Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath are an English heavy metalBirmingham, England. Formed in 1968 by Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommiguitar), Terence “Geezer” Butler (bass guitar), and Bill Ward (drums & percussion), the band has since experienced multiple lineup changes, with a total of 21 former members. band from (

Originally formed as a heavy blues band named Earth, the band began incorporating occult and horror-inspired lyrics with doomy, detuned guitars, changing their name to Black Sabbath and releasing a string of gold and platinum records in the 1970s.

As one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, Black Sabbath helped define the genre with releases such as 1970’s quadruple-platinum Paranoid. Black Sabbath has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, and were ranked number one on MTV’s Greatest Metal Bands of All Time.

Ozzy Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979, and while initially replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath would see a revolving lineup in the 1980s and 1990s that included vocalists Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin. The original lineup reunited with Osbourne in 1997 and released a live album, Reunion, which spawned the Grammy Award winning single “Iron Man“, 30 years after the song’s initial release on Paranoid.

Currently, the early 1980s line-up featuring Iommi, Butler, Dio, and Vinny Appice are touring under the moniker Heaven and Hell, a title taken from the 1980 Black Sabbath album of the same name.

Following the breakup of their previous band Mythology in 1968, guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward sought to form a heavy blues band in Aston, Birmingham, England. The group enlisted bassist Geezer Butler, and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, who had played together in a band called Rare Breed. The new group was initially named The Polka Tulk Blues Company, and also featured slide guitarist Jimmy Phillips and saxophonist Alan “Aker” Clarke. After shortening the name to Polka Tulk, the band changed their name to Earth, and continued as a four-piece without Phillips and Clarke.

As Earth, the group played club shows in England, Denmark, and Germany, with sets consisting of cover songs by Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer, and Cream; as well as lengthy improvised blues jams. In December 1968, Tony Iommi abruptly left Earth to join Jethro Tull. Although his stint with the band would be short-lived, Iommi made an appearance with Jethro Tull on the The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV show. Unsatisfied with the direction of Jethro Tull, Iommi returned to Earth in January 1969. “It just wasn’t right, so I left”, Iommi said. “At first I thought Tull were great, but I didn’t much go for having a leader in the band, which was Ian Anderson‘s way. When I came back from Tull, I came back with a new attitude altogether. They taught me that to get on you got to work for it”.

While gigging in England in 1969, the band discovered that they were being mistaken for another English group named Earth, and decided to again change their name. A movie theater across the street from the band’s rehearsal room was showing the 1963 Boris Karloff horror film Black Sabbath. While watching people line up to see the film, Osbourne noted that it was “strange that people spend so much money to see scary movies”. Butler wrote a song he titled “Black Sabbath” after reading a book by occult writer Dennis Wheatley, and seeing a black-hooded figure standing at the foot of his bed. Making use of the musical tritone, also known as “The Devil’s Interval”, the song’s ominous sound and dark lyrics pushed the band in a darker direction, a stark contrast to the popular music of the late 1960s, which was dominated by flower power, folk music, and hippie culture. Inspired by the new sound, the band changed their name to Black Sabbath in August 1969, and made the decision to focus writing similar material, in an attempt to create the musical equivalent of horror films.

PARANOID

SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH

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