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  1. #1
    DiosSword's Avatar
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    Default Did or did not Tony Iommi write "After Forever's" lyrics?

    Disclaimer: Of course, this song is highly Christian-flavoured, but that does not indicate I want to open a religious discussion!

    However, did Tony Iommi write the lyrics to "After Forever" or not?

    Old LP's of Master Of Reality that I owned indicate that he did.

    However, I have read interviews where he said he doesn't write lyrics.

    Nonetheless, I recently bought the reissue of MoR with the booklet detailing the album's creative process, and according to that, Tony did write those lyrics. In fact, the writer of the booklet said that it was noticeable that the lyrics were so different from those of Sabbath's traditional wordsmith, Geezer Butler.

    I would assume that the band members would have reviewed/proofread these little booklets (which are actually quite nicely informative) and corrected any errors...and something this significant, if incorrect, should have been corrected.

    Honestly, it doesn't matter to me if he wrote them or if Geezer wrote them, as it's a killer song either way.
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  2. #2
    Billy Underdog's Avatar
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    To me it's always been a quintessential Geezer lyric as they deal with his favorite subjects existentialism and spiritualism. Also it's heavily catholic, and he's the only one (i've ever heard) talking about having a catholic upbringing, though it's not impossible that Tony had one too, thinking about his Italian decent...

    I've always thought the Iommi only credits (which also unusually for the time went for the music too) was due to him getting atleast one tune with sole credits, but i won't deny that he might've written them.
    Last edited by Billy Underdog; 09-12-2017 at 01:05 PM.
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  3. #3

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    The thing I have long suspected (or maybe even the band discussed this but just gave up over the years) is that the lyrics are being cited by a third-person Antagonist to the Protagonist. I hope I have that right ...

    So the lyrics are things said to the band by religious types. These words describe things the writer (Geezer? Tony?) has heard said. Read the lyrics that way and it makes a lot of sense, IMO.

    Over the years, this song came to be used as an example of the bands Christian leanings and I'm not convinced it was intended that way. But to whatever extent it has shut up any lunatic beliefs that the band were "satanic" or similar nonsense then I guess the lyrics have served an important purpose.
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  4. #4

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    I remember reading in a report about 25 years ago that Tony was listed as the lyricist of "After Forever" as a way of responding to the (sometimes physical) attacks of fanatics who directed him more forcefully. In any case, doubt remains.

  5. #5

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    I have seen it clearly stated in the credits for MOR that Tony (single-handedly) wrote After Forever, Embryo and Orchid. While I have never doubted that Tony wrote the 2 instrumentals on the album, I have long doubted that he is the lone author of AF.

    It also raises the point of why MOR is the only Sabbath album (until Mob Rules) which doesn't credit all of the band Members as having written every original song on the album. Why, for example, didn't Tony receive a sole writing credit for Don't Start (Too Late) from Sabotage? I wonder if a change in the Band's management has anything to do with this?

    Ted

  6. #6
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    I've always just considered it to have been a misprint on the album. Next track would be Embryo which obviously was written by Tony alone so who ever wrote the album sleeve for the first time just accidentally put Iommi's name for After Forever as well.

    I never thought anything else of it...just a misprint. No deeper meaning there. Also Tony would have spoken about it at somepoint or another....

  7. #7
    Wicked Cricket's Avatar
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    from an interview for Bass Guitar Magazine:

    BGM: Some historians have called “After Forever” the first real Christian rock song. What were you thinking when you wrote those lyrics?

    GB: A lot of it was because of the situation in Northern Ireland at the time. There were a lot of religious troubles between the Protestants against the Catholics. I was brought up strictly Catholic and I guess I was naive in thinking that religion shouldn’t be fought over. I always felt that God and Jesus wanted us to love each other. It was just a bad time in Northern Ireland, setting bombs off in England and such. We all believed in Jesus — and yet people were killing each other over it. To me it was just ridiculous. I thought that if God could see us killing each other in his name, he’d be disgusted.

    BGM: So in a manner of speaking — could Black Sabbath be some sort of secretly gospel band?

    GB: Yes. The gospel according to Ozzy, Tony, Bill and Geezer….
    Last edited by Wicked Cricket; 09-15-2017 at 07:07 PM.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    GB: Yes. The gospel according to Ozzy, Tony, Bill and Geezer….
    Ignorant statement ..... not you Wicked , but the world's greatest bass player

  9. #9
    mikesline's Avatar
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    Good Question because i always herd it was tony's lyrics but in 1976 innerview with jim ladd of KMET-LA-radio ,ladd mentions lyrics "pope on a rope" and band credited it to Geezer ,so i would have to say geezer possibly with help from tony ?

  10. #10
    Wicked Cricket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BACK TO EDEN View Post
    Ignorant statement ..... not you Wicked , but the world's greatest bass player
    I took it as just a humorous response Doc. and a humbling one at that. Come on you can't be serious?
    "Music is so sacred to me that I canít hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
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  11. #11
    Wicked Cricket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesline View Post
    Good Question because i always herd it was tony's lyrics but in 1976 innerview with jim ladd of KMET-LA-radio ,ladd mentions lyrics "pope on a rope" and band credited it to Geezer ,so i would have to say geezer possibly with help from tony ?
    I'm just starting to think maybe they put the credit on the album to Tony as an inside joke. They all have an off beat sense of humor... Gallows humor and I never got the impression Tony was too religious... Catholic upbringing I'm sure being Italian heritage, but they (the Iommi's) weren't church goers from what I gather... I bet it was a joke by Geezer or possibly all 3.
    "Music is so sacred to me that I canít hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    I took it as just a humorous response Doc. and a humbling one at that. Come on you can't be serious?
    Your absolutely correct my good brother Wicked ,,, well aware of the moment from The Geez .... and not a fan of it at all , but for you I'll change my stance to an ignorant "humorous" statement ....

  13. #13
    Wicked Cricket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BACK TO EDEN View Post
    Your absolutely correct my good brother Wicked ,,, well aware of the moment from The Geez .... and not a fan of it at all , but for you I'll change my stance to an ignorant "humorous" statement ....
    well I'll take that as a small victory Doc...
    "Music is so sacred to me that I canít hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
    R. Blackmore

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