Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has confirmed that the band’s albums featuring Tony Martin will be re-released in 2023.
The heavy metal pioneers went through many lineup changes in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with the firing of Ozzy Osbourne for excessive substance use in 1979. Tony Martin was the band’s second-longest serving vocalist, fronting the band from 1987-1991, before being briefly replaced for a two year-tenure by Ronnie James Dio. Martin came back in 1993 and stuck around until 1997.
He performed on five of Black Sabbath’s albums – 1987’s ‘The Eternal Idol’, 1989’s ‘Headless Cross’, 1990’s ‘Tyr’, 1994’s ‘Cross Purposes’ and 1995’s ‘Forbidden’.
Martin originally suggested in an interview with The Metal Voice in November that the Black Sabbath records he sang on would be reissued in 2023, though he admitted he’s never had much of a say in what the band does.
“They’re re-releasing these Tony Martin [albums], honestly I have no idea what’s happening with it. I know it’s gonna be next year, but that’s all I know really,” Martin said.
On December 29, however, Iommi confirmed that the albums will be reissued next year in a tweet honoring former drummer Cozy Powell’s birthday. Powell played drums for the band from 1988 to 1991 and then from 1994 to 1995. He died in 1998.
“Cozy Powell would have been 75 today,” the guitar legend wrote. “Looking forward to the release of the IRS albums in 2023, a tribute to his great playing.”
Cozy Powell would have been 75 today. Looking forward to the release of the IRS albums in 2023, a tribute to his great playing. pic.twitter.com/sKTQHx4YKB
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) December 29, 2022
It is currently unclear whether all the albums the band released on I.R.S Records will be reissued, or whether Martin’s first album with the group, ‘The Eternal Idol’, which was released through a different label.
Osbourne and Iommi reunited for a special performance earlier this year at the closing ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in their hometown of Birmingham. However, the band’s founding bassist, Geezer Butler, was absent. “I don’t think he wanted to come over as he hadn’t been well with COVID,” Iommi told Birmingham Live.
Butler has generally kept a low profile since Black Sabbath disbanded in 2017. He was revealed to have come down with pneumonia last week.