Feature: Albums that time forgot – IOMMI – Fused (Tony Iommi/Glenn Hughes)

IOMMI - Fused (Tony Iommi/Glenn Hughes)

Sanctuary [2005]

In 2005 Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes collaborated on the album ‘Fused’.  It was Iommi’s second solo album.  The pair had worked together on ‘Seventh Star’ in 1986,  with drummer Kenny Aronoff, and this was originally destined to be Iommi’s debut solo album.  Hughes then appeared briefly on tour with Black Sabbath. Fused came together off the back of the so-called Dep sessions, named after a Midlands studio and recorded in 1996 (later released in 2004).

GRTR! Reviewer Joe Geesin described Fused: “riffs (that) rattle your bowels from the depths of hell…”  The opener ‘Dopamine’ is just one of those riffs, if not your bowels your dentures will be misplaced.  A slippery stop-start Iommi riff is topped by a typically fine Hughes vocal.

‘Wasted Again’ continues the format, and ‘Saviour Of The Real’,  ‘Resolution Song’ and ‘The Spell’ perhaps closer to the Sabs in spirit.  That’s where any similarities end because overall the album is melodic heavy rock with well structured songs, another aspect commented on by Joe in his review, and epitomised by ‘What You’re Living For’ and ‘Face Your Fear’.  ‘Deep Inside A Shell’ shows contrast and is the closest to a ballad with echoes even of prime-time Oasis.

The closing song ‘I Go Insane’ is a particular favourite of Glenn Hughes and may even point the way to the longer excursions of his next big project Black Country Communion.  On the album Iommi and Hughes are joined by drummer Kenny Aronoff and keyboards player (and producer) Bob Marlette.

At the time of the release three bonus tracks were released and available in Japan, and via iTunes and Rolling Stone respectively.

I chatted to Glenn in October 2006 and asked him about the album and why it failed to make a bigger impact.

“Well Sanctuary dropped the ball. We got great reviews all over the world but zero tour promotion. I met Sharon Osbourne on a plane a year ago when the album came out and she said that even Kelly (with Sharon behind her) couldn’t get tour support.

Tony is probably more upset than I am because he desperately wanted to go out and tour that album. In two years time, Tony will own that record and I’m sure it will come out again and still sound good.”

I’m not aware that – in spite of regular touring in the last decade – Glenn Hughes has ever included anything off the album in his setlist.  Our 2006 chat preceded another UK tour: “I’m only going to concentrate on my own solo material and not anything with Gary Moore or HTP…I was thinking about playing ‘Dopamine’ but decided not to at the last second.”

Later – in an interview recorded in October 2016 – he mentioned also that about the time of album release – 2005 – Black Sabbath were reforming and so took the attention away from what was essentially a side project.  In fact history would repeat itself with another of Hughes’ bands Black Country Communion which went on hiatus in 2012 due to Joe Bonamassa’s solo career.

The album not only reinforces Iommi – still relevant as mega riff merchant in the millennium – but is also testimony to Glenn Hughes uncanny ability to bring gloss and greatness to any project.

We can only reiterate Joe Geesin’s comments “Overall an excellent album full of modern metal. A touch of Sabbath to be expected but it’s a far far cry from the classics of old. The younger generation will love this for sure.”

In this interview edit, recorded in October 2016 for Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Glenn Hughes chats about ‘Fused’

Text © 2006-2020 David Randall.  All rights reserved.

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 March 2021.

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