'm sure you'd tell them that to their face, and I'm sure they'd really care.
                He is not here. He has risen!

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                • #68
                  Eternal Idol



                  (big gap)

                  Headless Cross
                  Tyr

                  (gap)

                  Cross Purposes


                  (big gap)

                  Forbidden

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                  • #69
                    Here's mine:

                    1) Tyr

                    So many strong tunes on this one including my favourite Tony Martin track of all times which is "Anno Mundi". What an intense song with such a great riff and feeling.
                    Other Highlights are "The Lawmaker", "The Sabbath Stones" and "Heaven in black".
                    You can say that Tyr is kind of an overlooked diamond in Sabbath history.

                    2) Headless cross

                    Another classic one. "Headless cross", "Devil & daughter" and "Black moon" are among the best tracks of the Martin - era.

                    3) Cross purposes

                    Very intense and "warm" mixing. Not really sinister but with a dark touch in all the compositions. When I listen to this album, I always see this beautiful angels' wings on the Cover burning. Like the athmospere. My favourites are "I witness", "Dying for love", "Immaculate deception" and "The hand that rocks the Cradle".

                    4) The Eternal Idol

                    Good debut of Tony Martin. "The Shining" really is a classic tune. Highlights including "Ancient Warrior" and "Born to lose".

                    5) Forbidden

                    Sorry about that, but I have to say that "Forbidden" for me is the weakest Black Sabbath record ever released. Sounds like they had no time for composing great songs. Also don't like the "heavy" mixing of the Drums.
                    I like "Rusty Angels", "Forbidden" and "Can't get close enough".
                    Program the brain not the heartbeat

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                    • #70
                      I think, like most Sabbath fans, the Martin era just didn't seem like Black Sabbath, not to say there wasn't some good material to come out of that era, just not Sabbath-like. Here's my picks though-

                      1. TYR-- I love this album, it's so easy to get into. Every song is melodic, uptempo, memorable riffs. (Feels Good to Me is the weakest track). And I for one love the Norse mythology theme. Great album.

                      2. Headless Cross-- I know, I know, most of the lyrics come directly from a huge block of cheese. But I love this album. This was my first martin era cassette, bought it in 89. Yes I have updated to the CD.

                      3. Eternal Idol-- Not a bad album, but not as immediately likable to me. I love The Shining. Bought this CD version at the Virgin records store in Orlando long after it was out of print in the US.

                      4. Cross Purposes--Always found it hard to get into, esp. after Dehumanizer.

                      5. Forbidden--argh!! Well, the cover art is entertaining.
                      And if the sun never shined on us, the night time has fruit of the vine High on Fire-Brother in the Wind

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                      • #71
                        Though I already ranked the albums and my opinions remain as they are, I must admit I fail to see what is so bad about Headless Cross. Rather the band wishes to refute it or not, their namesake does not and never will conjure up thoughts of flower, love and/or peace. They were not practicing devil worshipers, they chose to write songs about the darker themes of life. Their name as well, when interpreted the only way it can be, it is summed up in only one word. DEATH!

                        Sure Headless Cross is dark and heavy, but what Sabbath song/album is not?

                        Every Sabbath ballad has been Heavy, since they all have a heavy depressing topic. Seriously, could you ever see Dying For Love, Solitude, Changes or She's Gone being used in a porno or as a wedding song? Even Laguna Sunrise, which appears on the surface as 'light', is very haunting and does not leave you with a sense of peace.

                        Everything works on Headless Cross, because it was the best lineup they had. When had the core line-up returned for consecutive albums before this? The Dio years. So this time around the band is more confident than before.

                        They had their best ever all-around percussionist in Cozy Powell(No offense Bill Ward) replacing Eric Singer, which was good but not in the same ballpark as Cozy. Though Bob Daisley on Eternal Idol was a better bassist, at least Laurence Cottle did decently here when heard. Plus Neil Murray was a brilliant replacement. Geoff Nicholls was, just like both Tony's, himself, ALWAYS reliable.

                        You know the lineup had to at least be respected amongst their peers. A lot of musicians/bands are cautious of where they put their names once they become successful. Critics and us fans are sometimes very unacceptably to music failures, or people coming in to an established act. Then hall of fame legend, Brian May, who could of played with Sabbath at any other time during their years sought out to play with this lineup. That has to say something about the command of the line-up and their talent.

                        Hell if Brian May offered to jam with me, he'd be granted before he even finished asking. I wouldn't put him in my top ten category but simply due to the fact that I could say I jammed with a legend would be enough. Hell I'd jam with a Gangsta Rapper.

                        Besides people complain the lyrics are too demonic, but there are moments when it has nothing to do with Satan or Demons, or mysticism, etc... I heard Devil And Daughter is about $haron and her 'big fat daddy' who was a 'money machine who made a fortune' You get the point

                        Besides Death Metal, which was gaining considerable ground by the time Headless Cross was released, had a ton of lyrics even if not talking about the Devil would use the metaphor. So why can't Sabbath do something similar, when in an essence, they gave all those others bands the right to breathe in the Metal world?

                        As far as I am concerned the only two Metal bands who have the right to rest on their laurels would be Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. Interestingly though very seldom does either one do that, which is why they have that status.

                        Now I know all art is 50% creation and 50% fan interpretation, but I fail to see the Satanic overuse in the lyrical content. Just because they mention it does not mean it is actually meaning that, as said before. You can talk about Drugs, Domestic Abuse, Greed, Drugs and Corporations, or anything else negative and call it the devil. Those things are EVIL, no matter how you slice it, and what happens if you subtract the D from Devil? Simple as that

                        Besides Headless Cross seems drenched in real life situations, that had been gotten away from in the Dio era. Some are easy to identify with, like Cloak And Dagger for instance, but what about the others, minus of course The Gate of Hell, which is just an intro.

                        Headless Cross = A loosely-based conceptual song about A DOCUMENTED REAL LIFE SITUATION!

                        Devil And Daughter = $haron Osbourne I hear. But even if that is not it, the song seems to spout of in general about the immoral love for money. Those who will DO ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING, for the all-mighty dollar!

                        When Death Calls = Dying And Judgment!

                        Kill In The Spirit World = I wont touch this greatly due to Joe's demand of no religion talk, but it's obviously about False Religion and it's monopoly on society. I will leave it as that!

                        Call Of The Wild = Armageddon drenched in the fantasy overtones a lot like Dio. Just without the over-indulgence!

                        Black Moon = Coming to the realization that one is immorally wrong but either not knowing how to go about stopping or it is just too late to do so. "Oh the devil is rising with the moon, He cries and my blood runs cold. Oh no never was the darkness so black, No light and nowhere to go."

                        Nightwing = A blood-thirsty creature of the fictitious standard presented as something good only to trick it's victims into spilling their blood, pun intended. Things presented as a game when in reality it is allowing evil things to infect the soul and conscience.


                        The production is the best it has been since Heaven And Hell, every instrument is accounted for and well balanced. The rhythm is profound and moves you in ways unlike most Sabbath material. Tony's licks are as sharp as ever and thanks to the production are crisp and grabbing, much like the ones from Heaven And Hell. Though if anyone can accuse of IommI of ever aimlessly soling and going nowhere, that is NOT here. His solos are precise and all appear to have a purpose. Take Nightwing for example, the song goes through phases, the soft classical solo is meant to represent something. Peace being corrupted by the beautifully done contrast of the creature coming and ruining their sense of peace. Much like Kill In The Spirit World, deception by higher ranking meant to corrupt the blood of the innocent and make them easy prey. No matter how much one human wishes to deny it evil is all around us and only continues due to blatant stupidity and laziness shoved down our throats by high ranking officials. They say INSIDE EACH MAN THERE'S A SINNER, so maybe the Devil referred to is you or me, or him or her, all of us as nameless as an evil person deserves to be.

                        Last but not least is the immortal Tony Martin, due to his youthful vigor and in more command of what he is was singing, he makes each moment he speaks on this record a moment to remember. This man could say, "The Flowers Are Growing, How Beautiful. Now Let's Kiss, Have Tea And Crumpets Everyone" and make it sound anyway he wants to. Just listen to that third chorus in Nightwing right before the two solos , when he sings, "Nightwing Flies Again", no other Sabbath singer, or many others, could match the intensity and emotional depth than that.


                        Finally, I'll conclude by saying Headless Cross is one of those rare albums that is made by a band who had already achieved commercial status in the metal scene, and yet managed to release an album that not only held its own in its current day and age, but was easily as good as anything in the band's back catalogue. While Headless Cross is somewhat of a dinosaur now, let us not forget that Sabbath had been around for twenty years when they released this metal monster, their fourteenth studio album. Very few bands make greatness on their fourteenth album. Even fewer manage to be relevant at that time. Only one has actually managed to release their career-defining album at that point, and that band is Black Sabbath. Whether this sudden stroke of genius after so many years was a result of anger by past results, the addition of new blood with extraordinaire backing musicians and get this, A RETURNING VOCALIST. Or an outstanding production team, or simply the logical final product of a band that had been approaching this sound their entire career, I don't know.

                        Whatever the reason for this album, however, it is simply beyond amazing, mind blowing, an utter masterpiece. Never again would the band ever even come close to this greatness, and I doubt they ever will as long as Tony Martin is not singing for them.
                        Last edited by Ashley Dalby; 04-01-2009, 02:02 AM. Reason: Errors

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Ashley Dalby View Post
                          Nightwing = A blood-thirsty creature of the fictitious standard presented as something good only to trick it's victims into spilling their blood, pun intended. Things presented as a game when in reality it is allowing evil things to infect the soul and conscience.
                          One of my favorite songs in the entire Sabbath catalog. Just gorgeous.


                          Originally posted by Ashley Dalby View Post
                          Finally, I'll conclude by saying Headless Cross is one of those rare albums that is made by a band who had already achieved commercial status in the metal scene, and yet managed to release an album that not only held its own in its current day and age, but was easily as good as anything in the band's back catalogue. While Headless Cross is somewhat of a dinosaur now, let us not forget that Sabbath had been around for twenty years when they released this metal monster, their fourteenth studio album. Very few bands make greatness on their fourteenth album. Even fewer manage to be relevant at that time. Only one has actually managed to release their career-defining album at that point, and that band is Black Sabbath. Whether this sudden stroke of genius after so many years was a result of anger by past results, the addition of new blood with extraordinaire backing musicians and get this, A RETURNING VOCALIST. Or an outstanding production team, or simply the logical final product of a band that had been approaching this sound their entire career, I don't know.

                          Whatever the reason for this album, however, it is simply beyond amazing, mind blowing, an utter masterpiece. Never again would the band ever even come close to this greatness, and I doubt they ever will as long as Tony Martin is not singing for them.
                          When Headless Cross was released and articles about the new Sabbath began to crop up in metal publications at the time, I was extremely happy. I knew Cozy Powell from Rainbow and thought that was a great choice for a drummer. I was open-minded about Martin. Hell, they even cropped up on MTV a few times, unheard of for Sabbath in recent years. After a few years in the wilderness, Sabbath came back with a strong record with good songwriting and musicianship.

                          It was the Sabbath sound sonically updated to appeal to contemporary music fans. However, the trademarks were still there and the album was quite heavy. It's not
                          my favorite album in the world, but it is an interesting and significant album in the
                          band's history.

                          Great summary of your thoughts, Ashley.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by J Hillenburg View Post
                            One of my favorite songs in the entire Sabbath catalog. Just gorgeous.




                            When Headless Cross was released and articles about the new Sabbath began to crop up in metal publications at the time, I was extremely happy. I knew Cozy Powell from Rainbow and thought that was a great choice for a drummer. I was open-minded about Martin. Hell, they even cropped up on MTV a few times, unheard of for Sabbath in recent years. After a few years in the wilderness, Sabbath came back with a strong record with good songwriting and musicianship.

                            It was the Sabbath sound sonically updated to appeal to contemporary music fans. However, the trademarks were still there and the album was quite heavy. It's not
                            my favorite album in the world, but it is an interesting and significant album in the
                            band's history.

                            Great summary of your thoughts, Ashley.
                            part of what I love about the album is the awesome keys that give tracks like Nightwing that sort of mystical sound.. The sort of music you'd picture if you walked into one of those kinds of stores with the dragon statues, the tarot cards and the sort of "gypsy" things. If you remember the Greg Hildebrandt fantasy cards that non sports card shops were carrying "like back during the early 90's", you could connect the great fantasy images with music like that. I just find it very cool.

                            The wonderful thing about olden music is that you can listen to it and it can take you so far back in time that you can remember what you were doing when that album was out. Iommi's riffs just pull you right in, and the album as a whole is just so dark on so many levels. If it weren't for this album, and the albums other bands were putting out of the same concept, we wouldn't have the kinds of sub-genres and bands within the metal category that we have now. This album, and the albums like it of it's time are the reasons we have the bands that we have today.

                            Sorry to the Ozzy fans, but when I hear the name "Black Sabbath" I think of a band that churches wouldn't want me listening to. And with all the "drug", "prostitution" and various other types of songs we saw with the Ozzy period (esp towards the ends) hearing things like "Heaven In Black", "Headless Cross" and "When Death Calls", just has me believing that THIS is what a band with this name should sound like.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by MichaelWayne View Post
                              Sorry to the Ozzy fans, but when I hear the name "Black Sabbath" I think of a band that churches wouldn't want me listening to. And with all the "drug", "prostitution" and various other types of songs we saw with the Ozzy period (esp towards the ends) hearing things like "Heaven In Black", "Headless Cross" and "When Death Calls", just has me believing that THIS is what a band with this name should sound like.
                              Exactly! Which is why I say that Headless Cross is the LOGICAL final product of a band that had been approaching this sound their entire career...

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                              • #75
                                1. Headless Cross
                                2. TYR
                                3. Cross Purposes
                                4. The Eternal Idol
                                5. Forbidden

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