The voice that breathed new life into Black Sabbath from 1987-1997 was Tony Martin.
Spanning 10 years and writing along side Tony Iommi, Cozy Powell, Geezer Butler, Neil Murray, Eddie Van Hallen, and Bill Ward. Creating albums like “Headless Cross” “Tyr” “Cross Purposes” and “Forbidden”.
Featuring on “Eternal Idol” &“Sabbath Stones” Also worked with Brian May who appeared on Tony’s solo album, “Back Where I Belong” That boasts the appearance of musicians such as Laurie Cottle, (Mike Oldfield, Alan Parsons Project), Nigel Glockler (Saxon), and Zac Starkey. (Ringo Star, The Who)
Tony’s career has spanned 33 years, beginning at 7 years old as a guitarist, but Tony’s voice has featured on some 26 albums, and has appeared with many other famed musicians, including one of his heroes, Jan Ackermann on the Forcefield album. And writing on the Blue Murder album “Valley of the Kings”. Tony has fronted 6 major world tours and endless numbers of other tours and shows with bands from Orion, to The Alliance, to Sabbath, and others, also fronting Cozy Powell’s Hammer for the European Tour of 93.
Tony has also worked in different areas of music with bands such as Musical Youth and Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and latterly receiving great acclaim for his work with M3 Classic Whitesnake, proving Tony to be one of the most versatile and reputable vocalists in the business. He now fronts his own band, and tours far and wide singing many of the songs he wrote with Sabbath and from his solo works.
TONY MARTIN - BLACK SABBATH (1987–1991)
Birmingham-born singer Tony Martin (ex The Alliance) was brought in to re-record all of Gillen's original vocals on the Eternal Idol tapes, and the album was finally released. Though Tony "The Cat" Martin somewhat resembled Dio, Martin clearly had his own style.
After the recording of The Eternal Idol, most of the band quit Sabbath, leaving Iommi, Martin, and Nicholls to recruit bassist Jo Burt and former Clash drummer Terry Chimes for the short-lived 1987 Eternal Idol tour.
In 1988, Kerrang! Magazine ran a story that then Vegas-lounge singer Tom Jones had joined Tony Iommi and Bill Ward in Black Sabbath. This was revealed to be a hoax, possibly due to the fact that it was the April issue of the magazine (see April Fool) and during the shifting lineups of the 1980s, the Kerrang! staff seemed to enjoy poking fun at Black Sabbath as it then existed.
A degree of stability had returned to the Black Sabbath line-up by 1988 with the retention of Tony Martin and Geoff Nicholls and the addition of loyal drummer Cozy Powell, who replaced Terry Chimes. Powell, a legendary drummer, had success with his own band, as well as with Rainbow, Whitesnake, Emerson, Lake & Powell and many others. With respected session-player Laurence Cottle replacing Jo Burt, Sabbath released the critically acclaimed Headless Cross album in 1989, their most overtly 'Satanic' and occult-based album so far. An MTV video for the title track received considerable airplay, and was released to mostly positive reviews. After the Headless Cross sessions, Laurence Cottle was replaced by veteran bassist Neil Murray (a former bandmate of Cozy Powell's in Whitesnake). Sabbath released what many fans maintain is their finest album of the Martin era, Tyr in 1990. The group toured extensively throughout 1990 and 1991 to support the Tyr album.
Tony Martin reunion (1992–1997)
After the Dio debacle, Vinny Appice was replaced by former Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli. Vocalist Tony Martin and keyboardist Geoff Nicholls returned to the band and Black Sabbath recorded Cross Purposes, and Cross Purposes Live, a CD and video combination, which was released in late 1994, after which Bobby Rondinelli left the group mid-tour. His replacement for the rest of the tour was, surprisingly, original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward. After the tour, both Ward and Butler parted ways with Iommi, Martin, and Nicholls.
Another reunion was on tap in 1995. This time the Tyr-era group would again join forces, as drummer Cozy Powell and bassist Neil Murray rejoined Iommi, Martin, and Nicholls for Forbidden. The album was produced by Ernie C of the pioneering rapcore group Body Count. To date, Forbidden remains Black Sabbath's last full-length studio album recorded by any line-up. After the recording of the album, Cozy Powell left again and was replaced for the tour by a returning Bobby Rondinelli.
In 1996, Castle Records outside the U.S. and Canada remastered and re-released Black Sabbath's catalogue on CD up through The Eternal Idol (1987), and a 1988–1995 compilation titled The Sabbath Stones was released to finish Tony Iommi's contract with I.R.S. Records.
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