Band of the Week: Black Sabbath

Besides giving birth to Heavy Metal, Black Sabbath is one of the few bands that have conquered the world and still managed to stay on top for over 40 years.

Forming under the name “Polka Tulk” before becoming “Earth,” (and eventually Sabbath) the band formed in 1968 due to a flyer singer Ozzy Osbourne put out in a local music shop. In his book “Iron Man,” the bands legendary guitarist Tony Iommi (who had gone to school with Osbourne) says that although Osbourne wasn’t a very good singer, he had his own PA system – which in those days was hard to come by.

Its hard to believe something so extraordinary started due to settling over some gear.

Along with world renown bass player and drummer Terrence “Geezer” Butler and Bill Ward, the original lineup would release their classic self titled first full length in 1970 and would continue to dominate the world with record after record for eight years.

Shortly after the tour for 1978’s “Never Say Die,” Osbourne would be fired and would soon begin his solo career, launching himself to new heights and becoming the icon we know him as today. Replacing him would be then-“Rainbow” front man Ronnie James Dio. The lineup known as “Heaven and Hell” (featuring Vinny Appice on drums) would release four albums over the course of their careers, with decades between their last two albums.

Other lineups would persist during the 80’s and 90’s with Ian Gillian of “Deep Purple” fame and other singers. The only focal member would be Iommi until the early to mid 2000’s, when both the original and “Heaven and Hell” lineups would reunite for tours and albums before Dio’s death in 2010.

2013 would spark “13,” the first Sabbath album with the original lineup (sans Ward, who was replaced with Tommy Clufetos due to health, legal and management issues) followed by a world tour.

It was announced in September of 2014 that the band have made plans to enter the studio in 2015 for a final album and a farewell tour.

Never say “Die” indeed.

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