Black Sabbath and Deep Purple had a de facto merger in 1983 on the Sab album, Born Again, a disc featuring Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward with Purp frontman Ian Gillan. Over the decades it’s become a cult fave, and this new charity album celebrates the pairing.
To mark the event, Iommi and Gillan reunited for two new tracks plus adding a slew of tracks from their various other projects, including the current Deep Purple with Steve Morse on guitar, Iommi’s work with ex-Purp bassist Glenn Hughes, and various side projects. There’s even a version of the new Purple with the late Ronnie James Dio singing “Smoke On The Water” – almost worth the price of admission alone.
The album kicks off with “Out Of My Mind,” a recent Iommi/Gillan collaboration that is a classic metal stomper and gets you in the proper frame of mind, particularly after Tony’s bluesy, slowburn solo. Next is “Zero The Hero,” a solid track from Born Again, though at the time, Sabbath was lost in the metal revival triggered by hot ’80s bands from Iron Maiden to Judas Priest to AC/DC.
“Trashed” is a fast cruncher from the 2006 Gillan’s Inn, again featuring a muscular Iommi lead. The second disc kicks off with the duo’s other recent partnership on “Holy Water,” a metal anthem propelled by the late Jon Lord’s Hammond organ and a soaring guitar solo.
WhoCares isn’t essential metal, but if you enjoy the big metal family of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple and their various interminglings, you’ll enjoy it. Plus, it’s for a good cause, as proceeds from its sales go to rebuilding a music school in Armenia.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’13 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.