Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi says he’s currently working on a remix of the band’s critically savaged 1995 album ‘Forbidden’.
The fifth and final Black Sabbath with Tony Martin on vocals and also featuring bassist Neil Murray and the late-great Cozy Powell on drums, ‘Forbidden’ was widely panned by music critics upon its release 23 years ago and charted at a lowly number 71 in the UK.
The record was produced, recorded and mixed by Body Count guitarist Ernie C and featured guest vocals from his band mate Ice-T on album opener ‘The Illusion of Power’.
Iommi first mentioned remixing ‘Forbidden’ back in June 2015, writing on Facebook: “Joe Siegler reminded me that June is the 20th anniversary of Forbidden. I really like the album but I was never happy with the overall sound so I’m going to remix it before it comes out again. Can’t say when, too much going on right now.”
Now, in a fresh interview with The List, Iommi has confirmed he’s finally commenced work on the remix: “At the moment, I'm in the process of remixing ‘Forbidden’ (which was recorded) with Tony Martin, Cozy Powell and Neil Murray. That's an album I've never been satisfied with so I'm about to start pulling that apart and remix it.”
In an interview with Metal Jacket Magazine back in May 2017, Tony Martin expressed his wishes to re-record material from his tenure with Sabbath and specifically ‘Forbidden’.
Martin said at the time: “I spoke to (Tony Iommi) just a few weeks ago. He's bought a new house and he's building a new studio. He said he needs to set that up and get that all ready. But when he's ready, I'm happy to do it, and I know he wants to do it.
“And just the fact that he wants to do it, it's, like, 'Oh, yeah. That's cool.' 'That's cool.' 'Cause those albums have been deleted for a long time, and I think they could sound better.
“Especially 'Forbidden' - oooohhhh… I hate that. It was the end of my time with Black Sabbath, so it's so… When I listen to it now, I think how I could make it better. So if he gives me the chance, I would love to do that again. Yeah, the possibility is definitely there."
Admitting that ‘Forbidden’ in particular isn’t very Sabbath-esque, Martin added: "I told (Iommi) that. It was me, Cozy Powell and Geoff Nicholls, I think, who is also not with us now. We were saying that 'this is not Black Sabbath.' And I understand what they were trying to do, the RUN-D.M.C. thing, but no, it didn't work. It didn't work.
“I have demos from the rehearsals, and it sounded really cool - really hard, and some of the songs are really kicking it. So I would love to re-record that. And if I got the chance, I'd actually like to re-write some of the lyrics, because my head wasn't there in the album. But if I get the chance, we'll have a go."
Elsewhere in his chat with The List, Iommi said he was unsure why Ozzy Osbourne recently said he “didn’t have a great time” on the Black Sabbath reunion tour.
The guitar God said: “I saw that but I don't know what he meant. I had a great time on the last tour playing with the guys and Ozzy never mentioned anything to me. He seemed to enjoy it and we had a laugh so I don't know, so I think possibly that quote was taken out of context.”
Iommi recently announced a spoken word event - Tony Iommi In Conversation 'A Life In Music' – with MOJO Rocks presenter Phil Alexander at Edinburgh Assembly Rooms on Saturday 13th October.