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The 1996 DEP Sessions (With Glenn Hughes)

Tony Iommi

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Album Review

Two full decades after the release of 1986's underestimated Seventh Star album, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and journeyman vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple, etc.) decided the time had come for them to work together once again. Ensconcing themselves in Birmingham's DEP Studios, the duo composed and recorded eight tracks for release, but when Iommi was suddenly called into action with a re-formed and regularly touring original Sabbath, the work in progress was abandoned, filed away, and then, naturally, quickly bootlegged under the imaginative title of Eighth Star. Thus the tracks would remain for eight full years, until Iommi and Hughes finally reconvened to tidy them up with the help of keyboardists Don Airey and Geoff Nicholls, have Jimmy Copley re-record the drum tracks originally laid down by erstwhile Judas Priest man Dave Holland (since jailed for child abuse!), and give them an official release as The 1996 DEP Sessions. Now, with all that explaining out of the way, the very high caliber of songwriting on display here makes it immediately clear that Iommi and Hughes had little difficulty in rekindling the fires of their original collaboration. As was the case 10 years before, heavy metal is inevitably the norm but certainly not the rule guiding these sessions, and the looser, more experimental vibe generated by the likes of "Don't You Tell Me," "Fine," and the quite soulful "Don't Drag the River" (featuring Kansas-sized vocal harmonies to boot) only confirms the notion that Seventh Star should have been credited as an Iommi solo effort, as was originally intended. As for those unequivocally monolithic Sabbath-like power chords driving more traditional Iommi fare such as "Gone" and "Time Is the Healer," unbiased listeners will note that Hughes' gargantuan pipes bring out a sense of drama within the guitarist's creations that, with all due respect, Ozzy's limited range simply cannot. And even though there's nothing here that compares with Seventh Star's beautifully tender "No Stranger to Love" for sheer commercial appeal, both of The DEP Sessions' semi-ballads, the desperately regretful "From Another World" (featuring some rare acoustic work from Iommi) and the bittersweet "It Falls Through Me," definitely qualify as highlights. And as for those naughty but understandably curious listeners who scored the Eighth Star bootleg in the first place, they will find a few differences here (altered song titles, the omission of the Hughes solo cut "Shakin' My Wings," and a tweaked riff in "Don't You Tell Me" so as to differentiate it from that of "Black Oblivion," as heard on Iommi's 2001 solo album) to go with the far superior sound quality. Once again, it may wind up overlooked, but most experts will agree that this is a historic and highly recommended release for serious metalheads.

Customer Reviews

That person above me doesn't know good music.

Glenn and Tonny are awesome guitarist, Bassists and singers. Who cares if they are old you're never too old to rock.

How could anyone give this a low rating?

Tony Iommi has been around since the 1960s and he still is able to pump out stuff as absolutely awesome as this. This album somehow seamlessly combines light rock and heavy metal into its own new genre. Absolutely awesome, 5 stars.

One of the greatest guitarist of metal

Two old geezers!!! Your the one that needs to take a pill!!!! Wake up and listen to one of the "Godfathers of Metal"......Which so many since wish they could be like!!!


Born: February 19, 1948 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi is one of only two guitarists (the other being Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page) that can take full credit for pioneering the mammoth riffs of heavy metal. Born on February 19, 1948, in Birmingham, England, Iommi picked up the guitar after being inspired by the likes of Hank Marvin & the Shadows as a teenager. By 1967, Iommi had played with several blues-based rock bands, and formed a group (Earth) with three old acquaintances from his school days — bassist Terry "Geezer"...
Full Bio
The 1996 DEP Sessions (With Glenn Hughes), Tony Iommi
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal, Hard Rock
  • Released: Sep 28, 2004

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