TONY MARTIN Explains Absence Of “The Eternal Idol” Album From BLACK SABBATH “Anno Domini 1989-1995” Box Set

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In a fresh conversation with Phil Aston of Now Spinning magazine, former Black Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin reflected on the release of the “Anno Domini 1989-1995” box set, featuring his era of Black Sabbath recordings, available since May 31 via Rhino.

When asked about his feelings on the re-release, Martin shared candidly (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): “To be honest, there’s been a few periods when I didn’t think it was happening. In fact, about a year ago, Tony Iommi‘s manager called me and said, ‘You know what? This is just so complicated that I don’t think we can do this.’ And so I was resigned to it not happening myself. And it’s all to do with band politics, really. That’s all it is. There are so many people that are involved or have their fingers in the pie that they all have to be on board and there was allegiances changing all over the place, left, right, and center. And it’s, ‘Oh, come on.’ And so in the end it was getting a bit tiring, but well done to Tony Iommi and BMG. My God, such patience that they showed to get this thing together and actually get it out there. Wow.”

Martin expressed his excitement about the re-releases, saying, “It feels brilliant” to finally see the albums back in circulation. “I’m very excited. I haven’t actually had these albums in my own hands physically for the past 25 years. I gave all mine away thinking I’d be able to get some more, and I didn’t. They just stopped making them. So to physically hold them again, it’s really cool. And what a great job they’ve done of it. So I’m thrilled and excited. And I’m helping out now. ‘Cause I’m not in the band, obviously, anymore. So I just offered my help to help promote it. And they said, ‘Great. Yeah. Let’s do it.'”

When Phil Aston mentioned the growing appreciation for Martin’s tenure with Sabbath, Tony responded, “Yeah, there is a kind of reason for that. Partly, people have gotten over the ‘it’s the new guy’ thing. And also, it’s like 25 years since, and so now we’re reaching out to a whole other group of people, which is in addition to those that were already there. But to the outside world — well, and to me — it felt like a huge 25-year gap. But, actually, the fans were always there. I’ve been waiting myself as well to get this back out there. And it’s just band politics, really. That’s all it is.”

Regarding the absence of the 1987 album “The Eternal Idol” from the set, Martin clarified that the rights to his Black Sabbath debut are held by a different record company. “It’s owned by somebody else,” Martin stated. “And also, ‘The Eternal Idol‘, well, it was kind of re-released not that long ago, really. So, they were kind of thinking, ‘Well, there’s no real panic, ’cause that’s already been done. Let’s just move on,’ kind of thing. ‘Cause that would’ve wrapped them up in contracts for centuries, I think. I can’t even think that they’ll ever get them to let that go. But they were struggling to get the people that are involved with these four to sort of make up their minds and do stuff.”

Reflecting on his journey, Martin said, “I’ve been all for it all the way along, I have to say, obviously, ’cause it’s my career, it’s my history. It’s not just the band’s history; it’s 10 years of my life that went AWOL. I’ve been up for it all the way along, but some people don’t. And it’s taken them a while to sort of get on board.”

For the “Anno Domini 1989-1995” collection, available in CD or LP formats, Tony Iommi has remastered albums “Headless Cross” (1989), “Tyr” (1990), and “Cross Purposes” (1994), and remixed “Forbidden” (1995).


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