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1986 – Part 3.4: Black Sabbath – Seventh Star

I didn’t get into Black Sabbath until the mid-90’s. I knew of their existence because Ozzy and Dio did a great job promoting his Sabbath legacy.

Then Dio re-joined for “Dehumanizer” in the early 90s and I was interested to hear more Black Sabbath. So the process started.

The fact that everyone was selling their vinyl to second hand record shops definitely helped because it meant I could pick up their older stiff cheaply.

And after Grunge came out, they kept talking about the Sabbath influences in the Seatlle sounds and Sabbath’s renaissance into Mainstream superstars came when they re-joined Ozzy for a few encores on his “No More Tours” shows.

From 1983 up to when Dio rejoined, no one really cared about Tony Iommi in the same way they cared about Ozzy and Dio who had become Multi-Platinum sellers in the U.S. with their solo careers and the Sabbath/Iommi career was nowhere near those commercial highs.

So “Seventh Star” is listed as studio album number 12 for Black Sabbath and released in 1986. This version of Sabbath has Tony Iommi as the only founding member along with keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, drummer Eric Singer, bassist Dave Spitz and vocalist Glenn Hughes.

Once the album came out, Hughes didn’t last long as his addictions made him unreliable. Ray Gillen was hired to fill the vocalist spot for the tour. But even the tour didn’t last long, with a lot of shows cancelled and another restart for Iommi.

In For The Kill

A riff that reminds me of Scorpions “He’s A Woman, She’s A Man” starts off this song and I like it.

No Stranger To Love

This could have come from the Dio version of Sabbath, with its slow groove. But Glen Hughes has a very melodic, bluesy soul voice, so it was always going to come across as a commercial rock song.

Check out the solo from Iommi on this.

Turn To Stone

It’s like Richie Blackmore joined on guitars. It feels like a Deep Purple Coverdale/Hughes era cut, with a riff that reminds me of “Burn” and “Kill The King”.

Iommi delivers another killer solo on this.

Seventh Star

“Egypt (The Chains Are On)” comes to mind and I like it.

Musically, this is one of Iommi’s best.

The main riff is heavy, it sounds exotic, so metal like but it swings the way he plays it. There is a certain fluidity to it.

Danger Zone

If you want to hear one song on the album, its this. I was hooked from the harmony guitars in the Intro riff which also reminds me of Van Halen’s “Atomic Punk”.

And if that main riff doesn’t get you, the interlude/mid section would get you interested which then moves into a Bridge section.

And if the music doesn’t get ya, then the voice of Hughes will.

Heart Like A Wheel

When I hear a blues groove like the one that starts of this song, I think of “The Jack” from AC/DC.

But that blues groove is generic and overused. Remember Alannha Myles and her song “Black Velvet”. Well, it’s the same groove and it went to number 1.

These kind of songs are perfect vehicles for Hughes and his voice.

Angry Heart

This is a great riff, which reminds me of “Wishing Well” from Free and Hughes has so much fun with the vocals.

In Memory

An acoustic riff, with lightly distorted guitars start off this power ballad. It’s short and a strange end to the album.

As a classic Heavy Metal album like “Love At First Sting”, “Balls To The Wall” and “Screaming For Vengeance” it works. Hell it’s probably the best Rainbow album that Richie Blackmore didn’t write.

Compared to Sabbath’s downtuned 70s output, it’s very different. But this was the 80s and this album is a true product of its time.

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17 thoughts on “1986 – Part 3.4: Black Sabbath – Seventh Star

  1. I’m very curious about this album because I heard a couple of tracks that I really like and I think Glenn Hughes sounded great, even though he wasn’t well enough to complete the tour.

    • It is a very good hard rock album that would be accepted as such straight away if it came from any other musician.

      But this is Godfather Iommi.

      And from reading various guitar mag interviews, Iommi was trying to find a way to be relevant.

      Even his partner Lita Ford at the time mentioned in her memoir about the huge amount of drugs he was doing, his paranoia and how he abused her violently.

  2. Henrik says:

    Great summary! Seventh Star was one of my favorites right after its release – and still regularly on my playlist. A perfect mix of Iommi’s heavy guitar and hard rocking melodies. Also, check out the album cover. Tony was the coolest cat back in the day.

    I dreamed about similar black leather jacket and finally got money to purchase one in Stockholm. As you know, it’s 12 hours by ferry, which is loaded with bars, disco and tax free booze, so I got drunk, spent almost all my money, had to buy a red suede jacket with fringes. Close enough.

      • Henrik says:

        Suede. Damn suede. That’s the problem.
        Suede jacket = old geezers from ’70s
        Leather jacket = ’80s heavy metal, Judas Priest, NWOBHM

        Ah, now I’m hearing Kings of the Sun in my head:
        He said hey punk go out and get yourself some black leather
        Black leather
        Heads up, you can’t get enough, black leather
        Black leather

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