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TONY IOMMI Still Really Wants To Remix BLACK SABBATH’s Born Again


Often credited with pioneering heavy metal, Black Sabbath underwent various stylistic shifts even during their original ’70s lineup. Then their ’80s albums with Ronnie James Dio marked a significant, more driving departure from the Ozzy era, but remained beloved by metal enthusiasts. But once Dio was out, the band started to fade from the limelight.

Fast-forward to present times and interest is resurgent in some of Black Sabbath‘s lesser-known works outside the Dio and Ozzy eras; a phenomenon that guitarist Tony Iommi is pretty appreciative of.

Speaking to Eddie Trunk during his appearance on an episode of Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, Iommi acknowledged the trend: “Yeah, it’s funny. That does happen. And it’s the same as the Tony Martin stuff as well. People didn’t know of it then, and then it’s word of mouth that gets around and the Internet, and they get interested, and eventually, they [go], ‘Oh, yeah, it’s good.’ And that’s what’s happened with Born Again a little bit.”

According to Iommi, this trend benefits both longtime fans and new listeners who are surprised by the band’s diverse work. “Later on, a new generation comes in, and then people get to hear, the original fans will hear it and go, ‘Oh, yeah, I forgot about that record.’ It is funny how it all works, but it’s great. It’s great that it does.”

The Born Again album – the only Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Ian Gillan – faced heavy criticism for its peculiar mix. With the original tapes recently recovered, Iommi expressed a desire to remix the album to highlight the quality of the songs.

“And that’s why I’d like to present that again, have a look at that and see what we can do with it. Because I know we weren’t very happy with the sound. But a lot of people accepted the sound, really — certainly now. At the time, it was, ‘Oh my God.’ Because we went on tour, left it to somebody else, and when we heard it, we nearly had a fit. It was in the top — I think it was No. 4 [on the chart] in England at the time.”

The mix was so disappointing that they considered halting the release. Iommi recalled: “And we tried to stop it, but it was too late by the time we’d heard it. And it just sounded really muffly; it was nothing like when we left before we went on tour. So it would be nice to get it so we can get a better sound on it, really. There really are some great songs on that album. There really are.”

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