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TONY MARTIN

Members

Studio Session Members

Biography

BLACK SABBATH vocalist, known for his characteristic classic Rock vocal and impressive range. Prior to joining BLACK SABBATH for their 1987 'Eternal Idol' album, and re-recording RAY GILLEN's vocal parts in the process, Martin had journeyed through a succession of bands including ORION, THE ALLIANCE and had even auditioned for TOBRUK. Post 'Eternal Idol' the singer worked with guitarist JOHN SYKES on his BLUE MURDER project. Whilst Sykes later went with a completely different band unit, one of Martin's tracks 'Valley Of The Kings' emerged on the BLUE MURDER debut.

Tony Martin cut a solo album, 1992's 'Back Where I Belong' for Polydor Records, unreleased in Britain, while BLACK SABBATH reunited with vocalist Ronnie James Dio for their 'Dehumanizer' album. Martin's solo opus boasted contributions from SAXON and GTR drummer Nigel Glockler, ex-WHITESNAKE and BLACK SABBATH bassist Neil Murray, QUEEN guitarist BRIAN MAY, bassist Lawrence Cottle, who sessioned on BLACK SABBATH's 'Headless Cross' album, and BLACK SABBATH keyboard player Geoff Nicholls. The 'Jerusalem' track is a BLACK SABBATH song from the 'Tyr' album.

The same year, to promote the record, Martin joined refugee BLACK SABBATH colleagues drummer COZY POWELL and bassist Neil Murray together with guitar whizz kid MARIO PARGA to form TONY MARTIN & FRIENDS for a European tour aimed at jointly promoting 'Back Where I Belong' and Powell's 'The Drums Are Back' opus.

Martin seemingly joined up with guitarist MISHA CALVIN contributing lead vocals to his 1993 'Evolution' and subsequent 1995 'Evolution II' albums. However, these were in fact archive tapes dating back to his days with THE ALLIANCE.

The singer officially rejoined BLACK SABBATH for their 'Cross Purposes' album. As was usual with BLACK SABBATH though, all was not as it seemed. Martin had in fact been invited back into the band in the midst of the Dio 'Dehumanizer' sessions, even re-recording vocals for album tracks. Due to Martin's reinstatement into the group Polydor Records, handling his 'Back where I Belong' solo outing, only saw fit to issue the album in Germany and Japan. Warner Bros. insisted upon Dio's return though and Martin exited once more. This would not be before Martin had already commenced work on 'Cross Purposes' material though. After his appearance on 'Cross Purposes Live' CD / video package and the 'Forbidden' album and world tour though, by late 1996 Martin was once more ousted in favour of original BLACK SABBATH frontman OZZY OSBOURNE.

Martin re-emerged in 1999 with a fresh act THE CAGE in collaboration with ex-RAINBOW keyboard player DON AIREY and members of Italian Heavy Metal act CROSSBONES. This band eventually emerged re-titled MOLLO/MARTIN.

By mid 2001 Martin, alongside his former BLACK SABBATH colleague bassist Neil Murray, had joined American act RONDINELLI, led incidentally by another erstwhile BLACK SABBATH man drummer Bobby Rondinelli. The singer would also deputise on the live front for BAILEY'S COMET on a UK set of dates. By March of 2003 Martin revealed he was to front the M3 project a band comprising former WHITESNAKE members MICKY MOODY, BERNIE MARSDEN and his erstwhile BLACK SABBATH colleague bass player Neil Murray. The singer would also announce that he had set to work on a trilogy solo album entitled 'Clean, Mean Scream'.

In mid 2004 Martin was to be involved as a feature vocalist with the band WHOLE LOTTA METAL, a seasoned cast of British Metal musicians assembled for a touring cast of cover versions. Joining him on vocals would be the PERSIAN RISK and KROKUS credited Carl Sentance and ex-TOKYO ROSE frontman Matt Moreton. The remainder of the band comprised of guitarist Dave Bishop, citing credits with SABBAT, STRANGER and LOUD MAN, second guitarist Andy Shortland from DR. AND THE MEDICS, bass player Rich Lynn, keyboard player Simon Wright and drummer Karl Smalley.

Late June found Martin in Italy, guesting for ex-SAVOY BROWN man Nathaniel Peterson's Blues Rockers TWIN DRAGONS. The singer also donated his talents to Tom Galley's 2004 PHENOMENA opus 'Psychofantasy' and would be working up solo material with guitarist son Giusseppe. In November the singer revealed his solo album was set to include archive material recorded with COZY POWELL and BLACK SABBATH keyboard player Geoff Nicholls. It would also be learnt that Martin had tested the waters with legendary Swedish Doom merchants CANDLEMASS on some demo recordings, although this proposed union had not worked out.

In December Martin set 'Scream' as the title of his solo record, revealing it was to include two archive tracks, 'Raising Hell' and 'Wings Of Thunder', featuring COZY POWELL. Strangely, the official press statement claimed these songs were COZY POWELL's HAMMER tracks whereas in fact they were BLACK SABBATH outtakes from the 'Tyr' and 'Headless Cross' albums. 'Scream', featuring the singer's youngest son Joe Harford on guitar and BLACK SABBATH keyboard player Geoff Nicholls, was signed to the German MTM label in September with Avalon Marquee Records taking the album on for Japan. GEEZER guitarist Pedro Howse also featured a solo on the track 'Bitter Sweet'.

Tour dates across Europe saw Martin heading up a band comprising guitarists Joe Harford and Italian guitarist Fabio Cerrone, former TEMPLE OF GROOVE, GILLAM and BAILEY'S COMET bassist Jamie Mallander, BLACK SABBATH keyboard player Geoff Nicholls and Danny Needham on drums. On June 23rd Martin and Nicholls joined HELLOWEEN onstage at the Balingen 'Bang Your Head' festival for a version of BLACK SABBATH's 'Headless Cross'.

For Russian concerts in November Martin drafted the EMPIRE, RAZORBACK, ex-MAJESTY and VANIZE credited guitarist Rolf Munkes into his live band. Martin joined CANDLEMASS onstage for their 20th anniversary concert at Stockholm's Kolingsborg on March 31st, performing the encore 'Witches'.

In October 2008 Tony Martin tapped Tom Galley of PHENOMENA repute to produce his next solo album 'Book Of Shadows'.

In mid 2009 Tony Martin, guitarist Rolf Munkes, bassist Jamie Mallender and keyboard player Geoff Nicholls and drummer Danny Needham announced the formation of HEADLESS CROSS. This new band was originally set to tour the USA billed as a Tony Martin solo band performing tracks from BLACK SABBATH's 1989's 'Headless Cross' album, but upon recommendation from promoters adopted the title of the famous album for the project.

Dates were scheduled, then postponed. A fresh set of concerts was announced in July and within three days were then finally cancelled, the promoters citing "irreconcilable differences". Martin was quick to reply, stating the reasoning given was "the biggest load of bullocks!!!"

Garry Sharpe-Young

 

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