Born Again was an interesting turning point in Black Sabbath's career. It marked the return of drummer Bill Ward, who had left Black Sabbath in 1980, and also saw Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillian fronting the band for a very brief time. Gillian replaced Ronnie James Dio who had departed the band the year prior, and preceded a ton of vocalists that would come and go in the next few years.
Born Again was well-received at the time, though fan opinions on the album remain mixed. In an interview with The Eddie Trunk Show, bassist Geezer Butler put himself firmly on the side of being a fan and even named a few songs that he thinks have some great riffs.
"Some of the songs on there are great. I thought the band sounded great. I mean, we're playing great on there. I thought for Gillan was singing better than ever. Some great riffs – 'Zero the Hero,' 'Trashed,' 'Born Again.' But… it was great doing the album, but somehow, the mix didn't get done right. I thought the mix wasn't great on it, but I listened to it about six months ago, I thought it was a really good album."
In a 2021 interview with Eddie Trunk, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi also said he's a fan of the record and would like to do a remix at some point.
"Apparently, [my manager] found a connection there, where [the master tapes for Born Again are currently housed]"he said. "I haven't heard any more. We're waiting to get these now. They discovered where they were — in some library in some record company somewhere. Obviously, I'd love to do that — I'd love to get that one sounding right. 'Cause I think that was a really good album. And when we'd first done it in the studio, it sounded great. But when it came out on record, it was really muffly and not good. So I wanna try and do something with that."
Personally, I could take or leave Born Again. It's not great, it's not terrible – there are just more interesting Black Sabbath records. I'm also pretty excited for the Tony Martin-era of Black Sabbath to become more readily available this year as well, as it seems like that's a massive blind spot for a lot of fans. Tyr forever.