The pair originally collaborated in 1989, when they re-recorded the Deep Purple classic “Smoke on the Water” to help raise money for victims of the Leninakan earthquake that struck Armenia in 1988.
In October of 2009 the pair traveled to Armenia to see first-hand how those funds had helped rebuild the community, but while visiting a local local music school they found that it had not been rebuilt in the wake of the disaster. So next week Iommi and Gillan, joined by ex-Deep Purple/Whitesnake keyboardist Jon Lord and Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, are slated to go back into the studio. The foursome will record a new song entitled “Out Of My Mind,” and the money raised will go to rebuilding the music school in Armenia.
That is an interesting lineup! Gillan, Iommi, Jon Lord and Nicko McBrain? I have never heard of Nicko playing on anything but Iron Maiden albums. Wow, very cool.
But to say Gillan and Iommi "originally collaborated in 1989" is a vast understatement. Check out the below video. It is a virtual who's who of classic rock in 1989. Roger Taylor from Queen on drums, a thin Chris Squire on bass, Keith Emerson on keyboards. Vocalists include Gillan, Bruce Dickinson and Paul Rodgers. I saw Geoff Downes from Asia in there and the guitar player lineup is off the grid - Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Alex Lifeson, David Gilmour, Brian May. Holy moly! Why had I never heard of this before?
It's not the best version of the song but that lineup makes it worth watching all the way through. Also nice to know that half of the Born Again era of Sabbath will be working together again soon. I do love that weird assed album.