Tonight, in honor of Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes Birthdays (both are former Sabbath singers) we go Deep Sabbath!
Ian Gillan, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist for Deep Purple was born on 19 August 1945 and he also was a lead singer for Black Sabbath, replacing Ronnie James Dio for one album only, 1983’s Born Again. When Black Sabbath recorded the album in May of 1983 at The Manor Studio in the Oxfordshire countryside Ian Gillan actually live outside the house in a marquee tent. Ian put up a big, huge tent that had a cooking area and a bedroom and whatever else. Ian also brought an immediacy to the songwriting process that was uncommon for Sabbath at the time. His tongue-in-cheek, double entendre lyrics were about sexual things or true facts, even about stuff that happened at The Manor right there and then, which was quite a departure from Geezer Butler’s and Dio’s lyrics.”
In 1984, Ozzy Osbourne actually stated that the Born Again album was the “best thing he’d heard from Sabbath since the original group (which included him) had broke up”.
Glenn Hughes, who’s been dubbed by many as “The Voice of Rock” was born on 21 August in 1952. He too is best known for being a bassist and vocalist in Deep Purple, and was also briefly the lead singer for Black Sabbath in the mid-80’s and recorded on the Seventh Star album, released in January 1986. As was the case with its predecessor, Born Again, this album was not intended to be a Black Sabbath record. It was originally written and recorded to be the first solo album by Tony Iommi, seeing as how he was the sole member left in the band. However, due to pressures by Warner Bros. Records and manager Don Arden, it was billed as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi due to the belief that it would sell more records with the already famous band name. Because of this, the album is a drastic (and intentional) departure from the trademark Sabbath sound! Many of the songs are very 80’s hard rock style, while some contain a bluesy feel. Musicians Eric Singer (now with KISS) and Dave Spitz contributed to the album, playing drums and bass, respectively. Additionally, this was the first Sabbath album to feature the band as a quintet, as keyboardist Geoff Nicholls was confirmed as an official band member the year prior.
There was a tour for the album, but Glenn Hughes only performed at the first few shows. He was fired five dates into the tour due to his intense cocaine addiction, and replaced by Ray Gillen, who completed the North American and European legs of the tour, though several dates in the US were cancelled. W.A.S.P. and Anthrax were the supporting acts on their North American tour.
Glenn Hughes currently fronts the supergroup Black Country Communion with Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham and over the years he worked on several solo projects with Tony Iommi as well as his own.