25548 The Eternal Idol
Produced by J. Glixman, Vic Coppersmith-Heaven, Chris Tsangerides
Released on November 1987
Find it at GEMM
25548 cover  

I did not buy The Eternal Idol because of the album cover. In fact, I believe I was reading an article in Playboy when I first heard this record, and I remember thinking “I would have bought this album solely for the music on it.” But that’s just the kind of guy I am. You, on the other hand, might find the music a poor motivator, which is probably why those savvy marketing folks at Warners figured The Eternal Idol was a pair of naked people short of a strong sell. In fairness, the album is better than I expected; for all the scary stuff you’ve heard about late-period Sabbath, this has its share of crunching metal and a melodic belter in the Dio tradition with Tony Martin. The production is top notch, the material solid if sometimes unspectacular, the guitar work impressive. If you’re looking for nods to classic Sabbath, they’re here: the moody “Eternal Idol” and the instrumental “Scarlet Pimpernel” are the obvious offspring. The rest of the album rocks hard by ‘80s standards, which is all you can ask for: Iommi’s vision for Sabbath was to stay relevant, not lead a second revolution. Sabbath fans can opt out, since this is really a record for fans of the genre. Only Iommi remains from the original quartet, making the Sabbath connection a weak one, but the zombie Sabbath is still better than the ubiquitous hell metal wannabes they originally inspired.

25548 back cover 25548 lyric sleeve
25548 back cover 25548 lyric sleeve


  1. THE SHINING    5:38
  2. ANCIENT WARRIOR    5:34
  3. HARD LIFE TO LOVE    5:00
  4. GLORY RIDE    4:48
  5. BORN TO LOSE    3:43
  6. NIGHTMARE    5:17
  8. LOST FOREVER    4:00
  9. ETERNAL IDOL    6:35

    All songs written by Tony Iommi


TONY IOMMI -- the player (i.e., guitars & god)
BEV BEVAN -- percussion
TONY MARTIN -- vocals
GEOFF NICHOLLS -- keyboards
ERIC SINGER -- drums
DAVE SPITZ -- bass
Chris Tsangerides -- mixing
Patrick Meehan -- executive producer

return to BLACK SABBATH discography

UK November 1987 Vertigo LP/CD/CS VERH/VERHC 51  
US November 1987 Warner Bros. LP/CD/CS 25548 lyric sleeve
ARG 1987? Vertigo LP/CS 29102/69102  
BRA/COL/NET 1987 Vertigo LP 832 708 lyric sleeve
CAN November 1987 Warner Bros. LP/CS 92 55481/4  
JPN 1987? Teichiku LP TECW 29187  
JPN 1987? Vertigo LP 25PP-225 lyric sleeve
MEX 1987? Vertigo LP LPR 23056 lyric sleeve
UK/GER April 1996 Essential CD ESMCD 336 digitally remastered
JPN   Victor CD VICP-61289 digitally remastered



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