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Black Sabbath > The Eternal Idol
Black Sabbath - The Eternal Idol
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The Eternal Idol

Black Sabbath

Release date:
November 23rd, 1987
Catalog ID:
832 708-1
Vertigo Records
12" vinyl (33⅓ RPM)
19 reviews (avg. 80%)
Side A
1. The Shining 05:58   Show lyrics
  (loading lyrics...)
2. Ancient Warrior 05:34   Show lyrics
  (loading lyrics...)
3. Hard Life to Love 05:00   Show lyrics
  (loading lyrics...)
4. Glory Ride 04:48   Show lyrics
  (loading lyrics...)
Side B
5. Born to Lose 03:43   Show lyrics
  (loading lyrics...)
6. Nightmare 05:17   Show lyrics
  (loading lyrics...)
7. Scarlet Pimpernel 02:07   instrumental
  (loading lyrics...)
8. Lost Forever 04:00   Show lyrics
  (loading lyrics...)
9. Eternal Idol 06:35   Show lyrics
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Band members
Tony Martin Vocals
Tony Iommi Guitars
Bob Daisley Bass
Eric Singer Drums
Geoff Nicholls (R.I.P. 2017) Keyboards
Ray Gillen (R.I.P. 1993) Laughter (track 6)
Miscellaneous staff
Patrick Meehan Executive producer
Jeff Glixman Producer
Vic Coppersmith-Heaven Producer
Shoot That Tiger! Art direction, Design
Chris Tsangarides (R.I.P. 2018) Producer, Mixing
Cindy Palmano Photography
Tony Martin Vocals
Tony Iommi Guitars
Bob Daisley Bass
Eric Singer Drums
Geoff Nicholls (R.I.P. 2017) Keyboards
Ray Gillen (R.I.P. 1993) Laughter (track 6)
Patrick Meehan Executive producer
Jeff Glixman Producer
Vic Coppersmith-Heaven Producer
Shoot That Tiger! Art direction, Design
Chris Tsangarides (R.I.P. 2018) Producer, Mixing
Cindy Palmano Photography
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A video was shot for "The Shining", with a stand-in bass player and Terry Chimes (of punk band The Clash) on drums.

Warner Bros. Records released it on 8/11/87 for the American market.

This is the first Black Sabbath album to be recorded digitally.

The most problematic album recording in the history of Black Sabbath. Production started in Montserrat, with Jeff Glixman producing, and a line up of Tony Iommi, Ray Gillen, Geoff Nicholls, Eric Singer and Dave Spitz, and ended in London, with Chris Tsangarides producing, and a line up of Tony Iommi, Geoff Nicholls, Eric Singer, Tony Martin and Bob Daisley guesting on bass. Band manager Patrick Meehan was also fired during recording.

"The Eternal Idol" was originally recorded with Ray Gillen but was redone with Tony Martin after Ray Gillen left the group. The only surviving part of Ray Gillen's voice on the released Eternal Idol album is some laughing on the track "Nightmare". The version with Ray Gillen was released in 2010 on the deluxe edition of the album.

Although Dave Spitz receives credit in the liner notes for playing bass on the album, the bass sections were actually played by Bob Daisley (who is also credited on the album). According to Bob Daisley, the reason Dave Spitz is credited on the album was because he was going to be the bassist for the album's tour, while Daisley turned down being Black Sabbath's permanent bassist in order to spend more time with Gary Moore. Bob Daisley would experience this situation again in 1991 on the album "No More Tears" by Ozzy Osbourne.

According to Jon Oliva (Savatage) in an interview in May 2023, he auditioned for Black Sabbath during the time of this album, and sent his demos of "The Shining" and "Ancient Warrior".

An alternate title to the album was "Blood God".

The cover is based on a sculpture called "Eternal Idol" from 1889 by French artist Augustine Rodin, and the band wanted to use the original sculpture for the cover. However, they did not have the rights to use it, so the band asked the models to paint themselves with bronze paint and pose in the same positions as the original sculpture. The models had to be hospitalized due to being poisoned by the paint.

"The Shining" is a renewed version of another song called "No Way Out", which was composed and recorded in 1984 in sessions with vocalist Dave Donato, and which also featured Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums. According to Tony Iommi, the riff for this song was made after the time of the "Born Again" album.

"Nightmare" was originally intended for inclusion in the soundtrack of "Nightmare on Elm Street" (hence the title). But this idea could not be due to the fact that the band's manager, Patrick Meehan, asked the film's producers for money, reaching the point that the producers got tired and decided to let this option pass.

In "Scarlet Pimpernel" there is some confusion regarding Bev Bevan. Bevan is credited on the album as a percussionist on this song, and according to Geoff Nicholls, Bevan played the cymbals. However, Eric Singer clarified that he was the one who played all the drums on the album and that he never saw Bev Bevan in the studio. It is believed that Bevan was credited on the album because he would return to drum for Black Sabbath to tour and promote this album as a replacement for Eric Singer.

A bootleg called "The Eternal Idol Working Tracks" was distributed by a Japanese record label in 2014, which includes demo versions, instrumentals and working tracks from the album.

Recording information:

Recorded at :
-Air Studios, Montserrat
-Air Studios, London
-Battery Studios, London


Barcode: 042283270817
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, stamped): 8327081 1 502
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, stamped): 8327081 2 520
Matrix / Runout (Side A label): 832 708-1.1
Matrix / Runout (Side B label): 832 708-1.2
Rights Society: S.I.A.E.

Added by: (Unknown user) Modified by: Renatoletra
Added on: N/A Last modified on: 2024-02-20 22:13:33