Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan Shares Honest Opinion on His Black Sabbath Album, Opens Up What Working with Them Was Really Like

Recently, Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan visited the Rock FM radio where he reflected on various aspects of his and his band’s career. One of the things they touched upon was his tenure in Black Sabbath where he joined Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward for alum “Born Again.” Eventually, the group went on tour with Bev Bevan replacing Ward on the drums. When Gillan was asked about Sabbath and whether he actually broke his copies of the poorly-mixed record, he said (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“I didn’t break it; I threw it out of the window of my car [laughs]. Look, I was disappointed, I didn’t have the mentality of all the guys in Black Sabbath. I loved it, I had a fantastic year. It was insane. But, when we finished the mixes — I still have a cassette of the monitor mixes, and it sounds fantastic — and that’s the last thing I heard in the recording studio.

“When I heard the album, I went, ‘What is this?’ The bass rumble was a bit too much for me. There’s a famous line in a famous movie called ‘This is Spinal Tap’, that has two or three references to Black Sabbath in it.”

“And I don’t know where these might have come from [laughs], but one of them was, ‘This album is unplayable on American radio’, because of the bass end. And so it was. Unplayable.”

Black Sabbath - Live in Worcester 1983. 11. 04. (Full)

“I was disappointed in the final production mix. I don’t know what happened between the studio and the factory. But something happened, so that was a disappointment.”

“Having said that, I loved some of the songs on there, and ‘Trashed’ is one of my favorite rock ‘n’ roll songs of all time. Even more so because it’s a completely true story. [laughs]”

Check out these other articles:

The “Born Again” album wasn’t exactly regarded as the band’s best work. However, Aside from Gillan, other Sabbath members recalled that the record actually had some pretty great tunes which were ultimately ruined by its poor mix.

Additionally, not many people thought that Ian Gillan was a good pick for the band. Nonetheless, it seems that, in the internet era, the album is finally getting some positive reactions from fans.

Photos: Carl Lender (Tony Iommi at the New Haven Coliseum), Joan Sorolla (Ian Gillan in Barcelona)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

    View all posts