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Black Sabbath Seventh Star album cover
2.65 | 271 ratings | 12 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In for the Kill (3:40)
2. No Stranger to Love (4:28)
3. Turn to Stone (3:28)
4. Sphinx (The Guardian) (1:11)
5. Seventh Star (5:20)
6. Danger Zone (4:23)
7. Heart Like a Wheel (6:35)
8. Angry Heart (3:06)
9. In Memory ... (2:35)

Total Time 34:46

Bonus track on 2010 expanded remaster:
10. No Stranger To Love (Alternative Version) (4:00)

Bonus CD from 2010 expanded remaster - Live at Hammersmith Odeon, London, 2 June 1986 :
1. Mob Rules (2:59)
2. Danger Zone (4:44)
3. War Pigs (8:11)
4. Seventh Star (5:03)
5. Die Young (3:58)
6. Black Sabbath (9:33)
7. N.I.B. (1:37)
8. Neon Knights (4:37)
9. Paranoid (3:29)

Total time 44:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Glenn Hughes / vocals, bass (8,9)
- Tony Iommi / guitars
- Geoff Nicholls / keyboards
- David Spitz / bass
- Eric Singer / drums

- Gordon Copley / bass (2,10)
- Ray Gillen / vocals (Live)

Releases information

Artwork: Steve Gerdes with Kevin Stapleton (photo)

LP Vertigo ‎- VERH 29 (1986, UK)

CD Essential ‎- ESM CD 335 (1996, UK) Remastered by Ray Staff
2xCD Sanctuary - 2752472 (2010, UK) Remastered by Andy Pearce w/ a bonus track + CD including Live concert

Thanks to Terra Australis for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BLACK SABBATH Seventh Star Music

BLACK SABBATH Seventh Star ratings distribution

(271 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

BLACK SABBATH Seventh Star reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars After the desastrous "Born Again", Iommi wanted to release a solo effort but pressures from the record company made it another way. It is funny that Glenn Hughes who has been bassist and vocalist of "Purple" Mark III & IV" follows Ian Gillan ("MarkII" and several other ones) on the vocals on this "Sabbath" album.

Their previous release was pure heavy metal while this one is much more rock-oriented (with strong blues tints of course). "No Stranger to love" for instance is a great rock ballad (better than any other "Sabbath" one). Hughes can demonstrate all his vocal skills (much superior to Ozzy's one - although Ozzy IS "Sabbath" 's voice).

Several straight-forward hard-rock songs (but not heavy) are filling (without being fillers) the album quite remarkably. The opener "In for the Kill" as well as "Turn To Stone" (especially the latter with its incredible beat) could have been easily featured on a "Purple" album with no problem (sorry about the comparison but it is inevitable here).

There is even a very short and spacey instrumental : "Sphinx". One of the very few prog related "Sabbath" song (but it last for just eighty seconds). Could have been included as an intro to "Seventh Star". A bluesy-heavy song (remember, Glenn is on the vocals). Very hard and deep drumming (almost like Bonham could do) and great guitar play. One of the highlight.

A similar attempt in this style is "Heart Like a Wheel". I'm not sure that the fact that Glenn came on board was the only reason for this deeper bluesy orientation. Iommi was strongly influenced by the genre in his pre-Sabbath's career. He will again perform a great guitar break. But this guy is very skilled.

"Angry Heart" is the third bluesy one in a row (maybe a bit too much for my ears). Less effective. And the album closes on the short and slow (but with very powerful vocals) "In Memory...".

This album is the most diversified "Sabbath" one. Probably because it was not intended to be a "Sabbath" record. It will be the only album in which Glenn appeared as vocalist (with this band, I mean). He hardly toured with "Sabbath" because of a fight with one of the managers. He was injured on his nose and throat and could hardly sing any longer. He was also seriously under heavy drugs in those days (a habbit in the Sabbath line-up) and was sacked.

It is a good come back and I will rate it with three stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Black Sabbath featuring only Tony Iommi

Seventh Star was originally intended to be Tony Iommi's first solo album rather than another Black Sabbath album. But pressure from the record company forced Iommi to release this under the name of 'Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi'. 'Black Sabbath featuring only Tony Iommi' would perhaps have been more appropriate since he was the only remaining member (not counting the very loyal keyboard player Geoff Nicholls who appeared on all Black Sabbath albums throughout the whole 80's and the early 90's). The line up here is thus completely different from all earlier (and all later) Black Sabbath albums.

The vocals here are handled by ex-Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes which is ironic given the disastrous, previous album with Ian Gillan! But Seventh Star is very much better than Born Again; I really must stress how much better this music is compared with the abomination that was Born Again. However, the music here is more Hard Rock than Heavy Metal and due to the singer involved this is more bluesy and soulful than other Black Sabbath albums. But it still has some distinct Black Sabbath trademarks, Iommi's great guitar playing and his great riffs are still here. The most similar other albums are probably the from the Dio- and the (upcoming) Tony Martin-eras, but these references also do not do justice to this music. I am well aware that this might be an acquired taste, but I personally enjoy this music.

The songs are all well-written and memorable, with the title track standing out as particularly effective! Introduced by an atmospheric keyboard instrumental called Sphinx (The Guardian), Seventh Star has a strong riff and an Egyptian-sounding middle section that for me is the highlight of the album. This song features great guitar work and some interesting choirs and keyboards lines.

In terms of progressive rock, this album has little to offer apart perhaps from the previously mentioned, very good Sphinx (The Guardian)/Seventh Star, and even that is at best only slightly progressive. The rest is pretty straightforward, but high quality, sophisticated Hard Rock with several great Iommi guitar riffs and wonderful soulful vocals by Hughes and nice discrete keyboards by Nicholls.

I like this album and would recommend it to anyone who is a follower of either Iommi or Glenn Hughes. For everyone else it is just a good, but non-essential album.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Mid '80's cought Black Sabbath in crisis, the main man Tony Iommi is the single member of the band who remains motionless in the band, the rest were coming and going like pleoples in store. Big emprovement over previous one Born again - who was for me a desaster, but aswell more hard rock and even in places some AOR elements are to be shown here, but more mature and inventive than Born again. In places i can trace the doomy feeling of the early albums and from Dio era, on pieces like Turn to Stone, Seventh Star - the best piece from here and Heart Like a Wheel, the rst are only good to listen from time to time. Another album another vocalist, now the legent from Trapeze - Glenn Hughes, he done a good jobe here, i like his voice, fits most of the time very well in this kind of hard and hevy music, but i prefer Dio much more. Another album another drummer, now Eric Singer who came from Lita Ford fame and later in the early '90's will see him in another legendary band Kiss. All in all a good album in my opinion, well, far from early years and even from Dio and Tony Martin era, but enjoyble most of the time. Somthing that worth mentioning is that in 1986 Black Sabbath appear for the first time in original line-up after Ozzy left the band in Live Aid - Philadelphia. So a big 3 stars for Seventh star, good one and maybe at some point only for Sabbath fans, but if you listen to all previouses albums worth investigate this one too.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars "Seventh Star" is the 12th full-length studio album by UK heavy rock/metal act Black Sabbath. The album was originally intended to be a Tony Iommi solo album but due to pressure from Warner Bros. Records, Iommi was forced to release the album as a Black Sabbath album or rather, Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi, as it says on the front cover of the album. The reason why Tony Iommi wanted "Seventh Star" to be a solo album is rather obvious when you look at the lineup who recorded the album. The only original member left in the band after "Born Again (1983)" is Tony himself. Both Bill Ward and Geezer Butler left the band after "Born Again (1983)" as well as Ian Gillan. New vocalist on "Seventh Star" is Glenn Hughes. Another ex-Deep Purple singer. Dave Spitz (Brother of Dan Spitz from Anthrax) plays the bass. Keyboard player Geoff Nicholls who had played with Black Sabbath since the Dio days was finally credited as a member of the lineup instead of the role as a session musician he had up until then. Eric Singer (KISS, Alice Cooper) is the new drummer on the album.

This is the first album by Black Sabbath where Im not instantly reminded that Im listening to an album by the band. The music on "Seventh Star" has a soft AOR feel to it and new singer Glenn Hughes bluesy vocal style gives the music a very different sound from what were used to from the band. Some of the riffs on the album of course sound like Black Sabbath. This is Tony Iommi after all. The riff meister. The riffs do sound a bit uninspired though and the excessive use of keyboards give the music an AOR heavy rock feel. This is generally not a very heavy album. Only a few of the tracks are partially acceptable. Most are way below standard and the worst example is without a doubt "No Stranger to Love".

The musicianship should be of high class with the musicians involved but everything seem weak and played without conviction. Just listen to those drums. Terribly simple and tame. Glenn Hughes inclusion in the lineup is a near catastrophy. His performance is uninspired and weak. He was fired a few shows into the tour supporting the album. Alledgedly because of his cocaine abuse and inability to sing proberly live. If thats true it puts his performance on "Seventh Star" in perspective.

The sound production is pretty awful to my ears. That snare drum sound is an abomination. If you ever need an example of bad 80s production values you could easily use this album as an example. Lifeless and without punch.

I thought Black Sabbath had hit rock bottom with "Born Again (1983)" and I really didnt think they could sink lower than that. "Seventh Star" is even worse though and a 1 star (20%) rating is fully warranted. I have absolutely nothing positive to say about this album. Enter at your own risk.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Why do the worst possible albums keep claiming seven stars?

One wouldn't think it would be possible to create an album worse then Technical Ecstasy, but this album is proof of the contrary.

Tony Iommi isn't in too bad a shape though, his riffings and soloing on the opener In For The Kill isn't all that bad, but Hughes commercial FM-rock melodies turn the track into a horrible experience. The commercial soul blues of No Stranger to Love tells the same story. Cheap. Very, very cheap. Turn To Stone is not only tacky, it's also a shameless rip-off of fast Rainbow songs like Spotlight Kid, other songs like Seventh Star try to get the cheese from Led Zeppelin. No, there's really nothing here you would want to hear.

Quite surprisingly, Iommi and Hughes' 2005 corporation Fused worked out really well. So the reason for this rating is not that I am a Glenn Hughes-basher. It's the awful song writing and execution. The next album would continue some of the AOR tendencies that appear here but executed much better.

If Bryan Adams or Bon Jovi are your thing you might like this, but since those bands represent the deepest level that rock music can possibly dwell in for me, one star is still flattering really.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Whether Seventh Star should have come out under the Black Sabbath moniker, featuring only Tony Iommi from the classic line up, is open to debate. However it's not the total disaster many would have you believe. In fact I've always been impressed by the strong collection of songs and the contributions of the players involved. If you're looking for the classic Sabbath sound though you may be disappointed.

Seventh Star is a more radio friendly rock/metal album than early Sabbath with strong melodies carried by the excellent soulful tones of vocalist Glenn Hughes, one of the finest singers in rock. It's also notable for an early album appearance of superb solid as a rock drummer Eric Singer, now better known for his work with Alice Cooper and Kiss. Adding to the solidity of the rhythm section is bassist Dave Spitz, brother of Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz. Keyboards, though not playing a prominent role are supplied by Geoff Nicholls. Iommi needs little introduction and contributes some fine riffs, admittedly not as heavy for the most part as the work he's more famous part. As already mentioned, this is a more commercial rock/metal album but there's still some driving and powerful metal, notably opener In For The Kill and Turn To Stone, both as good as anything Sabbath released in the eighties including the Dio led incarnation.

There's also plenty of other strong moments like the bluesy Heart Like A Wheel and the power ballad Stranger To Love and the melodic rock of the likes of Angry Heart. The slowly propulsive title track Seventh Star is another highlight with its Bonham-esque Kashmir style rhythm and powerful melody.

While Seventh Star may not be a classic Sabbath album it is nevertheless worthy of attention for its strong collection of songs. Anyone who enjoys this is also advised to check out the Iommi albums in a similar vein that also feature Hughes on vocals.

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Seventh Star' - Black Sabbath (4/10)

Although guitarist Tony Iommi has always been the heart of Black Sabbath, an album with three quarters of the band missing doesn't quite qualify as a Sabbath album. Of course, the band had not suddenly split up. Rather, "Seventh Star" was supposed to be a solo album from Tony, not the latest disappointment from the masters that once brought us some of metal's best records. Even looking past this obvious oversight, "Seventh Star" is an undercooked piece of melodic hard rock. With weak production, generic riffs, and only a handful of decent songs, Black Sabbath have another bland album to their name.

This certainly isn't the first time I have found Black Sabbath short of quality, but "Seventh Star" feels even moreso out-of-place than other weaker albums like "Never Say Die!" or the more recent "Born Again". Of course, Iommi never intended for this to sound like his flagship band. Instead of their trademark doom or metal grit, this incarnation of 'Sabbath' emphasizes melody and bluesy soloing over anything. If I had to compare it to anything else in the band's discography, I might point the finger at the more streamlined sounds of "Technical Ecstasy", or perhaps even a de-clawed, anaesthetized "Mob Rules". After Ian Gillan's tenure with the band passed on as a failed experiment, we are introduced to Glenn Hughes, who- like Gillan- is better known for his work with Deep Purple. Compared to the vocalists who have contributed under the Sabbath banner before him, Hughes' voice feels like a vanilla, run-of-the-mill hard rock vocalist. His higher register is admirable, but he lacks both the distinctive charisma of Ozzy, and the acrobatic precision of Gillan and Dio.

As far as songwriting goes, the title track is quite good, enjoying soulful guitar leads and a memorable chorus. Uninspired composition is more of the rule here however; very rarely does it ever go beyond the call of duty. By-the-numbers song structures, flat melodies and average riffs are what define "Seventh Star". Even the rhythm section (performed here by bassist Dave Spitz and drummer Eric Singer) seem to do the acceptable minimum. Thankfully, Iommi has given himself some good room to work his guitar, and this is what saves "Seventh Star" from a final resting place as a coffee coaster in metalhead living rooms around the world. Of course, the 'riffs' themselves are bland and simple, but his lead work brings the feeling that the rest of the album seems to miss entirely. Unlike a regular Black Sabbath release, Iommi can ideally take all the time he wants to play leads, and though it still doesn't happen nearly enough on "Seventh Star", it makes me think that a pure Iommi guitar album would have been something great. As it stands, we have another chapter in Black Sabbath's history that is best left alone.

Review by GruvanDahlman
2 stars "Seventh star" holds a mysterious grip on me. I do want to think it's a great album, made at a time of difficulties. Born out of all this (drugs, personel upheavals etc) came a great album, overcoming all those difficulties. But no... I'm afraid that's not the case.

I cannot count the times I've listened to this album. It has so much going for it. There's (obviously) Iommi, Glenn Hughes and great song titles. Yet it falls apart. Or rather stays in the shadows, only partially visible (or listenable). When listening to it I find myself nodding, saying "It's not that bad after all" and when it's all over I wonder what I listened to. Besides a few tracks nothing remains in clearmemory.

Apart from "In for the kill", "No stranger to love" and the epic and wonderful title track "Seventh star" there's little for the mind to remember. It's all very bland, I'm afraid. Though I wish I could say otherwise "Seventh star" remains a not totally uninspired but sadly bland piece of work. Better times were still to come though.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Just looking at the surface of Black Sabbath's discography and the varying line-ups that were happening at this stage, one would think that the band was having a hard time keeping a lead singer around. That really wasn't quite the case once you look into the history behind each album. Most everyone knows that Ozzy Osbourne had left the band after 8 studio albums and was replaced with Ronnie James Dio. It seemed that Black Sabbath was getting a new life with Dio, but then he left the band after 2 studio albums to work on his own music. At this point Tony Iommi wanted to also release albums under his own name. The record label disagreed.

The album 'Born Again' featured Deep Purple's (at that time) former singer Ian Gillan and was supposed to be Iommi's first solo album. The record company nixed that because they thought it would do better with Black Sabbath's name attached. It worked that time, at least since the album was a commercial success. However, the band was not satisfies with Gillam and he was not happy with the band either, so that line-up only lasted for one album. Once again Iommi put together a different line- up for another try at a solo album. This time, he brought in Geoff Nicholls who had been playing for Black Sabbath previously as a 'session' musician for many years, to play keyboards, Eric Singer on drums, Dave Spitz on bass, and finally Glenn Hughes for vocals. Hughes was another ex-Deep Purple member as he played bass and sang for the Mk III and Mk IV line-ups for that band. Once again, the record company insisted that it be released as Black Sabbath even though it was not intended to be a Black Sabbath record. This time, however, they allowed it to be released as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi. However, Iommi's fears came to reality when critics, fans and everyone else compared the album with previous Sabbath albums, and Iommi was the only regular member of this new line up.

Changing the name to Black Sabbath turned out to be a real disaster that can be blamed mostly on the record label. The album was only moderately successful and this signaled and also initiated the downfall of what was a legendary band. The name would start to be ridiculed and for several years, people pretty much ignored the band except to make fun of it.

Typically, however, nowadays, this album probably would hardly even be mentioned anywhere if it hadn't been labeled as a Sabbath record, so at least now, it works to its advantage. It is considered one of the weaker ones though, but at least it gets some recognition. The music is definitely a major turn away from the heavy metal sound of the Dio years, and almost light years away from the groundbreaking music of the Osbourne years. The music on this album is more hard rock and blues oriented, and since it didn't really stand out, it kind of got lost in the crowd of hair metal bands emerging out of the woodwork like a bunch of horny termites. Other things that worked against this time in the band's history was that the line-up hardly even lasted very far into the tour for the album. Nicholls was fired not long after the tour began because his weight problems made it impossible health-wise to continue. He was replaced during the tour by Ray Gillen who can be heard singing on the 2nd disc that comes with the 2010 deluxe edition of this album.

So, for studio album number 12, we see the band faltering. The only regular member still remaining is Iommi, so it isn't even Black Sabbath anymore at this point, it really is an Iommi solo album. Nicholls vocals are okay, but don't stand out like the previous lead singers for the band, including Gillan's. Nothing else really stands out either from any other hard rock band. The basic hard rock sound and anthem style rocker music is evident right off the bat with 'In for the Kill'. Of course, you are going to have some great guitar soloing during the instrumental breaks, but everything is quite predictable. Gone are the days of changing meters, tempos and ingenious music framed by smart songwriting. 'No Stranger to Love' opens with thick synth chords and a more bluesy sound. This song is a little better seeing that it goes for a darker blues sound which would have been a decent track sung by any of the predecessor vocalists. It is one of the two highlights of the album along with 'Heart Like a Wheel' on the last half of the album. Even so, it is still quite predictable and offers no real surprises.

The album finds itself creating ruts in the road that Black Sabbath would have a very difficult time getting out of. In the many albums that were to follow, the same tired formulas would be followed. There would be a little adjustment here and another there, but one album was hardly discernable from another for quite a long time. At least, following this album, Black Sabbath would find a fairly regular vocalist in Tony Martin who would become the 2nd longest serving vocalist after Ozzy, but his vocals really didn't standout either and the band would continue through the 80s and 90s as just another heavy metal band. The progressivness and ingenuity of Black Sabbath was no longer existent, and they sadly became just another loud band lost in the fray of countless mediocre heavy metal bands of the time. The downward spiral suddenly continues to get deeper.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This album, for me, was a releaf after the previous effort although it is questionable to me whether this was still Sabbath as the only member of the original line up of musicians was Iommi. The Iommi riffs though are instantly recognisable I enjoyed Hughes on vocals here as opposed to Gillan ... (read more)

Report this review (#940034) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, April 6, 2013 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Gaynor E.H. Ritchwright III The problem with this 1986 LP is that it lacks that naughty feeling, so quintessential to the Sabbath experience. Axeman Tony Iommi is the sole holdover from the original lineup, thus meaning the new lineup obviously didn't have much time to gel, and it shows its ... (read more)

Report this review (#185409) | Posted by hasheten | Sunday, October 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Seventh Star is THE worst Sabbath album ever made. The music is even further away from classic sabbath, then it was on Born Again. This is, to me, nothing more that soul-less 80's metal with a touch of blues here and there. If another band would have made this one, fine (I wouldn't even bother list ... (read more)

Report this review (#144261) | Posted by Abstrakt | Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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