|Studio album by Black Sabbath|
|Released||28 January 1986|
|Recorded||1985 at Cheshire Sound Studios, Atlanta|
|Genre||Heavy metal, blues rock, hard rock|
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
|Black Sabbath chronology|
|The New Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Seventh Star is the twelfth studio album by British band Black Sabbath, released in January 1986. The release came at a difficult time as the group had just come off of a highly contentious tour, experiencing conflicts within the band. With guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi being the sole original member left, musicians Geoff Nicholls, Eric Singer, and Dave Spitz contributed to the album, playing keyboards, drums, and bass, respectively. Musically, it features a blues rock influenced sound that moved from the group's traditional heavy metal to a more eclectic style.
The album was the group's first release without bassist Geezer Butler, who left the band in 1984 after the aforementioned Born Again tour. It was originally written, recorded, and intended to be the first solo album by Iommi, as shown by the musical experimentation. However, due to pressures by Warner Bros. Records and the prompting of band manager Don Arden, the record was billed as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi. Glenn Hughes, ex-Deep Purple bassist and vocalist, was lead singer but did not play bass on this release.
As was the case with its predecessor, Born Again, this album was not originally intended to be a Black Sabbath record. It was last-minute pressure from Warner Bros. to stamp the Black Sabbath name onto it due to the belief that it was more likely to sell records with the already famous name. Because of this, its sound is a drastic (and intentional) departure from the trademark Sabbath sound. Many of the songs have a very hard rock sound, while some contain a bluesy feel (especially "Heart Like a Wheel"). Seventh Star was the first album to feature long-time keyboardist Geoff Nicholls as an official band member.
The promo-single and video version of "No Stranger to Love" had additional harmony vocals added by Hughes to make it more "radio-friendly". Actress Denise Crosby, who would later portray Tasha Yar in Star Trek: The Next Generation, was featured in the video.
There was a tour for the album, but Hughes only performed at the first few shows. Hughes was sacked five dates into the tour, and replaced by Ray Gillen, who completed both the North American and European legs of the tour, though several dates in the US were cancelled. Anthrax was the supporting act on their North American tour.
Glenn Hughes has performed "No Stranger to Love", "Seventh Star" and "Heart Like a Wheel" at some of his live concerts. "I really like Seventh Star," Tony Martin told Sabbath fanzine Southern Cross, "mainly because I admire Glenn Hughes' voice."
Seventh Star was re-released in Europe on 1 November 2010, in a special edition 2 disc set. Disc 2 includes a concert recorded in 1986, with Ray Gillen performing vocals for the band. In addition, the single version of No Stranger to Love was included as a bonus track on disc 1.
Reviews and reception
As stated before, the album peaked at #78 on the Billboard 200 chart. Some retrospective critical assessments of the album have been negative. For example, The New Rolling Stone Album Guide rated the release using two out of five stars.
However, critic Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic has given Seventh Star a mixed to positive review, praising what he saw as the "fiery tunefulness" that makes "aggressive hard rockers like "In for the Kill," "Turn to Stone," and "Danger Zone" uncommonly catchy". However, he argued that the songwriting and vocal work fell flat on songs such as the album's title track. He stated generally that he found the release an "often misunderstood and underrated album".
- Side one
- "In for the Kill" – 3:48
- "No Stranger to Love" – 4:28
- "Turn to Stone" – 3:28
- "Sphinx (The Guardian)" – 1:12
- "Seventh Star" – 5:20
- Side two
- "Danger Zone" – 4:23
- "Heart Like a Wheel" – 6:35
- "Angry Heart" – 3:06
- "In Memory..." – 2:35
- 2010 Deluxe Edition Disc 1 bonus track
- "No Stranger to Love" (Single Remix)
2010 Deluxe Edition Disc 2
- "The Mob Rules"
- "Danger Zone"
- "War Pigs"
- "Seventh Star"
- "Die Young"
- "Black Sabbath"
- "Neon Knights"
- Tony Iommi – guitar
- Geoff Nicholls – keyboards
- Glenn Hughes – vocals
- Dave Spitz – bass guitar
- Eric Singer – drums
- Gordon Copley – bass guitar (on "No Stranger to Love")
- Ray Gillen – vocals (on "2010 Deluxe Edition – Disc 2")
|United Kingdom||28 January 1986||Vertigo Records|
|United States||1986||Warner Bros. Records|
|Canada||1986||Warner Bros. Records|
|United Kingdom||1996||Castle Communications|
|United Kingdom||2004||Sanctuary Records|
|United Kingdom||2010||Sanctuary Records/Universal Music Group|
- Rivadavida, Eduardo. "Seventh Star" at AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. 2004. p. 78. ISBN 9780743201698.
- Elliott, Paul (January 2011). "Black Sabbath – Reissues". Classic Rock 153. London, UK: Future plc. p. 112.
- Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
- "Iommi with Glenn Hughes: The 1996 DEP Sessions". melodicrock.com. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
- Southern Cross (ISSN 0966-5064), No.10, May 1993
- Siegler, Joe (15 September 2010). Black-Sabbath.com Ray "Gillen Eternal Idol to be released – FOR REAL!". black-sabbath.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.