Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Eternal Idol

After years of playing a dispiriting game of musical chairs with various lead singers during the early '80s, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, finally stumbled upon a dependable frontman when he admitted relative unknown Tony Martin into the fold, thereby initiating the original heavy metal band's long awaited return to respectability -- if not chart-topping success. Martin joined the oft-interrupted sessions for what would become 1987's The Eternal Idol album already in progress, stepping in for an unreliable Ray Gillien when the latter moved on to Jake E. Lee's Badlands, and helping Iommi rescue an astonishingly solid long-player from the jaws of complete and utter chaos. As it turned out, Martin's powerful, muscular voice -- though bearing more than a passing resemblance to former singer Ronnie James Dio -- was ultimately the perfect foil for full-bodied heavy metal anthems like "Hard Life to Love," "Glory Ride," and "Born to Lose".

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