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Black Sabbath
United Kingdom

Years: Aug 9, 1969 - present
Styles: Acid Rock, Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Psychedelic Rock


Bill Ward - Drums, Percussion, Timpani, Vocals (in band: 1969 - 1980; 1983 -1984; 1994; 1997 – 1998; 1998 – 2006; 2011–2012)
Tony Iommi - Acoustic guitar , Bagpipes, Flute, Harpsichord, Lead guitar, Mellotron, Organ, Piano, Rhythm guitar, Synthesizer (in band: 1969 - present)
Ozzy Osbourne - Harmonica, Synthesizer, Vocals (in band: 1969 – 1977;, 1978 – 1979; 1997 – 2006 2011 – present)
Geezer Butler - Bass Guitar, Mellotron, Performer [Nose] (in band: 1969 – 1979; 1979 – 1985; 1990 – 1994; 1997 – present)


Dave Walker - Vocals (in band: 1977 - 1978)
Craig Gruber - Bass Guitar (in band: 1979)
Ronnie James Dio - Vocals (in band: 1979 - 1982, 1991 - 1992)
Geoff Nicholls - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals (in band: 1979 - 2004)
Vinny Appice - Drums (in band: 1980 - 1982, 1991 - 1994, 1998)
Ian Gillan - Vocals (in band: 1982 - 1984)
Bev Bevan - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1983 – 1984; 1987)
Dave Donato - Vocals (in band: 1984 - 1985)
Glenn Hughes - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1985 - 1986)
Dave Spitz - Bass Guitar (in band: 1985 - 1986)
Eric Singer - Drums (in band: 1985 - 1987)
Bob Daisley - Bass Guitar (in band: 1986)
Jo Burt - Bass Guitar (in band: 1987)
Tony Martin - Vocals (in band: 1987 - 1991, 1993 - 1997)
Laurence Cottle - Bass Guitar (in band: 1988 - 1989)
Cozy Powell - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1988 - 1991, 1994 - 1995)
Neil Murray - Bass Guitar (in band: 1989 - 1991, 1994 - 1995)
Bobby Rondinelli - Drums (in band: 1993 - 1994, 1995)
Mike Bordin - Drums (in band: 1997)
Adam Wakeman - Guitar, Keyboards (in band: 2004 - 2008; 2011 - present)
Tommy Clufetos - Drums (in band: 2012 - present)
Terry Chimes - Drums (in band: Jul, 1987 - Dec, 1987; May, 1988)
Ray Gillen - Vocals (in band: Mar, 1986 - Summer 1987)

Biography Picture

     Founded in Aston, Birmingham, Englans in early 1969 by Tommy Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Terry ‘Geezer’ Butler and Bill Ward, out of the jazz fusion combo, Earth (Iommi had also filled in as Jethro Tull guitarist for a few weeks). Taking the name Black Sabbath from a horror film adapted from a Dennis Wheatley novel of the same name, they signed to „Fontana” in late ’69.[1]

     After a flop single „Evil Woman (Don’t Play Games With Me)”, they shunted to the more progressive Vertigo label in early 1970. The inimatable Sabbath sound was stunningly defined on the opening title cut from the self-titled debut album, the record storming into the UK Top 10. Occult influenced, Black Sabbath fused Iommi’s deceptively basic, doom-laden guitar riffs with Ozzy’s (much micked since) banshee shriek. Lyrically morbid, with futuristic/medieval themes, tracks like „The Wizard” highlighting their tongue-in-cheek protest against God![1]

     The band then branded their name on the nation’s musical consciousness with a Top 5 single!!! „Paranoid”, a scullcrushing but strangely melodic track which remains one of the mos (in)famous metal songs of all time. Not suprisingly, the album of the same name (also in 1970!) bludgeoned its way straight to No.1, a metal classic rammed full of blinding tracks, not  least the stop-art dynamics of „War Pigs”, the spiralling melancholy of „Iron Man” and the doom-driven „Fairies Wear Boots („and you gotta believe me”).[1]

    The third set, „Master Of Reality (1971), was another dark jewel in the Sabbath legend, softer tracks like „Embryo” and „Orchid sledgehammered into oblivion by mogadon monsters, „Children Of The Grave” and „Sweet Leaf. The last two years had witnessed Sabbath taking America by the throat, „Vol 4” in ’72 loosening the grip somewhat, although it did boast a classic rock ballad „Changes"[1] Picture      Returning to more pseudo-satanic territory, „Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was another milestone, its demonic credibility nevertheless diminished by the fact that the instrumental „Fluff”, was subsequently adopted by namesake Radio One DJ Alan Freeman on his Saturday afternoon prog-rock show! Returning from a year-long sabbatical, the release of largely disappointing sixth album, „Sabotage”, was indicative of the cracks appearing in the Iommi/Osbourne relationship. However, the album did contain two brilliant opening salvos, „Hole In The Sky and Symptom Of The Universe .[1]

     The beginning of the end came withe the ill-advised experimentation of „Technical Ectasy” (1976), an album which led to Ozzy’s brief departure (his supenatural cosumption of the demon drink was also a factor). However, a newly rehabilited Osbourne was back at the helm for 1978’s „Never Say Die”, sales of which were boosted by a near UK Top 20 title track.[1]

    In 1979, Ozzy took off on a solo carrer, leaving behins Iommi, Butler, and Ward to pick up the pieces in La (where the band had relocated). With a new manager, Don Arden, in tow, they finally recruited American Ronnie James Dio (from Rainbow), after auditioning many would-be Ozzy clones. This proved to be Sabbath’s blackest period, pitch in fact, with the release of two mediocre albums in the early 80’s, „Heaven And Hell” and „Mob Rules”.[1]

     Things went Picturerom bad to ridiculous in 1983, when Dio was substituted by another hard-rock frontman celebrity Ian Gillan, taken straight from the proverbial heart of Deep Purple. The resulting, ironically-titled album, „Born Again”, was an excercise in heavy-metal cliche, although it still managed to hit the UK Top 5.[1]

     The original Sabbath reunited on the 13th of July ’85 for a rather disappointing one-off performance at the ‘Live Aid’ concert in Philadelphia. In 1986, Iommi was in full control once more, even giving his name co-billing on the appalling, „Seventh Star” set. Astonishingly, Sabbath were given another chance by Miles Copeland’s „I.R.S.” records, Iommi having found a new vocalist Tony Martin, also securing the services of veteran drummer, Cozy Powell  to boost the sales of thei comeback album „Headless Cross” (1989). The 1990’s saw Iommi and group trying to relive past glories, the 1995 album „Forbidden” even including a vocal piece from US rapper, Ice-T. At the turn of 1997/8, Iommi and Osbourne had finally settled their differences, coming together in a much heralded Sabbath reunion.[1]

   In the summer of 1997, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Ozzy Osbourne officially reunited to co-headline the Ozzfest festival tour alongside Osbourne's solo band. Band embarked on a European tour in the summer of 1998, Ward suffered a heart attack and was temporarily replaced by former drummer Vinny Appice. Ward returned in time for the US tour with openers Pantera, which began in January 1999 and continued through the summer, headlining the annual Ozzfest tour. Following the Ozzfest appearances, the band was put on hiatus while members worked on solo material. Tony Iommi released his first official solo album, "Iommi", in 2000, while Osbourne continued work on his next solo release, "Down to Earth".[2]

    The band remained on hiatus until the summer of 2004 when they returned to headline Ozzfest 2004 and 2005. In November 2005, Black Sabbath were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, and in March 2006, after eleven years of eligibility, the band were inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the awards ceremony Metallica played two Black Sabbath songs, "Hole in the Sky" and "Iron Man" in tribute to the band.[2]

   On 11 November 2011, Iommi, Butler, Osbourne, and Ward announced that they were reuniting to record a new album with a full tour in support beginning in 2012. Guitarist Iommi was diagnosed with lymphoma on 9 January 2012, which forced the band to cancel all but two shows (Download Festival, and Lollapalooza Festival) of a previously booked European tour.[2]

    On 13 January 2013, the band announced that the album would be released in June under the title "13". On 12 April 2013, the band released the album's track listing. The standard version of the album features eight new tracks, and the deluxe version features three bonus tracks.[2]

    The Black Sabbath's first single from "13", "God Is Dead?", was released on 19 April 2013. On 20 April 2013, Black Sabbath commenced their first Australia/New Zealand tour in 40 years, to be followed by a major North American Tour in Summer 2013. The second single of the album, "End of the Beginning", debuted on 15 May in a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode, where all three members appeared. In June 2013, "13" topped both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200. "God Is Dead?" earned Black Sabbath their first Grammy Award in 14 years for Best Metal Performance in 2014.[2]

1. The Great Rock Discography - Martin C.Strong, Four Edition, by Canongate Publishing, Ltd. Edinburgh,  p. 72
2. Source:


Black Sabbath (Feb 13, 1970)
Paranoid (Sep 18, 1970)
Master of Reality (Jul 21, 1971)
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 (Sep 25, 1972)
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Dec 1, 1973)
Sabotage (Jul 28, 1975)
Technical Ecstasy (Sep 25, 1976)
Never Say Die! (Sep 28, 1978)
Heaven & Hell (Apr 25, 1980)
Mob Rules (Nov 4, 1981)
Born Again (Aug 7, 1983)
Seventh Star (Jan 28, 1986)
The Eternal Idol (Nov 1, 1987)
Headless Cross (Apr 1, 1989)
Tyr (Aug 20, 1990)
Dehumanizer (Jun 30, 1992)
Cross Purposes (Jan 31, 1994)
Forbidden (Jun 8, 1995)
13 (Jun 10, 2013)

Singles & EPs

Evil Woman / Wicked World (Jan 9, 1970)
Paranoid / The Wizard (Aug, 1970)
Iron Man / Electric Funeral (Jan, 1972)
Tomorrow's Dream (Sep, 1972)
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Oct, 1973)
Am I Going Insane (Feb 13, 1976)
Never Say Die / She's Gone (May, 1978)
Hard Road (Sep 29, 1978)
Neon Knights (Jun 20, 1980)
Die Young / Heaven And Hell (Nov 28, 1980)
Mob Rules / Die Young (Oct, 1981)
Turn Up The Night (Feb, 1981)
Trashed / Stonehenge (Oct, 1983)
Headless Cross (Apr, 1989)
Devil And Daughter (Jun, 1989)
Feels Good To Me / Paranoid (Jul, 1990)
TV Crimes / Letters From Earth (Jun, 1992)
Psycho Man (Nov 2, 1998)
God Is Dead? (Apr 19, 2013)
The Rebel

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