GUEST REVIEW: Black Sabbath – Cross Purposes ~ Live (1995) Part Two – the VHS

BLACK SABBATH – Cross Purposes ~ Live (1995 IRS CD/VHS set)
Part Two: the VHS video by Harrison Kopp

As Mike’s VCR is currently stored away, he will be joined by Harrison, who was naughty and downloaded a 720p copy of the show when someone had it up on YouTube, and therefore will be reviewing the video half of this box set.




The video version is a great snapshot of the band at this period. The quality is quite good for a VHS, only betraying its origins with any large expanses of black shown. It also features some innovative action shots to capture the band, which is much appreciated as, although Geezer is still head banging away as usual, Bobby generally fades into the background and, as Mike has pointed out in other reviews, Tony Martin’s frontman-ship involves either singing up front or shaking his thinning hair by the drum riser.  As for Tony Iommi? Well he’s still the epitome of theatrical guitar playing.

The lighting is done well also, although the red occasionally gives the skin an overly pink tone. And for the first time, Geoff Nicholls is visible in the background of some shots, doing keyboards and backing vocals.

Puzzlingly, there is also a black and white filter used on a couple shots here and there, that really isn’t necessary. Those preceding niggles however, were only small nit-picks of a thoroughly enjoyable show to watch.

There are also three songs included on the video that aren’t on the CD and will be therefore be reviewed here. The first is fairly early in the set and is “Mob Rules”. Tony powers through verse after verse without fail. Although it inevitably falls short of the Dio renditions, it still deserved a place on the disc.

“Anno Mundi” is next. This is easily the best of the three. Tony Martin sings his heart out in an amazing performance of the only song from Tyr. This easily should have been on the disc as well.  (They all should have.)  On a side note, it’s really nice to see audience members head-banging and singing along to these Martin-era songs.  Last of these is a decent rendition of “Neon Knights” that just can’t compete with Dio’s versions. A couple subtle melody changes here and there don’t help it either.

Still, despite a couple small missteps:

4.5/5 stars, and Tony martin’s finest hour with Sabbath.



  1. Maybe I was a bit too harsh on the two Dio tracks. Oh well, the curse of the writer

    Also, when I wrote this I looked at the two Past Lives reviews for length, hence the fairly succinct piece here. Then yesterday I read your gargantuan review and realised I could of made this a little longer. I’m still happy with it though.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Good Job Man….
      It doesn’t matter if the article is long or short. It’s whats written is the important thing….
      Interesting era of Sabbath that I enjoyed reading about…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yeah man, Deke is right — length is subjective. Rock journalist Mitch Lafon is always telling me I am way too long winded and he is right! What I do isn’t really reviewing when I get into the long ones. It’s more of an album feature. But shorter reviews are something I need more of!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to use funny quotes on my mix CDs and tapes, from movies or TV shows. I used to have to download them from soundboard sites. Now I just find the scenes on youtube!

      I hope my Sausagefest tapes this year are good, I’m running out of American Dad clips. But THIS one is going in from Family Guy.


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