November 1987: Stephen King Inspires Black Sabbath in 'The Eternal Idol'

David Joles/Star Tribune via Getty Images
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David Joles/Star Tribune via Getty Images

8 years after Ozzy Osbourne's dismissal from Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi revitalized the reputation of the band with a roar of riffs and the new vocal vengeance of Tony Martin in their 13th studio album The Eternal Idol

Inspired by the literary lord of darkness Stephen King, the first single in the Black Sabbath album, "The Shining," was Martin's initial debut with the band, a successful salvaging of a nightmare recording process with singer Ray Gillen. 

By the time British vocalist Tony Martin hurriedly filled in to re-record, the band "had been mostly exhausted...financially, credibly and territorially.

The album may have been overlooked at the time by heavy metal fans, unsurprisingly so, given the band’s reputation had hit a low point with their rocky succession of replacement vocalists, from Ronnie James Dio, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan, and ultimately, Martin.

But Martin rose to the challenge with a rousing scream-shout delivery of “Rise up to the shining,” reliably recreating the famed Sabbath soundscape backed by enormous barre chords, heavy harmonies, and an ominous organ.

While the album charted on the Billboard 200, it was somewhat obscured in its overall reception by its complicated birth. But when the dust settled, a run through of tracks like "Glory Ride," demonstrated top notch musicianship that, coupled with Martin's fresh take, kept the Sabbath situation shining. 

 

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Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images
A new album, a new vocalist.
Pete Still/Redferns
Kick back with this classic performance.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
And it's still pretty great!

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