Tony Martin’s birthday
Originally shared by Mario Solis
Anthony Philip Harford (born 19 April 1957), better known by his stage name Tony Martin, is a heavy metal vocalist, best known for his time fronting Black Sabbath, initially from 1987 to 1991 and again from 1993 to 1997. Martin was the band’s second longest serving vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne. He has since been involved in many other projects (such as M3, Misha Calvin, The Cage, Giuntini Project, and Phenomena).
Despite performing almost exclusively as a vocalist, Martin is a multi-instrumentalist, stating in an interview that he plays guitar, bass, drums, violin, keyboards, harmonica, bagpipes, and pan pipes. On his 2005 solo album Scream, Martin performed vocals, bass, drums, violin and additional guitar parts.
Martin had been contacted by Black Sabbath to replace Glenn Hughes the year previous. He secured his place in the band after a successful audition singing the track „The Shining”. Before the release of the new album, Black Sabbath accepted an offer to play six shows at Sun City, South Africa during the apartheid era. During this period Geezer Butler was coerced into rejoining the band with Bev Bevan remaining on drums. The band was supposed to play a music festival in Plymouth on 18 July, but Butler backed out at the last minute but Martin and Sabbath had been in rehearsals on 14–16 July in preparation.
Black Sabbath released Headless Cross in April 1989, and this album was again ignored by contemporary reviewers. Eventually, Allmusic would give the album four stars, calling Headless Cross „the finest non-Ozzy or Dio Black Sabbath album”. Anchored by the number 62 charting single „Headless Cross”, the album reached number 31 on the UK charts, and number 115 in the US. Queen guitarist Brian May, a good friend of Iommi’s, played a guest solo on the song „When Death Calls”. Black Sabbath were told by Gloria Butler that Geezer was going to join the band again. The band waited until April 89 for Butler, but Geezer instead went and joined Ozzy Osbourne’s band. Following the album’s release, the band added touring bassist Neil Murray, formerly of Whitesnake, Gary Moore’s backing band, and Vow Wow.