Seventh Star

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Seventh Star
Studio album by Black Sabbath
Released 28 January 1986
Recorded 1985
Studio Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles, California
Cheshire Sound Studios, Atlanta, Georgia
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock, blues rock
Length 34:55
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Producer Jeff Glixman
Black Sabbath chronology
Born Again
Seventh Star
The Eternal Idol
Tony Iommi with Glenn Hughes chronology
Seventh Star
The 1996 DEP Sessions
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[2]
Classic Rock 5/10 stars[3]
Martin Popoff 7/10 stars[4]

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 finished 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. Glenn Hughes, ex-Deep Purple bassist and vocalist, was the lead singer on this album. Musically, it features a blues rock influenced sound that moved from the group's traditional heavy metal to a more eclectic style.[1] Additionally, it was the first Black Sabbath album to feature the band as a quintet, as keyboardist Geoff Nicholls was confirmed as an official band member the year prior.

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. Later releases label the album as simply by Black Sabbath.

Despite the issues behind the release's production, it earned major commercial success, reaching #78 on the Billboard 200 chart.[1]

Album information[edit]

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.[5]

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 fired 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. W.A.S.P. and Anthrax were the supporting acts 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.[citation needed] "I really like Seventh Star," Tony Martin told Sabbath fanzine Southern Cross, "mainly because I admire Glenn Hughes' voice."[6]

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.[7]

Reviews and reception[edit]

As stated before, the album peaked at #78 on the Billboard 200 chart.[1] 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.[2]

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".[1]

Track listings[edit]

Music by Tony Iommi; lyrics by Tony Iommi, Glenn Hughes, Geoff Nicholls and Jeff Glixman.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "In for the Kill" 3:48
2. "No Stranger to Love" 4:28
3. "Turn to Stone" 3:28
4. "Sphinx (The Guardian)" 1:12
5. "Seventh Star" 5:20
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Danger Zone" 4:23
7. "Heart Like a Wheel" 6:35
8. "Angry Heart" 3:06
9. "In Memory..." 2:35

2010 Deluxe Edition Disc 2[edit]

Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in London, England on 2 June 1986, featuring Ray Gillen performing vocals

No. Title Length
1. "The Mob Rules"  
2. "Danger Zone"  
3. "War Pigs"  
4. "Seventh Star"  
5. "Die Young"  
6. "Black Sabbath"  
7. "N.I.B."  
8. "Neon Knights"  
9. "Paranoid"  


Black Sabbath

Additional Musicians

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
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

Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1986 Sweden 11
Finland 12
Norway 17
United Kingdom 27
Germany 51
United States 78
Australia 88

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Rivadavida, Eduardo. "Seventh Star" at AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. 2004. p. 78. ISBN 9780743201698. 
  3. ^ Elliott, Paul (January 2011). "Black Sabbath – Reissues". Classic Rock. 153. London, UK: Future plc. p. 112. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "Iommi with Glenn Hughes: The 1996 DEP Sessions". Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Southern Cross (ISSN 0966-5064), No.10, May 1993
  7. ^ Siegler, Joe (15 September 2010). "Gillen Eternal Idol to be released – FOR REAL!". Retrieved 9 October 2010. 

External links[edit]