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|Studio album by |
Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi
|Released||28 January 1986|
|Studio||Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles, California|
Cheshire Sound Studios, Atlanta, Georgia
Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
|Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi chronology|
|Tony Iommi with Glenn Hughes chronology|
|The New Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Seventh Star is the 12th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath. Released in January 1986, it features 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 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.
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|
|1.||"The Mob Rules"||2:59|
|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|