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Headless Cross Original recording, CD

4.1 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording, CD, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

Black Sabbath - Headless Cross. Original 1989 release on I.R.S. Metal records catalog #IRSD-82002. Tracks are: The Gates of Hell / Headless Cross / Devil & Daughter / When Death Calls / Kill in the Spirit World / Call of the Wild / Black Moon / Nightwing.

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Original Release Date: 1989
  • Format: Original recording, CD
  • Label: I.R.S. Metal
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,019 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Garland on December 31, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have a special fondness for this album, maybe that's why it seems so powerful and moving -- I don't really know why. It came out when I was in college, and thusly, I was definitely in a different state of mind. No, I am not referring to medicinal influences. It was just a unique time in my life as I had set out on my own and was just discovering some of the best music available out there... Thank goodness for friends who know what the heck they're talking about, and especially bless those that have a gifted affinity for knowing what you will like....

From the opening slow powerful plod of the title song Headless Cross, to the catchy Devil and Daughter, to the epic ballad of When Death Calls (starts off melancholy and depressing, and then crescendos into a powerful rock ballad that stays with you), all the way to Black Moon and Nightwing, this album is one of the best "lost treasures" of the Black Sabbath legacy.

Yes, it gets a little slow with the Kill in the Spirit World and Call of the Wild, but it's definitely a solid album with Tony Martin singing the lead. Just a beautiful album all around with some very memorable lyrics and melodies that kind of got left behind in the wake of Ozzy and Ronnie James Dio.

A Black Sabbath album that is a definite must-have --- and it's unavailable?!!>?? What a shame!!! You know what they say: beg, borrow, or steal it, butcha gotta get it.
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Format: Audio CD
When you ask someone to name off the best Sabbath albums, they usually respond with Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Vol. 4, or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Every once in a while some one will mention Heaven and Hell from the Dio era but very, I mean very rarely does anyone mention an album from the Post-ozzy era. This is a shame as Sabbath recorded a lot of good material after Ozzy but for some reason they all seem to be erased from people's memory.

One of these seemingly forgotten albums is Headless Cross. I don't only consider Headless Cross just to be one of the best post-Ozzy Sabbath albums, but one of the best Sabbath albums altogether.

One reason die-hard Sabbath fans tend to forget this era of Sabbath albums as they don't sound exactly like Sabbath of old. For one reason, as with Headless Cross, it has a very 80's ring to it. I personally found this sound to much of my liking. Though it may not sound exactly like the material present on, oh let's say Paranoid, it is still very Sabbathy.

The vocalist on this album is Tony Martin, and this is his is his second album with the band. Tony Martin has to be one of the most underrated vocalists in the metal genre. I mean this guy has a set of pipes on him that just blows the vocal talents of Ozzy away. I might be going too far to say that Martin might even be a better singer than Dio (!?!). His vocals are dang near perfect and they fit the music like a glove. Tony Iommi is also amazing on this release like usual.

The album opens up with a moody intro entitled The Gates of Hell that goes right into the first song Headless Cross. This is a pretty epic song for Sabbath and it features really interesting lyrics penned by Martin. That's another thing about this album that is great as the lyrics are really interesting.
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Format: Audio CD
"born again" was a very controversial album and cost Sabbath a lot of fans but this was unfair, as the album
was true to the band's style (heavy, cynical, mischievous and satanic) but the coming of Glenn hughes for the "seventh star" was a bullet in the head of the band, dubbed
a hair metal outfit. dont get me wrong, Glenn hughes is a wonderful singer but he's not for sabbath! Tony martin had A LOT to do in order to restore sabbath's credibility. by the time "eternal idol" was out, fans were already disillusioned by the band and "headless cross" went totally unnoticed by then whereas if it would have been released after "mob rules" the results would've been totally different. it would have been hailed as Sabbath's crowning achievement. This album is the most satanic ever done by the band. look for the lyrics and see. it also has the music to imperially back the topic up. it has the biggest collection of juicy riffs since "Sabbath bloody Sabbath" and frequent tempo changes make every song distinct, entertaining and still enjoyable after many ,many listens. i listened to this album hundreds of times and found out i love every song on it. the title track. "call of the wild" and "nightwing" are just a bit more special to me than the rest. tony martin's "dio-esque" voice is emotional, unpretentious and gives the songs the majesty and seriousness they need. he's the most underrated singer for black sabbath, he just was the right guy at the wrong time and place. i personally have already made my choice: this is the best sabbath album, followed by Sabbath bloody sabbath and Heaven and hell.
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Format: Audio CD
Muscially speaking, this album is the strongest recording Black Sabbath released after the Ozzy/Dio eras (and better than some of those albums, too). Tony Iommi is the master of those dark, pummeling, sludgey guitar riffs. Headless Cross is, musically, arguably the best example of that guitar sound that is a trademark of the Sabbath sound. The keyboards are more prominent here than on other Black Sabbath discs but that's not a bad thing - in this case, I thought the keyboards really enhanced the music on this.

It begins with the haunting keyboards that is a prelude to the heavy, slow-paced title track. Devil and Daughter is another GREAT, upbeat riff that is perfectly complimented with the keyboard work of Geoff Nicholls (why was that musician rarely tabbed as an official member of Sabbath?). When Death Calls starts off slowly with the emphasis on atmosphereic keyboards and a simple guitar melody and BOOM! - another heavy riff and operatic Martin vocals - finishes out as another upbeat track though not quite the way Devil and Daughter does. Most of the other tracks have good riffs and that dark, heavy guitar sound that are some of Iommi's best musical efforts.

Tony Martin is a great singer. Black Sabbath does not begin and end with Ozzy or Dio on vocals. Iommi is the heart and soul of Black Sabbath. Laurence Cottle's bass work is excellent on Headless Cross, and he sounds very similar in style to Geezer Butler. Cozy Powell is one of the greatest drummers of all time, and his contributions here in terms of production and drumming really helped Black Sabbath regain some status they had lost as the band had really become a Tony Iommi solo project with the guitarist as the sole original member.

My high rating for this album of for the music ONLY.
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