Tony Martin of Black Sabbath recalls band's 'low point' era

News 06/05/2019

Former Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin recalled joining Tony Iommi at a time when the British band were enduring their "low point", but argued he had helped open them up to new territories. 

Joining the band in 1987 through to 1991, taking over from Glenn Hughes, then again from 1993 to 1997, Martin joined when Iommi was the only original member left in the lineup. He appeared on albums The Eternal IdolHeadless CrossTyrCross Purposes and Forbidden, most of which feature towards the bottom of catalogue ranking lists, except Headless Cross which is often regarded as underrated. 

"It was a pleasure and an honor to be part of the band’s history. Most bands have gone through changes … pun intended … But Sabbath was one that did more than most," Martin wrote in response to a feature on his era in the band. 

By the time he joined, he said, "the band had been mostly exhausted … financially credibly and territorially", Also noting that between Ozzy Osbourne's dismissal in 1979 to Martin's joining eight years later, there had been four other vocalists. 

"It was a low point and when I joined them it really was a challenge,” he admitted, but "What we were able to do was capture territories that [were] not normally strong for Sabbath… We opened up Russia and Asia and Europe… the Eastern block was opening, and South America and Korea… We worked hard to get the name back up and did some great works,"

He described the Headless Cross album as significant due to the presence of iconic drummer Cozy Powell, and as a result "we did lift the band again… to the point where it was set for a reunion with the original members which is the only other place they could go!"