|Studio album by|
|Released||22 January 1986|
|Studio||Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles, California|
Cheshire Sound Studios, Atlanta, Georgia
|Genre||Heavy metal |
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
|Black Sabbath chronology|
|Tony Iommi with Glenn Hughes chronology|
|The New Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Seventh Star is the 12th studio album by English Heavy Metal band Black Sabbath. Released in January 1986, it features founding guitarist Tony Iommi alongside musicians Geoff Nicholls, Eric Singer, and Dave Spitz, playing keyboards, drums, and bass, respectively, and Glenn Hughes, ex-Deep Purple bassist and vocalist, as lead singer. The album was the group's first release without bassist and primary lyricist Geezer Butler, who left the band in 1984 after the Born Again tour. It was originally written, recorded, and intended to be the first solo album by Iommi. 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 moderate commercial success, reaching #78 on the Billboard 200 chart.
As was the case with its predecessor, Born Again, this album was not intended to be a Black Sabbath record. Last-minute pressure from Warner Bros stemmed from the belief that it was likely to sell more with the famous name. 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.
"It seemed to me like the band was on its last legs and my heart just went out to Tony," recalled former drummer Bill Ward. "I thought, 'God, how much more can he take?' or 'How much more does he want?'… What I saw was a great band I just felt was diminishing."
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.
A tour for the album featured Hughes only at the first few shows. He was fired five dates into the tour, and replaced by Ray Gillen, who completed the North American and European legs of the tour, though several dates in the US were cancelled. W.A.S.P. and Anthrax were opening acts on the North American tour.
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 rereleased in Europe on 1 November 2010, as a two-disc special edition. Disc 2 includes a concert recorded in 1986, with Gillen on vocals. The single version of No Stranger to Love is a bonus track on disc 1.
Reviews and reception
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 only 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".
|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|
|7.||"Heart Like a Wheel"||6:35|
|2010 Deluxe Edition Disc 1 bonus track|
|10.||"No Stranger to Love" (Single remix)||4:00|
2010 Deluxe Edition Disc 2
|1.||"The Mob Rules"||2:59|
- Tony Iommi – guitar
- Glenn Hughes – vocals
- Dave Spitz – bass guitar
- Eric Singer – drums
- Geoff Nicholls – keyboards
- 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|
- "Ranking: Every Black Sabbath Album from Worst to Best". 9 March 2017.
- Rivadavida, Eduardo. "Seventh Star" at AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
- The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & 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. Archived from the original on 16 December 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
- Schroer, Ron (May 1998). "Bill Ward & The Hand Of Doom – Part IV: Living Naked". Southern Cross (Sabbath fanzine) #21. p. 63.
- Southern Cross (ISSN 0966-5064), No.10, May 1993
- Siegler, Joe (15 September 2010). "Gillen Eternal Idol to be released – FOR REAL!". black-sabbath.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Kerrang!, January, 1986 issue