The untold story of Black Sabbath's unlikely resurrection: Only in the new issue of Classic Rock

Classic Rock issue 328 - front cover with Black Sabbath
(Image credit: Future)

When you stop and think about it, it’s amazing how many line-up permutations Black Sabbath have been through in their illustrious, storied career. Of course, I’d wager that whenever Black Sabbath are mentioned, we all immediately think of the classic quartet of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. But what of the Dio era? And what about that time that Ian Gillan stepped up to the mic? Or Glenn Hughes? Or when Geezer left? Or Bill… 

Or, most pertinently this issue, the time(s) that vocalist Tony Martin took the vocal spot. The 1980s were a fractious, crazy time in the Sabbath story, and this issue we talked to Tonys Iommi and Martin all about it. Elsewhere, Jon Bon Jovi opens up in the Classic Rock Interview, we remember Allman Brother Dickey Betts, celebrate 50 years of Praying Mantis and 40 years of FM, and so much more. Until next month...

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Black Sabbath
Dio was out, Gillan was gone, Geezer had given up. And Ozzy? Ozzy had declared war. Into the blackness surrounding Black Sabbath came light in the shape of singer Tony Martin, and the next chapter in the band’s ever-eventful story began.

Masters Of Reality
Chris Goss lit the fuse on the 90s stoner revolution and worked with bands including Kyuss and QOTSA. Meanwhile, his band Masters Of Reality remain hardly known despite having made some truly great records.

Bad Nerves
Delivering catchy punky power-pop, and having put an end to booze-and-drug-fuelled days-after-the-night-before, Bad Nerves are heading for more than just big-name support slots.

After a slow start, by the end of the 70s Canadian trio Triumph were living up to their name. Then came the falling-out, the split, and 20 years of toxicity before they shared a stage again.

Cock Sparrer
Too punk for punk in the late 70s, Oi! elder statesmen in the early 80s, living-legend role models in the early 90s, Cock Sparrer never got credit for what they started. Today, after all these years, they’re as strong as they’ve ever been.

In the late 80s, FM seemed poised for huge success. By the mid-90s the dream, and the band, was effectively over. Then almost 20 years later a one-off gig offer changed everything.

Praying Mantis
They ran alongside Iron Maiden in the early days of the NWOBHM race. But while Maiden shot to fame, Praying Mantis stalled due to a catalogue of setbacks and bad decisions.

New England
With some top-drawer tunes, Paul Stanley producing and Kiss’s management behind them, New England seemed, and felt, poised for stardom. Cue bad luck and trouble.

Classic Rock 328 - front cover featuring Black Sabbath

(Image credit: Future)


The Dirt
Foreigner and Ozzy among Hall Of Fame inductees. New Deep Purple album in July, new David Gilmour solo album in September. Welcome back Collective Soul, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and P.O.D. Say hello to The Karma Effect and Shane Smith & The Saints. Say goodbye to Dickey Betts, Mike Pinder, CJ Snare, Brian Bethell.

The Stories Behind The Songs: David Bowie
Taken from an idea through to a finished song in time left over after David Bowie recorded a clandestine demo, Absolute Beginners led to a “functional” guitarist working with Bowie for the next 10 years.

Q&A: Chris Spedding
The legendary sideman and session guitarist on a “naughty” 70s, discovering the Sex Pistols and being an honorary Beatle.

The Classic Rock Interview: Jon Bon Jovi
“There was no Plan B in my life, ever,” he says. Luckily he didn’t need one. He started in covers bands, got the breaks, went on to mastermind one of the biggest and biggest-selling bands of his era, and became one of its biggest rock stars. And there’s more – much more.

Buyers' Guide: Bryan Adams
There are infinitely more highlights in the Canadian singer-songwriter’s bulging catalogue than just ‘that song’. 

New albums from Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz, Blue Öyster Cult, Paul Weller, Black Country Communion, Accept, Richard Thompson, Joe Bonamassa. Reissues from Robin Trower, Pink Floyd, Billy Idol, Yes, UFO, David Bowie, Lindisfarne, Danko Jones. DVDs, films and books on Anita Pallenberg, Gary Moore, Nickelback, Lee Kerslake, Mama Cass. Live reviews of Bruce Springsteen, The Hives, Robert Plant’s Saving Grace, Orange Goblin and more.

We preview tours by Yes, Ritchie Kotzen and Deap Valley. Plus gig listings – who’s playing where and when.

The Soundtrack Of My Life: Al Jourgensen
The Mionistry mainman picks his records, artists and gigs of lasting significance.


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Siân Llewellyn
Classic Rock, Editor

Classic Rock editor Siân has worked on the magazine for longer than she cares to discuss, and prior to that was deputy editor of Total Guitar. During that time, she’s had the chance to interview artists such as Brian May, Slash, Jeff Beck, James Hetfield, Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Manic Street Preachers and countless more. She has hosted The Classic Rock Magazine Show on both TotalRock and TeamRock radio, contributed to CR’s The 20 Million Club podcast and has also had bylines in Metal Hammer, Guitarist, Total Film, Cult TV and more. When not listening to, playing, thinking or writing about music, she can be found getting increasingly more depressed about the state of the Welsh national rugby team and her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.