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The Eternal Idol (1987)


Staff member
Mar 27, 2018
0.00 star(s) Rating: 0.00/5 0 Votes
Title: The Eternal Idol
Artist: Black Sabbath
Genre: Heavy Metal
Released: 1987

1 - The Shining - 5:59
2 - Ancient Warrior - 5:31
3 - Hard Life to Love - 5:00
4 - Glory Ride - 4:48
5 - Born to Lose - 3:44
6 - Nightmare - 5:20
7 - Scarlet Pimpernel - 2:07
8 - Lost Forever - 4:03
9 - Eternal Idol - 6:34

The Eternal Idol is the thirteenth studio album by Black Sabbath, released in December 1987. It is the first of several Black Sabbath albums to feature longtime vocalist Tony Martin. It spent six weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at 168. It was also the last full album of new material by Black Sabbath to be released by Warner Bros. Records (in North America).

The album cover was intended to feature a picture of an Auguste Rodin sculpture from 1889 also called "The Eternal Idol". However, the album cover actually features two naked models covered in paint and positioned to resemble the piece of art because permission to photograph the actual sculpture could not be secured. Despite the sleeve credits, all bass parts were completed by Bob Daisley, and Eric Singer completed all drum parts. The percussion credit to Bev Bevan relates to a few cymbal overdubs on "Scarlet Pimpernel".

The album was originally to be recorded with vocalist Ray Gillen, who quit the band shortly after the initial sessions on Montserrat with producer Jeff Glixman. Martin was hired and reconstructed the vocals shortly before production ended. Most tracks were written by Tony Iommi and bassist/lyricist Bob Daisley (although the vinyl version states that all songs were written by Iommi), although some lyrics were subsequently modified by Geoff Nicholls and Tony Martin after he joined the band.

There is a 3 minute and fifteen second studio outtake titled "Some Kind of Woman", which was written by Tony Martin shortly after joining the band. It was offered as a B-side to "The Shining" single and an early version of "Black Moon", which was released on Headless Cross, was released as a B-Side to the "Eternal Idol" single.

The album was re-released on November 1, 2010 in Europe in a 2-disc expanded set. Bonus content includes the aforementioned B-sides "Some Kind of Woman" and "Black Moon" on disc 1, while disc 2 contains the session for the album recorded with Ray Gillen on vocals.


Well-known member
Mar 28, 2018
Probably my favorite non-Ozzy, non-Ronnie album.

I didn't care for it at first, but when I really sat and started listening to this album a number of years ago, I found a new appreciation for it that I didn't have before. It would have been very cool to see what this album COULD have sounded like with a fully engineered and produced version with Ray Gillen on the mic. The version out there that exists is more raw and I'm glad that the band eventually released that.

To me, the best song is the opening track, The Shining:

Music information in first post provided by The AudioDB