• Studio Day
  • Room 5
  • Room 10
  • Room 1
  • console
  • studio night
  • Arty recording
  • Arty recording
  • Live room
  • Equipment
  • studio live room
  • studio centre
  • control room
  • behind desk
  • Room 7
  • Snug

Monthly archives: July, 2013

Made in Monnow – Black Sabbath Month… Heaven and Hell

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath Month

Heaven and Hell

Back in 2010 following singer Ronnie James Dio’s death, Heaven and Hell‘s planned tour was cancelled, and the three remaining members of the performed a tribute to Dio at the High Voltage Festival on 24 July 2010 with three guest vocalists: former Black Sabbath andDeep Purple vocalist Glenn Hughes, Norwegian singer Jørn Lande of Masterplan and former Pantera and Down vocalist Phil Anselmo.

‘Heaven and Hell’ were the members of the Dio Black Sabbath era, reuniting in 2005 after their years together in 1980 to 1982, and again from 1991 to 1992 as Black Sabbath.

You can see ‘Die Young’ here – click the image

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 18.42.39

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath…Monnow in ‘The Iron Man’ and ‘For Fact’s Sake’

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath…Monnow in ‘The Iron Man’ and ‘For Fact’s Sake’

Monnow is featured in musical literature dotted around, but in regards to Sabbath and the Ozzy days, both Tony Iommi and Bob Daisley (from the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman albums with Ozzy) have mentioned Monnow very kindly in their memoirs.

In 2011 Tony Iommi wrote and released his much anticipated autobiography. Monnow Valley Studio and Monmouth get a good few mentions – it’s nice to know after he’s popping in and in the last five decades we’ve made it into the book.

Get a copy now; it’s a fascinating read for all fans of Black Sabbath and music in general. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Iron-Man-Journey-Through-Sabbath/dp/0857201514

Black Sabbath.Tony Iommi.Iron Man.book cover.US.08-11

Bob Daisley’s memoir – ‘For Fact’s Sake’ is a more detailed look at the Blizzard/Diary and Randy Rhoads/Ozzy era, with a large focus on the writing process of the albums that took place here at Monnow. It is due for release this coming year – check his website for full details http://www.bobdaisley.com

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath – Rehearsals for Ozzfest

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath… 2005 Rehearsals for Ozzfest

Back once again to rehearse, have some home cooked food and stay together as a band ready for 2005’s Ozzfest in Donnington. This visit by the whole band was made whilst current owner Jo Riou was here at Monnow, seeing the whole band pass through the history of every owner at the studio.
Members of staff were given tickets to the show at Donnington. One of the guitar techs even brought some old photos of the boys from their early days at Monnow, featuring Ozzy on the upstairs landing in his boots and birthday suit…. It was quite the flash back (ahem).

Prior to Donnington they did a quick warm up gig in Aylesbury Civic Centre, a bizzarely small venue for the rock legends, but hugely successful all the same. Read the report here

Then they were on to Donnington. Here’s the fruit of their labours – the whole concert!

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 13.03.51Black Sabbath at Donnington for Ozzfest. Click the image to view the video.

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath…Tony Iommi ‘Fused’

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath…Tony Iommi ‘Fused’



Pioneering guitarist Tony Iommi, the only member to be always consistent throughout the life of Black Sabbath, wasequally consistent in his relationship with Monnow too – he came here to record his own solo album, ‘Fused’ in 2004. Recorded with the mid-80s Black Sabbath front man Glenn Hughes, and produced by Bob Marlette, it also featured Marlette on keys and bass, and drummer Kenny Arnoff. Kenny left us his drumsticks too as a lovely memento too.

Track listing
1. “Dopamine” – 4:10
2. “Wasted Again” – 3:56
3. “Saviour of the Real” – 4:07
4. “Resolution Song” – 4:56
5. “Grace” – 5:13
6. “Deep Inside a Shell” – 3:42
7. “What You’re Living For” – 4:37
8. “Face Your Fear” – 4:36
9. “The Spell” – 4:57
10. “I Go Insane” – 9:13
Bonus tracks

Let It Down Easy (Japan bonus track)
The Innocence (iTunes bonus track)
Slip Away (Real.com bonus track)

Buy the album here; https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fused/id289310783

Find Iommi here; http://www.iommi.com

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath…Rehearsals and Heart Attacks of ’98

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath Month

Rehearsals and Heart Attacks of ’98

Black Sabbath’s next visit came in May 1998 prior to their reunion tour – over twenty years after their first visit as the original line up. Following two successful shows in Birmingham in 1997, the band decamped to rehearse for Ozzfest and the upcoming American tour as the original four again; Iommi, Osbourne, Butler and Ward.

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 11.58.21Here are the original four in October 1998 on Letterman playing ‘Paranoid. Click on the image for the video.

In an interview with Vintage Guitar below from 1999, Butler and Iommi explain how Monnow and its setting was important to the band, their beginnings and their early memories together – but also how things didn’t go to plan in the excitement…

“The house you rehearsed in, was that the same one you worked in when the band started?

Tony Iommi: That house [in Monmouth in Wales], it was where we used to rehearse when we first started. We went back and it was like going back to the beginning, to the same place we started.

Did it feel as if no time had been lost?

TI: It was really good. We took time and all lived together in the house and just got familiar again. We had a laugh, joked, and had food. Then we started playing again and it was great because it all fitted in.”

What was the first song you played?

Iommi and Butler; [simultaneously]: “War Pigs.”

Did the music naturally come back or did you have to work out any of the original parts?

GB: It was all natural, really. We hadn’t played together with Bill on a full set for 18 or 20 years from the original days. He had the most difficult job, so we had to go over stuff with Bill again just to make sure that he was alright with it.

What happened to Bill after the shows in Birmingham? There were reports he suffered a heart attack.

TI: We had done the two shows and recorded them, and that was fine. Then we were due to headline some European festivals. So we got back together in the house in Monmouth and started rehearsing. On the second day he had a heart attack.
GB: Because he was so shocked he got it right (laughs)!
TI: I’ll tell you, we were all shocked! Then we opened our mouths and said, “Oh, blimy. It’s going quicker than we expected!” And of course, the next thing, Bill had a bloody heart attack. We thought it was all going too good.

Read the full interview here; http://www.vintageguitar.com/2871/tony-iommi-and-geezer-butler/

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath; The Iommi Band

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath

1995 – The Iommi Band


In 1995, Tony Iommi and his band came and recorded, amongst other things,  a track for ‘Twang! -A Tribute to Hank Marvin & The Shadows’ released by Panagea Records on October 29th 1996. The record included some absolutely huge names, and Iommi chose ‘Wonderful Land’ to showcase his world-class playing.

The Iommi line up this time round included, Bev Bevan on drums, Don Airey on keyboards, Neil Murray on bass and Gordon Giltrap on acoustic guitar. It was produced and engineered by Kit Woolven.



1. Apache (Ritchie Blackmore)

2. F.B.I. (Brian May)

3. Wonderful Land (Tony Iommi)

4. The Savage (Steve Stevens)

5. The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt (Hank Marvin) (live)

6. Midnight (Peter Green)

7. Spring Is Nearly Here (Neil Young/Randy Bachman)

8. Atlantis (Mark Knopfler)

9. The Frightened City (Peter Frampton)

10. Dance On (Keith Urban/Stewart Copeland)

11. Stingray (Andy Summers)

12. The Stranger (Bela Fleck And The Flecktones)

Buy the album here; http://www.amazon.com/Twang-Tribute-Hank-Marvin-Shadows/dp/B00004S9AX

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath ‘Cross of Thorns’

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath – Cross of Thorns

Let’s kick things off this week with some music – ‘Cross of Thorns’ from Sabbath’s album, ‘Cross Purposes’ recorded here in 1993. Click the picture to listen to the track.


Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath, ‘Cross Purposes’

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath – Cross Purposes


To record their album ‘Cross Purposes’, Black Sabbath returned to us in 1993. ‘Cross Purposes’ was Sabbath’s 17th studio album – an impressive feat whilst most bands struggle to make it past that difficult third album without imploding. Ever changing, this Sabbath album line up was the constant Tony Iommi, along with Butler (not seen again on an album until their 2013 album, ‘13’) with Tony Martin and Bobby Rondinelli on vocals and drums respectively.

Buy the album here; http://www.amazon.com/Cross-Purposes-Black-Sabbath/dp/B000008DHS


Track Listing

1. “I Witness” 4:56
2. “Cross of Thorns” 4:32
3. “Psychophobia” 3:15
4. “Virtual Death” 5:49
5. “Immaculate Deception” 4:15
6. “Dying for Love” 5:53
7. “Back to Eden” 3:57
8. “Hand That Rocks the Cradle” 4:30
9. “Cardinal Sin” 4:21
10. “Evil Eye” 5:58
Japanese edition bonus track
11. “What’s the Use?”

Monnow Valley Studio Competition – Full Details and Terms and conditions

Would you like to win 2 days in the same studio used by Queen, Black Sabbath, Stereophonics, Led Zeppelin, Joss Stone, Biffy Clyro and many, many more? 
Would you like to stay in the same bedrooms as Ozzy Osbourne, Kelly Jones or Cerys Mathews?

The Prize – 2 days recording time (to track &/or mix) and one night’s accommodation at Monnow Valley Studio complete with in-house engineer.
Extra days are available for less than half price (from £299) for the winner. The prize is worth over £2000.

Monnow Valley Studio are looking to grow our online presence (we figured the only ‘vintage’ aspect about us should be our equipment!), so we’re using the power of social media for this competition… We promise not to spam you as a result, but you’ll be the first to hear about any future special offers, downtime & get exclusives on who’s recording with us.

To enter simply;


  • Anyone can enter, and the price can be given as a gift – so encourage your friends and family to enter too.
Terms and Conditions
  • An ‘entry’ is termed as; liking our Monnow Valley Studio Facebook page, commenting on the featured post with the name of a band that has recorded at Monnow Valley and sharing the featured posts. You must do all three in order to enter.
  • The winner will be picked at random from a lucky dip. The names of all entrants will be placed in the lucky dip, the first name picked will win the prize. The name will be picked by an owner of Monnow Valley Studio and verified by another member of staff.
  • If you have ‘Liked’ the Facebook page prior to the competition entry, you do not need to ‘Unlike’ and then “Like’ the page again.
  • This cannot be exchanged for a cash equivalent
  • Names will only be entered once, but multiple people can enter for one artist/band
  • Winners under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
  • The prize is valid for one year from the date on which you are notified of your win. Dates will be arranged once the winner is ready to book the time. Weekends may be subject to availability.
  • Winners will be contacted through Facebook and asked to provide an email address and phone number by which we can further contact them.
  • A ‘day’ in the studio constitutes as 12 hours with the engineer.
  • Does not include travel or catering costs
  • Accommodation is up to seven people – this includes only the musician(s) and producer(s) – no friends or family will be permitted unless the winner is under 16 years old.
  • The prize is redeemable for groups/bands of up to seven people. This includes any engineer or producer they should choose to bring.
  • Accommodation includes use of all facilities whilst at the studio including the kitchen, dining and living room, all bathrooms and showers
  • The winner will be required to accept Monnow Valley Studio’s standard terms & conditions, a copy of which will be supplied on booking.
  • Closing date is the 31st of August 2013, the winner will be announced on the 1st of September 2013.
  • Monnow Valley Studio have the right to refuse customers who they deem not acceptable in any way.

Made in Monnow – Black Sabbath Month…The Blizzard of Oz ‘Crazy Train’

Made in Monnow

Black Sabbath Month…

The Blizzard of Oz ‘Crazy Train’

Written in Monnow ‘Crazy Train’ is one of The Blizzard of Ozz’s best known tracks, taken from their first and epynomous album. Click the picture for a link to a live session featuring the late, great Randy Rhodes and a few other classic songs by the group. Note that the video is not the original line up who wrote the songs together at Monnow.