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Classic Vinyl: Black Sabbath, “Born Again” [AUDIO]

Black Sabbath - Born AgainSam Talkington has shown us a lot of cool album covers since we started collecting Classic Vinyls, so now it’s time for an ugly one. Steve Joule is the one responsible for the horrendous album cover of Black Sabbath’s “Born Again”, the band’s 11th studio album released in 1983.

According to Steve Joule, he made the cover art as ridiculous as possible on purpose so he wouldn’t lose his job creating sleeve for Ozzy Ozzbourne, who was no longer with Black Sabbath.

As I didn’t want to lose my gig with the Osbourne’s I thought the best thing to do would be to put some ridiculous and obvious designs down on paper, submit them and then get the beers in with the rejection fee, but oh no, life ain’t that easy. In all I think there were four rough ideas that were given to the management and band to peruse (unfortunately I no longer have the roughs as I would love to see just how bad the other three were as sadly my booze and drug addled brain no longer remembers that far back), anyway one of the ideas was of course the baby and the first image of a baby that I found was from the front cover of a 1968 magazine called ‘Mind Alive’ that my parents has bought me as a child in order to further my education, so in reality I say blame my parents for the whole sorry mess. I then took some black and white photocopies of the image (the picture is credited to ‘Rizzoli Press’) that I overexposed, stuck the horns, nails, fangs into the equation, used the most outrageous colour combination that acid could buy, bastardised a bit of the Olde English typeface and sat back, shook my head and chuckled.

Born Again Comparison

Although “Born Again” was slammed by critics, the continues to be one of the Black Sabbath fan favorites.  The album cover, not so much.  In fact, former Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan told the press that he vomited when he first saw it.  Still, “Born Again” was a commercial success and became the highest charting Black Sabbath album in the UK since “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.”  Sam Talkington gives us more details on what made this album so successful, despite the cover being ugly as hell.

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