Contact Us

How Black Sabbath’s Fortunes Turned – Again – in the ’90s

Subscribe to 92.9 Jack FM on

Cross Purposes arrived on Jan. 31, 1994 during a period of sustained turbulence for Black Sabbath. In fact, the inability to retain a lead singer long enough to reclaim their place among metal’s leading bands had become something of a tragicomedy of errors.

The trend began, of course, with Black Sabbath’s turn-of-the-’80s their separation from original singer Ozzy Osbourne, who’d gone on to become a proven solo star. Next came the arrival, and inevitable departure, of Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Ray Gillen, Glenn Hughes and Tony Martin. The early ’90s, however, looked more promising for Black Sabbath, as resilient guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler made peace with Dio and drummer Vinnie Appice to complete a Mob Rules-era reunion for 1992’s Dehumanizer.

Sabbath scored their first Top 50 U.S. album since 1983. But then Iommi and Geezer agreed to support Osbourne through a series of dates billed as his farewell concerts – though, obviously, Ozzy changed his mind – and Dio quit once more. After that, Judas Priest‘s Rob Halford filled in, and then Iommi and Butler turned to a familiar face in the ever-reliable (and infinitely patient) Tony Martin. This new lineup was rounded out by erstwhile Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli in time for the Cross Purposes sessions.

The result, despite all of this renewed turmoil, was a perfectly respectable Black Sabbath album, bearing strong material in the likes of “Cross of Thorns,” “Dying for Love” and “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.” However, it ultimately lacked the absolute home-run track necessary to build on the ever-so-brief momentum of Dehumanizer. Instead, Cross Purposes met with little support, barely scratching its way into the Billboard charts at No. 122 as Black Sabbath gamely hit the road for select dates in America and the UK.

Change was still in the air. Rondinelli subsequently tendered his resignation, only to be replaced in a pinch by original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward. A disillusioned Geezer soon followed, leaving Iommi as Sabbath’s lone remaining founding member – just as he had been throughout the band’s late ’80s slump.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Black Sabbath would limp through 1995’s Forbidden, and then largely go silent. That is, until 2013 when Ozzy Osbourne’s return finally led to the smash-hit 13.

Black Sabbath Albums Ranked Worst to Best

Next: Black Sabbath Lineup Changes

Best of Jack FM

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://929jackfm.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Freeloaders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Freeloaders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.