For the first time in Black Sabbath‘s history, the four records they recorded with Tony Martin as the frontman have officially been reissued.

The new box set, Anno Domini 1989-1995, features remastered versions of Headless Cross, Tyr and Cross Purposes, as well as the first-ever remix of Forbidden, the 1995 album produced by Body Count guitarist Ernie C.

Tony Iommi — the only original member of Black Sabbath to perform on all four of these albums — recently joined Chuck Armstrong on Loudwire Nights (May 31) to dive deep into Anno Domini.

“I’m really glad because over the years, I’ve always been asked about this, ‘Will we ever see the Tony Martin stuff’,” Iommi explained. “I think it’s great for the people who know Tony Martin and know he was with us, but it’s also great for people who don’t know about Tony Martin…I mean, he was with us for about 10 years or so.”

Iommi admitted that it has been particularly interesting to revisit these albums because they’ve sort of been lost or forgotten as time went on, even though Martin was the band’s second-longest-serving singer.

“It’s been great to be able to go back and listen to a lot of these tracks that we did at that time.”

How Black Sabbath Ended Up Working With Body Count

Besides the simple act of reissuing the four albums with Martin as the frontman, Anno Domini also provided Iommi with the opportunity to do something he’s been wanting to do for nearly 30 years: Remix Forbidden, Black Sabbath’s last album until the release of 2013’s 13.

“It was the first time for me that I’ve not been involved with the production and it was really difficult,” Iommi revealed about the experience of working with Ernie C on Forbidden.

“It was a thing from the record company. They wanted to bring some fresh blood into the fold and Ice-T was going to be singing on [“The Illusion of Power”], but we didn’t know about Ernie C, and then the record company said they’d like him to produce it. Bring a different look to the music.”

Even though Iommi couldn’t have said nicer things about Ernie C, he was honest about how hard it was working with him in the studio, because Black Sabbath didn’t really know him and it seemed like he didn’t really know Black Sabbath.

“We’ve got [drummer] Cozy Powell in there and Ernie C is trying to tell him to play something different, a different style of drumming,” Iommi said.

“Well, Cozy Powell is an iconic drummer and to tell somebody to play something of a different style, it just didn’t go down well and Cozy was not happy at all. None of us were.”

Remixing and reissuing Forbidden wasn’t merely so Iommi could feel better about the sound, but he wanted to do this for his friend, Powell, too, who passed away three years after the album came out.

“He would have been full of joy if he knew that we could remix it again.”

Why Tony Iommi Never Changed Black Sabbath’s Name

As Iommi continued to unpack this era of Black Sabbath, Chuck eventually asked him why he never considered changing the band’s name or even simply calling it quits with all of the lineup changes he endured as the only continuous original member of the band.

The answer from Iommi was simple.

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“To me, it’s always been my life. I mean, since we started, I just believe in what we did and how we did it and I’ve just kept on with that same belief. I haven’t left the band, so I just carry on.”

Iommi admitted he understands it’s strange that the band has had so many different lineups and frontmen, but he never considered anything else.

“I just can’t let things go like that,” he said.

“I try my best to see it through…it’s paid off.”

What Else Did Tony Iommi Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • How he stays in touch with everyone who is still around from the various Black Sabbath lineups, including all of the original members: “We have this brotherhood.”
  • How he considers any and all musical collaborations: “I look at everything nowadays. I don’t say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to do that. I don’t want to do that.’ I have to think it over and if anything comes now I always give it a thought, whatever it might be.”
  • Which guitar riffs he knew were special the second he wrote them: “The ‘Black Sabbath’ riff, that was straight away, I knew it…’Into the Void,’ I mean, that was Eddie Van Halen‘s favorite…They’ve all meant something.”

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Tony Iommi joined Loudwire Nights on Friday, May 31; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand.

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