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BLACK SABBATH: New Box Set Of Tony Martin-Era, ‘Anno Domini 1989-1995’

    Rhino set to release the "Anno Domini 1989-1995" box set of the Tony Martin-era BLACK SABBATH albums.

    Rhino set to release the “Anno Domini 1989-1995” box set of the Tony Martin-era BLACK SABBATH albums.

    Tony Martin, the final official vocalist for Black Sabbath, lent his voice to the band across five albums, yet his tenure didn’t capture the hearts of fans as fervently as earlier eras. Comparatively, his contributions to the band’s catalog have often been overshadowed by the legendary Ozzy Osbourne albums. However, recent efforts by Rhino and Tony Iommi have breathed new life into the latter phase of Black Sabbath’s discography. They meticulously remastered the four final albums, excluding the debut “The Eternal Idol,” elevating them to unprecedented heights.

    This revitalization not only brings forth a renewed appreciation for Tony Martin and his bandmates but also prompts a reevaluation of their significance within the band’s legacy. The question arises: has time been kind to these albums? For devoted enthusiasts, the answer is a resounding yes. These albums, some of which are making their debut on vinyl after originally being released solely in CD format, offer a fresh perspective on Black Sabbath’s evolution.

    This revitalization comes at a cost. Acquiring these rediscovered gems won’t come cheap, requiring fans to budget wisely to add these treasures to their collections. Yet, for those who cherish the band’s entire journey, investing in these remastered editions is a testament to their unwavering dedication to Black Sabbath’s enduring legacy.

    Black Sabbath’s history with singers Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio has been chronicled extensively through the years in multiple collections. Until now, no boxed set has focused on Black Sabbath’s time with Tony Martin, the band’s second-longest-serving singer.

    Rhino explores this prolific period from the godfathers of heavy metal in a new collection that brings four albums back into print after an extended absence. ANNO DOMINI 1989-1995 will be available from Rhino on May 31 in 4-LP and 4-CD configurations. The set contains newly remastered versions of Headless Cross (1989), Tyr (1990), and Cross Purposes (1994), plus a new version of Forbidden (1995) that guitarist Tony Iommi remixed specially for the collection.

    Several albums make their vinyl debut in the LP version of Anno Domini, while the CD version contains three exclusive bonus tracks: the B-side “Cloak & Dagger” and the Japan-only releases “What’s The Use” and “Loser Gets It All.” A booklet comes with the set featuring photos, artwork, and liner notes by Hugh Gilmour. The collection also contains a Headless Cross poster and a replica concert book from the “Headless Cross Tour.”

    Anno Domini picks up Black Sabbath’s story in 1989, two decades and multiple lineup changes into the band’s groundbreaking career as metal originators. At the time, membership had solidified around riff master and founding member Tony Iommi, legendary drummer Cozy Powell (Jeff Beck, Rainbow, Whitesnake), singer Tony Martin, and longtime Black Sabbath collaborator and keyboardist Geoff Nicholls (Quartz, Bandy Legs).

    The group originally released Headless Cross in 1989 on I.R.S. Records, the first of four albums Sabbath recorded for the label. Praised by fans and critics alike, the band’s 14th studio release produced three singles: “Devil And Daughter,” “Call Of The Wild,” and the title track. Bassist Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Gary Moore) joined for the “Headless Cross Tour” and stayed to record Sabbath’s next album, 1990’s Tyr. Named for the Norse god of war, the album explores similar mythological themes in songs like “The Battle Of Tyr” and “Valhalla.” On “The Sabbath Stones,” the band channels Old Testament fire and brimstone into a classic bruiser.

    Rhino set to release the "Anno Domini 1989-1995" box set of the Tony Martin-era BLACK SABBATH albums.

    In 1992, following a successful world tour, this incarnation of Black Sabbath was put on hold when the band reunited temporarily with Ronnie James Dio. Two years later, Martin and Nicholls were back in the studio with Iommi to record 1994’s Cross Purposes. The band was completed with the addition of founding Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bobby Rondinelli of Rainbow.

    The Tyr-era Black Sabbath lineup reunited in 1995 when Powell and Murray returned to record Forbidden. It was the band’s 18th studio album, and its last for nearly 20 years. (In 2013, Iommi, Osbourne and Butler released Black Sabbath’s final studio album, 13.) Forbidden, produced by Ernie C of Body Count, the hard rock band fronted by rapper/actor/Sabbath fan Ice-T, who appears on the song “Illusion Of Power.” Since its release, sonically improving the album has been one of Iommi’s pet projects.

    He explains, “I was never happy with the guitar sound, and Cozy was never happy with the drum sound… So, I thought it would be nice to do it for him in a way.” He adds, “I just felt that, without changing any of the songs, there was an opportunity to go back and bring out some of the sounds and make it more what people would expect Sabbath to sound like.”

    Rhino set to release the "Anno Domini 1989-1995" box set of the Tony Martin-era BLACK SABBATH albums.

    ANNO DOMINI 1989-1995

    LP Track Listing

    Headless Cross (1989)

    Side One

    “The Gates Of Hell”
    “Headless Cross”
    “Devil & Daughter”


    Side Two

    “Kill In The Spirit World”
    “Call Of The Wild”
    “Black Moon”
    “Nightwing”


    Tyr (1990)

    Side One

    “Anno Mundi”
    “The Law Maker”
    “Jerusalem”
    “The Sabbath Stones”


    Side Two

    “The Battle Of Tyr”
    “Odin’s Court”
    “Valhalla”
    “Feels Good To Me”
    “Heaven In Black”


    Cross Purposes (1994)

    Side One

    “I Witness”
    “Cross Of Thorns”
    “Psychophobia”
    “Virtual Death”
    “Immaculate Deception”


    Side Two

    “Dying For Love”
    “Back To Eden”
    “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle”
    “Cardinal Sin”
    “Evil Eye”


    Forbidden (1995)

    Side One

    “The Illusion Of Power” – featuring Ice-T
    “Get A Grip”
    “Can’t Get Close Enough”
    “Shaking Off The Chains”
    “I Won’t Cry For You”


    Side Two

    “Guilty As Hell”
    “Sick And Tired”
    “Rusty Angels”
    “Forbidden”
    “Kiss Of Death”


    CD Track Listing

    Headless Cross (1989)

    “The Gates Of Hell”
    “Headless Cross”
    “Devil & Daughter”
    “Kill In The Spirit World”
    “Call Of The Wild”
    “Black Moon”
    “Nightwing”

    Bonus Track:
    “Cloak And Dagger”


    Tyr (1990)

    “Anno Mundi”
    “The Law Maker”
    “Jerusalem”
    “The Sabbath Stones”
    “The Battle Of Tyr”
    “Odin’s Court”
    “Valhalla”
    “Feels Good To Me”
    “Heaven In Black”


    Cross Purposes (1994)

    “I Witness”
    “Cross Of Thorns”
    “Psychophobia”
    “Virtual Death”
    “Immaculate Deception”
    “Dying For Love”
    “Back To Eden”
    “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle”
    “Cardinal Sin”
    “Evil Eye”

    Bonus Track:
    “What’s The Use”


    Forbidden (1995)

    “The Illusion Of Power” – featuring Ice-T
    “Get A Grip”
    “Can’t Get Close Enough”
    “Shaking Off The Chains”
    “I Won’t Cry For You”
    “Guilty As Hell”
    “Sick And Tired”
    “Rusty Angels”
    “Forbidden”
    “Kiss Of Death”

    Bonus Track:
    “Loser Gets It All”

    Tony M.