Wednesday, September 15, 2004


When monumental musical talents collide, the result is magic. Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes offer proof in the form of the album The 1996 DEP Sessions set for release by Sanctuary Records on September 28, 2004. The album is being released under the banner "Iommi with Glenn Hughes". The 1996 DEP Sessions features eight electrifying songs recorded by these two legends. Iommi is the lead guitarist in Black Sabbath, the groundbreaking originators of pure heavy metal; he has led every lineup of the band. Iommi is one of the most influential and widely recognized guitarists in the history of rock music. Hughes was a member of Trapeze before achieving worldwide superstardom as the co-lead vocalist and bass guitarist in Deep Purple in the mid-1970s. He has enjoyed a prolific and diverse solo career.

The two friends had worked together a decade before on 1986's Seventh Star album, which the record company at the time credited to Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi for marketing purposes. The underrated Seventh Star certainly had its highlights, but it featured a then-contemporary 1980s sound. The 1996 DEP Sessions has a much grittier, forceful, timeless sound.
The eight tracks on 'The 1996 DEP Sessions' are: "Gone," "From Another World," "Don't You Tell Me," "Don't Drag The River," "Fine," "Time Is The Healer," "I'm Not The Same Man" and "It Falls Through Me." The story of how this project came together began when Iommi was working on a solo album and he asked Hughes to collaborate with him as a singer and songwriter. They worked on demos and recording for most of them commenced at DEP Studios in Birmingham, England. DEP is a renowned facility owned by the British reggae band UB40. Among those joining in were joined by keyboardists Don Airey (Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Deep Purple) and Geoff Nicholls (who played on many Black Sabbath albums in the 1980s as well as 'Seventh Star').

No mixing was done at the time and Iommi and Hughes pursued other projects. They still kept in touch personally and occasionally brought up the subject of finishing and releasing those songs recorded in 1996. Unfortunately, a poor-quality bootleg CD made from an incomplete cassette surfaced. Earlier this year, Iommi reviewed the tapes at his home studio with the idea of completing them and releasing the songs so that fans could enjoy this music in finished form. New drum tracks were recorded by Jimmy Copley, who played on Iommi's acclaimed, all-star-laden 2000 solo album Iommi. Original engineer Mike Exeter and Iommi mixed the 1996 tracks and stripped them down to the basics to help add to the clean, raw feel.