Born Again (Black Sabbath album)
|Studio album by Black Sabbath|
|Released||7 August 1983|
|Recorded||1983 at The Manor Studio, Shipton on Cherwell, Oxfordshire, England|
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
|Producer||Black Sabbath, Robin Black|
|Black Sabbath chronology|
Born Again is the eleventh studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in August 1983. It is the only album the group recorded with lead vocalist Ian Gillan, best known for his work with Deep Purple. The album has received mixed reviews from critics, but was a commercial success upon its 1983 release, reaching No. 4 in the UK charts as well as the top 40 in the United States.
Background information and recording
Initially the project which became Born Again was intended to be a new supergroup; they did not intend to bill themselves as Black Sabbath. Don Arden, the band's manager at the time, insisted on the group using the recognisable Black Sabbath name.
Born Again is the only Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Ian Gillan. After parting ways with lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath considered many possible replacements such as Robert Plant (formerly of Led Zeppelin) and David Coverdale (Whitesnake, formerly of Deep Purple), before settling on Gillan. The band even received an audition tape from a then-unknown Michael Bolton. Guitarist Tony Iommi told Hit Parader magazine in 1983 that Gillan was the best available candidate, saying "His shriek is legendary." Gillan was at first reluctant to work on the project, but his manager later convinced him to meet with Iommi and Geezer Butler. Iommi and Butler met with Gillan at The Bear public house in Oxford and, after a night of heavy drinking, Gillan officially committed to the project in February 1983.
Born Again also featured the return of founding member Bill Ward on drums, who was newly sober. Ward has said that he enjoyed making the album. It is, to date, the last Black Sabbath studio album to feature Ward.
Black Sabbath began recording the album in May 1983 at The Manor Studio. Producer Robin Black had previously worked with the band in the mid-1970s, serving as engineer for the album Sabotage. During recording, Gillan returned from a local pub one evening, took a car belonging to drummer Ward, and commenced racing around a go-cart track located on the Manor Studio property. He crashed the car, which burst into flames after he escaped uninjured. He wrote the album's opening track "Trashed" about the experience. The song "Disturbing the Priest" was written after a rehearsal space set up by Iommi in a small building near a local church received noise complaints from the resident priests.
The album's cover was produced cursorily by Steve 'Krusher' Joule, based on a black-and-white photocopy of a baby photo published in a 1968 magazine. Martin Popoff described the creature on the cover as a "garish red devil-baby". Bill Ward has said that he personally hated the album's cover and according to him, Ian Gillan told the press that he vomited when he first saw the cover. However, Tony Iommi approved the album cover. The cover has been considered one of the worst album covers ever. Ben Mitchell of Blender called the cover "awful". The British magazine, Kerrang!, ranked the cover in second place, behind only the Scorpions' Lovedrive, on their list of "10 Worst Album Sleeves in Metal/Hard Rock". The list was based on votes from the magazine's readers. NME included the sleeve on their list of the "29 sickest album covers ever".
Black Sabbath's manager, Don Arden, was quite hostile towards the band's ex-vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, who had recently married his daughter Sharon. Arden was fond of telling Osbourne that his children resembled the Born Again album cover.
Release, reception and influence
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
The album was released in October 1983 and was a commercial success. It was the highest charting Black Sabbath album in the United Kingdom since Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) and became an American Top 40 hit. Despite this, it became the first Black Sabbath album to not have any RIAA certification in the US.
The album received mixed reviews upon its release. Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia gave the album one and a half out of five stars and wrote that the album has "gone down as one of heavy metal's all-time greatest disappointments". He also described such songs as "Zero the Hero", "Hot Line", and "Keep It Warm" as "embarrassing". Blender contributor Ben Mitchell gave the album one out of five stars and claimed that the music on Born Again was worse than its cover. Martin Charles Strong, the author of The Essential Rock Discography, wrote that it was "an exercise in heavy-metal cliché". However, Popmatters contributor Adrien Begrand has noted the album as "overlooked". The British magazine Metal Forces defined it "a very good album" even if "Gillan may not be the perfect frontman for the Sabs".
Despite the overall negative reception with critics, the album remains a fan favourite. Author Martin Popoff has written that "if any album in the history of Black Sabbath is getting a new set of horns up from metalheads here deep into the new century, it's Born Again." Death metal band Cannibal Corpse have covered "Zero the Hero", and the group's former singer, Chris Barnes, has called Born Again his favourite Black Sabbath album. The song has also been cited as the inspiration for the Guns N' Roses hit "Paradise City". Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has called Born Again "one of the best Black Sabbath albums". In 1984, Ozzy Osbourne stated that the album was the "best thing I've heard from Sabbath since the original group broke up".
The album and supporting tour also inspired the parody film This Is Spinal Tap. Geezer Butler has said that he told the associate scriptwriter of the film the story of the band's performances with their "Stonehenge" stage props.
It was announced that Born Again would be re-released with bonus material on 30 May 2011 in the UK. There had been speculation that the album would be re-mixed before the re-release, but the album was only remastered due to the fact that the original multi-track tapes could not be located.
|3.||"Disturbing the Priest"||5:49|
|5.||"Zero the Hero"||7:35|
|8.||"Hot Line" (Iommi/Butler/Gillan)||4:52|
|9.||"Keep it Warm" (Iommi/Butler/Gillan)||5:36|
2011 Deluxe Edition Disc 2
All tracks recorded live at the Reading Festival on Saturday, August 27, 1983 unless otherwise stated. The live tracks are the entirety of a broadcast on The Friday Rock Show, on BBC Radio 1, which was aired before the album was released.
|1.||"The Fallen" (previously unreleased album session outtake)|
|2.||"Stonehenge" (extended version)|
|4.||"War Pigs" (Butler, Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Ward)|
|5.||"Black Sabbath" (Butler, Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Ward)|
|7.||"Zero the Hero"|
|9.||"Iron Man" (Butler, Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Ward)|
|10.||"Smoke on the Water" (Ritchie Blackmore, Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice)|
|11.||"Paranoid" (Butler, Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Ward)|
A bootleg version of the album exists which contains the unreleased track "The Fallen." (Which was officially released in the 2011 Re-issue) Also, the songs are in a different running order and the song "The Dark" is missing.
- Steve Barrett – art assistant
- Black Sabbath – producer
- Robin Black – producer, engineer
- Stephen Chase – engineer, assistant engineer
- Paul Clark – co-ordination
- Hugh Gilmour – liner notes, design, reissue design, original sleeve design
- Ross Halfin – photography
- Steve Joule – artwork, cover design
- Peter Restey – equipment technician
- Ray Staff – remastering
- Chris Walter – photography
|United Kingdom||August 1983||Vertigo Records|
|United States||4 October 1983||Warner Bros. Records|
|Canada||1983||Warner Bros. Records|
|United Kingdom||1996||Castle Communications|
|United Kingdom||2004||Sanctuary Records|
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Born Again > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
- "Gillan the Hero". Retrieved 1 November 2009.
- "Billboard Top 200". Retrieved 1 November 2009.
- Iommi, Tony (2011). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306819551.
- Wright, Michael. "Bill Ward Tells Sabbath Tales and Talks Reunion". Gibson Guitar Corporation. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
- Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. p. 198. ISBN 1-55022-731-9.
- Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. p. 201. ISBN 1-55022-731-9.
- Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. p. 197. ISBN 1-55022-731-9.
- Thompson, Dave (2004). Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story. ECW Press. p. 234. ISBN 1-55022-618-5.
- Siegler, Joe. "Black Sabbath Online: Born Again". Black Sabbath Online. "...the first image of a baby that I found was from the front cover of a 1968 magazine called Mind Alive [...] we bashed the whole thing out in a night" – Steve Joule interview
- Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. p. 206. ISBN 1-55022-731-9.
- Mitchell, Ben. "Born Again – Blender". Blender. Retrieved 3 September 2010.[dead link]
- "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – 10 Worst Album Sleeves in Metal/Hard Rock". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
- "Pictures of NSFW - the 29 sickest album covers ever - Photos - NME.COM". NME. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
- Osbourne, Ozzy (2011). I Am Ozzy. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0446569903.
- "Black Sabbath: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Barnell, Graham (1983). "Black Sabbath – Born Again". Metal Forces (2). Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- 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.
- Thompson, Dave (2004). Smoke on the Water: The Deep Purple Story. ECW Press. p. 237. ISBN 1-55022-618-5.
- Begrand, Adrien. "Alice Cooper: Portrait of the Artist as a Burnt-Out Old Man < PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- Strong, Martin Charles (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Canongate Books Ltd. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9.
- Mudrian, Albert, ed. (2009). Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces. Da Capo Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-306-81806-6.
- Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. p. 210. ISBN 1-55022-731-9.
- "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – METALLICA's LARS ULRICH: 'Metal Is Like Herpes — It Never Goes Away'". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
- Hogan, Richard. "Is Sabbath turning Purple?" at the Wayback Machine (archived December 18, 2005). Circus Magazine 02-29-84
- Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. pp. 215–216. ISBN 1-55022-731-9.
- "BLACK SABBATH: 'Born Again' Deluxe-Edition Reissue Coming In May – Apr. 9, 2011". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "BLACK SABBATH's 'Born Again' Deluxe-Expanded-Edition Reissue: More Details Revealed – Apr. 11, 2011". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
- "BLACK SABBATH's 'Born Again' Deluxe-Expanded-Edition Reissue Was Remastered, Not Remixed – Apr. 12, 2011". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
- "Born Again > Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 September 2010.
- Gillan the Hero – Fan site with information on the album and subsequent tour.