Re: Black Sabbath - Cross Purposes
Date: February 10, 2019 09:03PM
I've been listening to the Martin-era albums recently. Some I haven't heard since they were released...Cross Purposes, TYR and Forbidden. Eternal Idol and Headless Cross get a listen a few times each year.
Headless Cross is the best one to me. Great songs, some of Iommi's best playing ever, and by far Tony Martin's best vocal performance. You also get the bonus of a really good Brian May solo on When Death Calls. The lyrics as whole can be a little cheesy, but every once in a while that's ok. Worth searching out is a song from these sessions called Cloak and Dagger which was the b-side to the Headless Cross single. HC is probably my most listened to Sabbath album from any era.
Eternal Idol would be second for me. I have the 2 disc version with the Ray Gillen demos which are well worth getting. It's nice to be able to compare his take on the songs with Tony's.
TYR comes in third. I like the Norse mythology theme that runs through the album. The single, Feels Good to Me, is a power ballad that doesn't really fit with the rest of the album. It's still a decent song though.
Fourth would be Forbidden. Most Sabbath fans seem to dislike this one and it's generally considered their worst album. I don't think it's nearly as bad as most, and it actually has some very good songs on it. Get a Grip and Guilty as Hell are as good as anything from the Martin era. People seem to get hung up with it being produced by Ernie C from Body Count, but in reality his influence is minimal. Ironically, I think this is the one album with Martin that is in the spirit of the early Ozzy years. It has a nice raw feel in places. The drawback is a few too many 80s type power ballads.
As for Cross Purposes, it's my least favorite with Martin. With the exception of I Witness and maybe a couple others, this one is just third rate Dio/Rainbow style songs. I listened to it 3-4 times recently and none of the songs, bar I Witness, have stuck with me.
I would love to see deluxe reissues of these, but not sure how easy that will be with IRS Records out of business. There's a ray of hope though with Iommi remixing Forbidden this year.