Iommi and Gillan live, 1983


Iommi and Gillan live, 1983

Musical superheroes Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) and Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) have set 22nd June as the release date for their new as yet untitled album.  This album will feature rare tracks from the collections of both Iommi and Gillan, as well as unreleased tracks from both artists and their other musical endeavors such as Deep Purple and the Iommi/Glenn Hughes partnership.


Additionally, the two tracks recorded by Iommi and Gillan with the supergroup WhoCares will be included.  WhoCares – comprised of both Iommi and Gillan along with Linde Lindstrom (HIM), Jason Newsted (Metallica/Voivod), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), and Jon Lord (Deep Purple) – released an EP in 2011 which contained only two songs, “Out of My Mind” and “Holy Water.”  Proceeds from the EP went to the Rock Aid Armenia project, designed to raise money for those affected by the Leninakan Earthquake of 1988 in Armenia.  Some of the monetary aid was directed specifically for the construction of music schools in the affected areas.


Commenting to, Gillan stated “As I said once in the song ‘Razzle Dazzle’ – ‘It’s a real fine line between an orgy of destruction and a wonderful time.’  The destruction of conformity in this case: Some of these pieces never really fit into their contemporary program and got sidelined or forgotten, and some of the album tracks never had much exposure. As the tracklisting for this album came together I noticed many of the titles had character similarities; a combination of freshness as they finally felt the sun on their backs and rebellion in a ‘yeah told you so’ kind of way. And that adds up to a wonderful time. And that adds up to more money for the music school we are building in Armenia.”


The Iommi/Gillan partnership first began with Gillan joining Black Sabbath in February 1983 for the recording and subsequent tour for Black Sabbath’s 11th album “Born Again.”  At the time, Ronnie James Dio had recently left Sabbath, and Gillan was chosen as a replacement over such other considerations as David Coverdale (Whitesnake).  Along with Iommi and Gillan, the “Born Again” line-up also consisted of original Sabbath members Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.


“Born Again,” released in October 1983, was somewhat of a commercial success, as it cracked the Top 40 chart in the United States, and was the band’s highest charting album in the United Kingdom since 1973’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” and has been listed as a favorite Sabbath album by musicians such as Chris Barnes (Six Feet Under/ex-Cannibal Corpse) and Lars Ulrich (Metallica).  Despite this, the album was met with a relatively negative response from critics.  In May 2011, “Born Again” was re-released as a special 2 disc set which featured a remastered version of the original album, along with a bonus disc containing an unreleased track, an extended version of “Stonehenge,” and live tracks recorded at the Reading Festival in August 1983. 

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