The Help Eternal Idol go Gold Foundation
I would like, if I may, to be serious for a moment (given my reputation, that may be difficult). There is a great problem that should concern all heavy metal fans out there who care about quality metal. That problem is:
Black Sabbath's Eternal Idol has not gone gold.
Now, this may seem like a bit of sarcasm, as if I didn't really like this album or that it doesn't deserve to go gold (to go gold, an album must sell 500,000 copies). Quite the contrary. I think that this is quite an incredible album of music, and there is not one song on this album that I do not actively love.
I think I should give a little background here.
Black Sabbath's Eternal Idol came out of a very tumultuous period in Sabbath's history. Tony Iommi, the guitarist, was the only original member of the band at this point, and the band had already gone through a slew of drummers, singers, and bassists. This album featured the vocals of the late, great Ray Gillen, but he left the band and his vocals were re-recorded by the excellent Tony Martin. Bassist Dave Spitz never showed up for recording sessions, so his parts were then recorded by bass legend Bob Daisley. Eric Singer, former drummer for Kiss and Lita Ford, left after finishing his drum tracks, and Bev Bevan of Electric Light Orchestra was brought in to clean up some of his tracks. To further complicate matters, Bob Daisley never stuck around for the tour, and Bev Bevan only played one show before leaving. Jo Burt filled in on bass, and Terry Chimes from The Clash came to do drum duties. Stalwart keyboardist, Geoff Nichols remained loyal, a testament to his commitment to Sabbath during his 25 year tenure. The band faced severe financial problems, having finally escaped the grip of manager Don Arden, only to face the neglect of Patrick Meehan. On top of this, their management booked them to play apartheid ridden Sun City in South Africa, having lied to the band about its location and political problems. The group only played about 20 gigs on the tour for this album, after which they were done with the Warner Brothers record label. The album received no support by Warner Brothers, and without any tour dates booked in America, the album tanked, reaching 168 on the billboard charts in America. Tony Iommi slowly picked up the pieces of Sabbath after this; signing with new management, getting a new label, recruiting legendary drummer Cozy Powell, and recording what was essentially a come-back album for Sabbath, The Headless Cross. Unfortunately, after Headless Cross came out, Eternal Idol was a distant memory.
Unfortunately, America and the UK suffer from "if it ain't Ozzy, it ain't Sabbath" syndrome, so the excellent Dio and Martin led albums are pushed by the wayside. However, this can be reversed. I'd like to start with just one album and move on from there. The Eternal Idol can go gold! It just takes an effort by us fans to spread the word about this excellent album. I have yet to read a truly negative review about this album. Usually I simply see the same lack-of-Ozzy comlaining that plagues any Sabbath album review from 1980 on. It's full of great songwriting and excellent performances, especially from the very young but very talented Tony Martin and the ever impressive Tony Iommi.
So, spread the word! This album can be found at Amazon.com (specifically, Eternal Idol, American edition or Eternal Idol, remaster if you want the remastered version from Castle records) You can also find it in some stores. Generally, Virgin records superstores will have a copy. I've also found it in FYE. But, make sure to check any record store, just in case. And even if they don't have it, they can usually order it for you, and it won't cost you any more than if they had it in the store.
As you can see, it's not very expensive, about half the price of a CD that just came out, and you can just tack it onto an order you're placing for other things. Doing some birthday or Christmas shopping? Why not spend the extra $11 for a brand new copy of Eternal Idol? Looking for a stocking stuffer for that rock fan in your family? The Eternal Idol will fit in most stockings! Or maybe you're buying some textbooks for school. What's an extra $11? It'll be nice to listen to once you're done cramming for that psychology exam!
So, what are you waiting for? Buy it now!
I have started the online petition! Please don't sign unless you already own or plan to purchase a copy of Eternal Idol. Sabbath fans, let's support them! Just go to The Help Eternal Idol Go Gold Petition and sign up.
The Eternal Idol is available on iTunes! Go download it!