BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi says that he is contemplating remixing the band’s iconic “Born Again” album for future release.
“Born Again” was released in 1983 and was the only album BLACK SABBATH recorded with lead vocalist Ian Gillan, (DEEP PURPLE). It was was also the last of SABBATH’s studio albums to feature drummer Bill Ward.
The legendary guitarist spoke with News.in-24 recently to promote the reissue of BLACK SABBATH’s “Sabotage” LP, where he spoke about his plan to release deluxe versions of other albums from the band’s catalog.
“There should be a box set from the Tony Martin era [1987-1991 and 1994-1996],” the guitarist said. “I’m also thinking of remixing the album ‘Born Again’, the one with Ian Gillan, now that we have found the original tapes.”
Following the departure of lead singer Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinny Appice after the studio mixing of the “Live Evil” album, BLACK SABBATH was once again on the lookout for yet another lead vocalist to fill the significant void left at stage front. The band turned to Gillan.
While the well-received “Born Again” album and live dates succeeded in stoking the embers and kept the SABBATH flames burning, this would ultimately be a marriage built more on friendship and respect as opposed to any long-standing and compatible musical association. After one tour, Ian Gillan would eventually bid farewell and re-join his old sparring partners for the Mk. II reunion of DEEP PURPLE and leave BLACK SABBATH once more gazing into the crystal ball hoping the face of yet another lead vocalist would reveal itself.
For Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ward, Gillan, and keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, work would swiftly commence in May of ’83 at the Manor Studios in the village of Shiptonon-Cherwell, Oxfordshire. Produced by BLACK SABBATH and co-producer Robin Black, who had also worked on 1975’s “Sabotage”, 1976’s “Technical Ecstasy”, and 1978’s “Never Say Die”, SABBATH’s eleventh studio release would represent a radical departure from the gloomy atmospherics and blackened lyricism that had forged their identity and spawned innumerable descendants.
Gillan’s approach to songwriting bespoke a lighter-hearted approach to what had, until then, been the primary concern of Butler. Album opener “Trashed”, for instance, was inspired by Gillan’s boozed-up race around the Manor’s grounds in Bill Ward’s car that ended in near-catastrophe and a wrecked vehicle. “Disturbing The Priest” was the result of a door in the studio having been left open during playback, and a local vicar appearing in the doorway asking for the volume to be turned down as it was disturbing choir practice in the adjacent village.
For all of its off-kilter appearance however, “Born Again” was still SABBATH through and through. Musically twisted and possessed with more than a whiff of brimstone, the album is a thrilling glimpse into an alternative world.