July 11, 2005 - UK & Europe [Santuary Records/Sony BMG]
July 12, 2005 - USA [Sanctuary Records]
July 21, 2005 - Japan [JVC]
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Tony Iommi (Guitars)
Glenn Hughes (Vocals, Bass Guitar)
Kenny Aronoff (Drums)
Bob Marlette (Keyboards)
Produced by: BOB MARLETTE
Engineered By: MIKE EXETER
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Tony Iommi, the legendary Black Sabbath guitarist, will release his new album, "Fused", on July 12th, 2005, via Sanctuary Records. This will be Iommi's third solo album. Joining Iommi on "Fused" is former Deep Purple vocalist/bass guitarist GLENN HUGHES and former John Mellencamp drummer Kenny Aronoff, who has also played sessions with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Lynyrd Skynyrd and countless others. The trio will hit the road to promote "Fused" later this year after Black Sabbath finishes headlining the 10th anniversary Ozzfest tour.
Iommi has worked with both Hughes and Aronoff in the past. Hughes is a longtime friend who sang on the 1986 Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi album, Seventh Star. In 2004, previously unreleased songs they had collaborated on eight years earlier were completed and released by Sanctuary as The 1996 DEP Sessions. Aronoff played drums on the song "Black Oblivion" on Iommi's self-titled 2000 solo album, which was loaded with all-star guest appearances. "Fused" was produced by Bob Marlette, who also manned the studio boards for Iommi.
"I put some ideas for four or five tracks down about three years ago, but I hadn't written them specifically with Glenn in mind," Iommi says. "After The 1996 DEP Sessions was finished last year, I said to my manager that I should try Glenn on my solo album. Glenn came over to England and we did a trial run writing more material and it was unbelievable. His enthusiasm is amazing. He is so full of energy and great song ideas."
"The ideal thing for me is to work with collaborators. I can come in with riffs until the cows come home, and I do that all the time. I like to do it that way and then build the song with somebody else." Iommi and Hughes tend to write quickly when they settle in. Once the basic song ideas were written for this new album, Hughes worked on overall melodies and lyrics. The songs were in place, but a drummer was needed to tie it all together. Iommi was eager to work with Aronoff again and had him in mind from the beginning. The highly respected skins-basher was thrilled about the invitation, especially when Iommi said he wanted to tour to promote "Fused".
"I definitely knew that for my next album I wasn't going to use a lot special guests again. I wanted to use just one singer, and I also wanted it to be more like a band this time. The idea was to go into the studio with Glenn and Kenny play everything live. It was great. I really enjoyed doing it that way," says Iommi. "That was the original way you used to record, and that was the only way I knew how to record for a long time. Only a few years ago did I start recording the other way, by building up and layering tracks. By playing live in the studio, you can hear exactly how the songs are going to sound and whether they work."
These new songs most definitely work, and they rage with the same fire and intensity that mark Iommi's best. There is nothing quite like the sound of a power trio, because there can be no weak links -- each musician's efforts stand out. There is no place to hide. Iommi, Hughes and Aronoff feed off each other, whether it's the concise punch of "Dopamine" and "What You're Living For" or the fluid twists and turns in the nine-minute epic "I Go Insane."
Iommi's lethal guitar crunch leads the charge. Hughes truly pushes himself to the edge and adjusts his voice to fit the overall direction of each song while simultaneously propelling the rhythm with his pounding bass guitar. The volcanic thunder Aronoff unleashes from his drums sounds like nothing he has done before. Marlette's sparkling, crisp production results in a hard-hitting, modern, in-your-face sound.
"Bob is a fantastic producer. He also played a few keyboard parts on this album because he wanted to get his hands in there!" laughs Iommi. Marlette's major role as the producer was to provide that extra, objective pair of ears and determine when a song was finished. He also judged Iommi's solos and usually found what he looking for after four or five takes. However, Iommi often wanted to lay down more solos with the purpose of topping himself with each pass.
"I tend to keep trying solos until I get to where I say, 'Oh yeah, I really like that one.' It's not often I say that, but you're always trying to get that one you're happy with," he says. "Sometimes it is difficult working with a producer when you have been a producer yourself, but it's good to compare ideas. To get the best end result you do whatever it takes."
Iommi's excitement about "Fused" is at a fever pitch and he cannot wait to tour with Hughes and Aronoff. "In addition to playing material from this album, we'll probably do a couple of tracks from The 1996 DEP Sessions and a few Sabbath songs too," he says.