During a conversation with Louder Sound, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi looked back on the ’90s, branding 1995’s “Forbidden” a “crap” record.
The musician said:
“The 1990s were not much fun for me. At the end of the 1980s, Sabbath made some music that I consider good, including [1987’s] ‘The Eternal Idol’ and [1989’s] ‘Headless Cross,’ but [1995’s] ‘Forbidden’ was really crap.
“We were pushed into a corner. Somebody at the record company suggested we work with Ice-T. My reaction was: ‘Who the hell is he?’ But we met up and he was a nice bloke, and also a big fan of Sabbath.
“[Body Count guitarist] Ernie C ended up producing Forbidden, which was a terrible mistake. Ernie tried to get Cozy Powell to play these hip-hop-style drum parts, which, quite rightly, offended him.
“You don’t tell Cozy Powell how to play drums.
“In the 1990s there were a lot of line-up changes and it became hard to drive Sabbath onwards. But I’m very determined – you don’t split up the band just because somebody leaves. Find a replacement. Get on with it. I still believed in the band.
During the rest of the interview, Tony also talked about Sabbath’s 1983 album “Born Again,” which features Deep Purple‘s Ian Gillan on vocals, saying:
“Someday I’d love to restore ‘Born Again.’ That was the album we made with Ian Gillan. It sounded great in the studio, but there was a problem with pressing.
“It would be great to fix it up. But you know what? The tapes have disappeared into the [former Black Sabbath manager and Sharon Osbourne’s father] Don Arden pit. We’ve found about five tracks, the rest are all missing. Such a shame.”
In related news, Ernie C talked about his production work on “Forbidden” during a recent appearance on The Official Danko Jones Podcast, saying:
“On Ice’s first record, he sampled ‘War Pigs.’ And Tony got a whiff of it and he started listening to it and he said he liked it. And then he heard that I produced those first records that we [Body Count] did, and he just gave us a call.
“And also, Miles Copeland helped out. Stewart Copeland’s brother ran I.R.S Records. Miles helped get it together. Tony listened to the sample on there, and then he started listening to our records and said, ‘I like that.’
“Miles came and said, ‘I can get him [to produce your next album].’… So we were in England and Tony came to our hotel. He said, ‘I would like you to do our new record.'”