At some point after the completion of the touring cycle for Black Sabbath’s “Born Again” album, vocalist Ian Gillan left the band to reform Deep Purple, which had stagnated while guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was off expanding the hard rock and heavy metal lexicon with Ronnie James Dio in Rainbow.
In the few years that followed, Black Sabbath struggled just to maintain its existence. For a very short while, the band was set to work with Keel vocalist Ron Keel, along with drummer Bev Bevan, who’d replaced Bill Ward for the “Born Again” tour.
That lineup reportedly fell through because of Bevan’s unavailability, evidently at that point having reached full-fledged member status. Had this lineup of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Keel, and Bevan ever made it to the writing stages, who knows how the band’s timeline would read now.
As it stands, however, the plans fell through, and both Keel and Bevan were gone. Ward returned to the band in some form or fashion, and vocalist Dave Donato was ultimately recruited. This lineup actually did manage to get into rehearsal stages; however, nothing but snippets of music would ever come from it, ultimately appearing on the “The Eternal Idol” album.
After this second lineup dissolved, so too did the band. Ward left the band once again, and this time Geezer Butler also joined him, who briefly pursued solo material at this time. Tony Iommi was left more or less on his own, and so the band was no more.
Iommi began writing solo material following the failed Black Sabbath lineups, although the original lineup of the band did briefly reunite for the Live Aid concert. Any thoughts of a full-fledged reunion quickly dissolved, however.
As work progressed on the solo material, Glenn Hughes was brought in as the vocalist. The progression in the project, however, was also taken note of by Iommi’s record company. They forced upon Iommi the Black Sabbath name; thus, what is essentially his first solo album became Black Sabbath’s 12th full-length album, “Seventh Star”.
During the touring for the album, Hughes was booted from the lineup for poor performance, and was replaced on the fly with Ray Gillen. The band went on to basically write the next Black Sabbath album, “The Eternal Idol”, with Gillen before he too was out of the picture. For those unfamiliar with this mercurial period of musical chairs and the music that the era produced, click here.
Click here to read about the Tony Martin era in chapter four.
Like this article? Then please subscribe to this author’s articles about heavy metal and hard rock by clicking the subscribe button next to the author’s name or here to receive an e-mail notification whenever a new article is posted.