4) “Heaven In Black”
The closing track from Tyr is probably my favorite Tony Martin Sabb song, and it’s possibly the most slept-on from the album. While a lot of the record’s lyrical material focused on Norse mythology, “Heaven In Black” is more straightforward and less story-oriented. The power metal influences Iommi embraced along with Martin’s Halford-style delivery peak during “Heaven In Black,” and Cozy Powell’s introductory drum roll is one of the band’s most bruising. It’s interesting to note that this lineup was the same that would eventually reconvene to create Forbidden. It’s surprising that the dudes who assembled an album full of hidden goodness could come back together just a couple years down the road and create something so lackluster.
5) “Black Moon”
Headless Cross is probably Black Sabbath’s most popular Tony Martin album. It’s quite the streamlined affair, the band having enjoyed a period of stability after three records produced under unstable conditions. “Black Moon” was originally recorded as a b-side during The Eternal Idol’s sessions. The version on Headless Cross is beefier, and it fits so well in the album sequence that it makes me wonder if the rest of the songs were written with complementing it in mind. That’s not to say it’s the most solid track on the album, but it’s worth noting the rarity of a number left off a previous record going on to be a star on the next one.
6) “Born To Lose”
The Eternal Idol is one of the band’s most turbulent albums, production-wise. During its recording, there were a number of roster changes. Even singer Ray Gillen left the band after recording his vocals. Iommi then recruited Tony Martin, re-recorded all Gillen’s songs, and forged ahead. “Born To Lose” is my favorite song on the album. It’s got one of Iommi’s best hooks from this era, and Martin’s harmonies during the chorus are about as complementary as they ever get, which is saying a lot for a guy who didn’t even have a hand in writing the stuff he was getting paid to sing. It’s a short and sweet number, but it’s got more punch than just about anything else on this outing.