Release date: September 28, 2004 in Europe - Mayan Records MYNCD030 (Sanctuary) Barcode: 5050361403021

Buy Now


8 tracks of previously unreleased Tony Iommi material featuring the singer Glenn Hughes is scheduled for release on 28th September 2004 on Sanctuary Records under the title “The 1996 DEP Sessions”.

Read the exclusive story behind the release here first!:

In 1996 Tony Iommi was writing for his solo album and looking around for singers who might do justice to his music.

Tony and Glenn Hughes had stayed in touch since the “7th Star” album and they arranged to meet, write and see what came up. These songs were recorded as a set of demos in Coventry and Birmingham in the autumn of 1996, the bulk of them at DEP Studios, owned by local band UB40.

The original players were Tony, Glenn (who sang and played bass), drummer Dave Holland and keyboard contributions by Don Airey, Geoff Nicholls and engineer Mike Exeter. No proper mixes were undertaken and both Tony and Glenn pursued other paths, although occasional conversations took place regarding the quality of the material and their possible release.

In the meantime a very poor quality bootleg CD became available on the web which was missing some of the tracks and made from a stolen cassette.

The tapes were then stored until early 2004 when Tony reviewed the multi-tracks in his home studio with a view to releasing them, and setting the record straight.

With new drums by Jimmy Copley (who had played on Tony’s “Iommi” album), Tony and the original engineer Mike Exeter then got down to mixing the CD, stripping the original performances back to basics and giving them a clean feel.

Everyone who heard the work in progress was amazed at what had been unearthed and in a meeting with his label, Sanctuary, Tony played some of the roughs to Cory Brennan and Merck Mercuriadis who both jumped at the chance to release the album.

As soon as Tony finishes headlining Ozzfest with Black Sabbath he’ll start recording his next solo album for a release in the Spring of 2005. In the meantime be prepared to be amazed that what was stored for eight years can sound this good.


Click the play button to listen.

1. Gone
2. From Another World

3. Don't You Tell Me

4. Don't Drag The River
5. Fine
6. Time is The Healer
7. I'm Not The Same Man
8. It Falls Through Me


Glenn Hughes (Vocals, Bass)
Tony Iommi (Guitars)
Don Airey (Keyboards)
Geoff Nicholls (Keyboards)
Jimmy Copeland (Drums)

Q&A with Tony Iommi & Glenn Hughes - September 2004

Why did "The 1996 DEP Sessions" remain unreleased until now?
A. Glenn/Tony

Was this originally intended to be a Black Sabbath album?
A. Tony/Glenn

Were you satisfied with the music at the time? How did the song writing come together?
A. Tony/Glenn

The style of "The 1996 DEP Sessions" is stripped-down, blues-oriented rock. Was this a natural approach given the style of Deep Purple during your (Glenn) tenure and the solo work you were doing around that time, and Tony's early influences and the early days of Black Sabbath when it was a blues-based band known as Earth?
A. Glenn/Tony

Did you have Don Airey and Geoff Nicholls in mind immediately to play keyboards? Describe the difference their contributions made to the project.
A. Glenn/Tony

You had both stayed in touch personally in the 10 years since the "Seventh Star" album. Had you two done anything musical together in that time, even dabbling in song writing?
A. Glenn/Tony

"Seventh Star" had a sleek, contemporary sound and feel at the time and has since been re-evaluated by many and referred to as an underrated album. The story about the record company is insistence at billing it as Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi is well known. Did that hurt the album's reception at the time because the name resulted in preconceived notions of what the music would or should be like? How do you look back on that album and compare it to the different musical direction taken on "The 1996 DEP Sessions"?
A. Tony/Glenn

Were there any musical ideas left over from "The 1996 DEP Sessions" that reappeared in some way on the 2000 album "Iommi" which featured a number of special guests?
A. Tony/Glenn

Are there any touring plans - either a full tour, a handful of performances or a one-off performance?
A. Tony/Glenn

Back to Top of Page Q10.
Are there plans for you both to record again in the future?
A. Tony/Glenn

Anything you would like to add?
A. Tony