Saddle up music fans, today we are going to be discussing one of the most influential bands in rock & roll and metal history. That’s right, Black Sabbath is the focus of this article. For those of you who don’t know who they are, shame on you, and for those that do, lets go back to 1968.
Four guys (Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne, and Bill Ward) came together in Birmingham, England, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Touring as a band called Earth, in December 1969, Tony Iommi left briefly to go play in Jethro Tull. It did not last long as he was not a fan of the direction of the band and he went back to Earth. Around the middle of 1969, Ozzy and Geezer wrote lyrics for a song called “Black Sabbath,” based on a horror movie, and they agreed to change their name to Black Sabbath.
Rob Halford of Judas Priest (a band we will cover another time) is quoted as saying, “Black Sabbath is the darkest song I have ever listened to.”
The band first gained massive attention with the song N.I.B. which is top 5 in my personal favorites by them. Over the next 10 years, they made a name for themselves with their unique sound, which was heavily influenced by guitarist Tony Iommi (who lost two of his fingertips while working in a factory).
Releasing many songs that influenced the genre of heavy metal as a whole, these men forged the path for the rest of metal music as we know it.
In 1979, the band let go of Ozzy Osbourne, due to his heavy drug use and hired the man who many would argue is the greatest vocalist in heavy metal history, Ronnie James Dio (someone we will also cover at another time). They recorded “Heaven and Hell” and another album and toured throughout the 80s and early 90s with multiple lineup changes.
In 1997, the original lineup reunited to record an album called, “Reunion.” They would go on to headline Ozzfest 2003 and tour until 2006. Dio also reunited the Heaven and Hell era lineup. To avoid confusion with the OG members, he changed the name of that group to Heaven and Hell.
Sabbath returned to the studio in 2009 for their 19th album called 13. Their lead single was called, “God is Dead.” In 2014, Black Sabbath embarked on a massive farewell world tour, which they are currently still on.
They have all the original lineup, except Bill Ward, who they could not come to an agreement with. There are many rumors flying around as to why that never came to fruition but for the sake of this piece, we are going to leave it at that.
If you like metal music, you should thank these visionaries. Also, if you have yet to see them live, do your best to catch them on The End tour (coming soon to a city near you). For now, I leave you with my favorite song by Black Sabbath.
Long live rock and roll…
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: magnetmagazine.com.