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Black Sabbath - Cross Purposes Live (CD + VHS) CD (album) cover


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2 stars If you except "Cross Purposes", these Tony Martin years were not the most inspired "Sabbath" ones. This live album combines some oldies and newbies. Such an attempt was already achieved with "Live Evil" with Dio on the vocals with a decent result.

This one is truely dispensible. The band only plays three songs from "Cross Purposes" and not the best ones. One of the poorest song (out of many) from their disgusting "Dehumanizer" ("Time Machine"). As if "Sabbath" did it on purpose ! Like playing "Headless Cross" in this live set. Might have been a small hit, but this song is sooooooooooo bad...

Now, the classic ones. Difficult task because inevitably Martin will have to face the comparison with "Sabbath's voice" : Ozzy of course. Even if he is not a great singer, he is the incarnation of this role in the band. The only good version is "Black Sabbath". And even if this CD ends up with a trilogy of giant songs, their rendition is just worth peanuts (for two of them).

"Paranoďd", "Iron Man" and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" are just massacred. Especially "Iron Man". Reduced to just over three minutes this version is just a useless masquerade. And most of it is dedicated to a lenghty intro as well as a karaokee excercise. Shame on you "Sabbath".

The second best one of this live album is "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". Very close to its original version. Martin is more in-line with the spirit of this song than with other classics.

There is virtually NO reason at all to spend your time and money on this live album. IMHHO there is ONE reference in the genre : their "Reunion" album which supersedes any other ones. Not by an inch. But by a mile.

Two stars for this one. The poorest "Sabbath" live album.

Report this review (#147274)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I personally find the Tony Martin Sabbath albums highly enjoyable, some of them I rate as being among Sabbath's finest records, so it saddens me time and time again when I come across another Martin-era live recording, albeit official or bootleg, where his songs obtain a small portion of the set list. There's no difference here.

'Cross Purposes Live' has always amused me as it's not Cross Purposes live at all, there're only three tracks present from that album here: 'I Witness' (great track and a great rendition of it live), 'Psychophobia' (another good track although a bit on the short side), and 'Cross of Thorns' (A good ballad). You can probably guess that I rate the album Cross Purposes highly, and that's because it's a great album, probably Sabbath's most underrated album, so surely 'Cross Purposes Live' should promote more material from it; Martin himself says during the concert about the new record that 'that's what tonight's all about', I could go on but I wont, after all it's probably Iommi's fault for not having enough faith in the new material.

So there are only FIVE Martin-era songs on here, and only four make it to the CD, why 'The Shining' isn't on here I don't know. Perhaps the reason is that Martin is suffering from a throat infection, whatever it was he wasn't well during this tour and it really shows during tracks such as 'Anno Mundi' where he dodges all the high notes, the once epic track reduced to an average number.

It's a shame because Tony Martin will probably never get the gratification he deserves, all the albums he was on weren't pushed enough and even now the majority of them are out of print (including this album). As for the CD, it's a decent and enjoyable performance that could have been better; it's great to see tracks such as 'The Wizard' and 'Symptom of the Universe' on here and the band do a fine performance throughout.

Top Three Tracks:

1) I Witness 2) Cross of Thorns 3) The Wizard

Report this review (#259130)
Posted Sunday, January 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Gosh ! This is really bad.

For some reason, Black Sabbath wanted to be just an ordinary heavy metal band after Ozzy left the band. The result was a lot of boring AOR like heavy metal albums. The innovations from their first six albums was gone. After Dio, Gillan and Gillen left the band, it was Tony Martin's turn to sing. And the result is not good at all. The only good song here is Black Sabbath. All the other songs has been re-arranged to fit Tony Martin's voice...... with a predictable bad result.

This is indeed a dire live album. At least it juste proves how good Ronnie James Dio and Ozzy Osbourne was as vocalists. Black Sabbath just sounds uninspired money-grabbing on this album and throughout this period of their career. Two stars for the good songs alone is all I can give.

2 stars

Report this review (#266508)
Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is definitely Black Sabbath's best live album. I don't know what those other reviewers were smoking but this is a must have for any Sabbath fan. Tony Martin is a lot better live than Ozzy or Dio (especially Dio - he sucks live). This album has a well rounded selection of songs from Sabbath's entire career. Songs range from the early Ozzy albums all the way to the then recent Cross Purposes album. Too be honest I don't like the Tony Martin albums that much but they did have some really good songs now and then. I hate the album version of the song Headless Cross but the live rendition on this album is the definite version. The only track I didn't like was Psychophobia, but besides that this is definitely worth listening too. Sometimes I forget that this is a live album and think this is a studio album - Sabbath always sounds great live. Hearing Iommi and Geezer playing together live is always a treat, and Bobby Rondinelli drumming sounds awesome. My only real complaint is that they didn't play more songs off the Dehumanizer album - that album was pretty epic (especially compared to that crap album Tyr). I like the Ozzy and Dio albums A LOT more but I do think Tony Martin is a great singer. Cross Purposes Live is A LOT better then Live Evil (I'm sorry but I think Dio always ruins it live). No one can sing the classic Sabbath songs better then the original Ozzy or Dio - but Tony Martin does a solid job and I would have loved to have been in the audience when they performed this. If you love Sabbath - get this album.
Report this review (#481165)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | Review Permalink

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