11-11-11 Black Sabbath Reunion Announced!!!! \m/(>.<)\m/


November 11th, 2011

Black Sabbath

On this day at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, California a press conference announced a 2012 reunion of the original line-up of the legendary British heavy metal band Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne – vocals, Toni Iommi – lead guitar and only continuous band member, Geezer Butler – bass and Bill Ward – drums)! The venue was chosen as it was where Black Sabbath played for the first time in the US exactly 41 years ago to the date.

The band formed in 1968 in Birmingham, UK as a blues rock band called Earth but changed it the following year to Black Sabbath (due to another band with the same name getting a recording contract). Tony Iommi  wanted a scarier sound and Geezer Butler was attributed with coming up with their darker image and heavier sound especially through the wicked song he wrote Black Sabbath (still holds up today as one of the best metal songs of all time).

Man did it work, this change helped them become huge around the world. The Ozzy years of Black Sabbath produced many legendary metal tracks and lead to them selling over 70 million albums! Their heavy sound, dark lyrics and image has influenced all heavy metal since and they are known as the band that essentially started the genre (a strong contrast from the hippie and folk music scene that was so popular in those early years)!

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath in the early years (those crosses were made by Ozzy’s Dad – Iommi still wears his today)

The reunion in 2012 will include a world tour (kicking off at the UK Download  Festival in June 2012 with further dates to be announced) and their first studio album of completely new material in 33 years! Unbelievable! Rumours have been floating around for months as little snippets of info were leaked out from Toni Iommi (had denied any reunion) and Ozzy Osbourne but until this official announcement it seemed like it would never happen again! These guys are all now in their 60’s!

Note: Due to Tony Iommi receiving Lymphoma cancer treatment the world tour was delayed until 2013 and the band only played a small show in Birmingham, UK (the home of metal); the massive Download 2012 festival in Donington, UK (which I attended with over 100,000 other people!) and strangely Lollapalooza in Chicago, IL USA.

Rick Rubin
Rick Rubin

The band said in their press conference that the new album tracks written so far by Tony Iommi are like the raw Sabbath sound of old and really good (I can’t wait). The album will be produced by Rick Rubin. He has famously produced bands such as AC/DC,  Metallica, Slayer and Slipknot and is regarded as one of the best in the business.

Apart from Black Sabbath other classic songs of the Ozzy Black Sabbath years include: Paranoid, War Pigs, N.I.B., Iron Man, Children of the Grave, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Never Say Die and one of my absolute favourites Symptom of the Universe. Here is a good set from the boys on German TV “Live at the Beat Club” in 1970 (with a surprise cover of Blue Suede Shoes!).

Ozzy was kicked out of Black Sabbath in 1979 due to his drug use. Over the years since then numerous musicians have played in the band and their have been a number of singers including Ronnie James Dio (1979-82, 1991-92 and under the banner of Heaven and Hell in 2006-2010 who I saw tour in Australia in 2007, I was meant to see them perform again in June 2010 at Sonisphere in Switzerland but sadly Dio passed away from stomach cancer in May 2010 – click here for a nice tribute to him R.I.P. R.J.D.), Ian Gillian (1983-84 – unfortunately only one album Born Again which has some great songs) and Tony Martin (1987-1991 and 1993-1997, he actually ended up being one of the longest term singers for the band but had the least success). Ultimately the original line up has always been considered the best with the Dio years a close second (personally I like both eras, very different vocal styles but both had great song lyrics with that classic metal guitar and drums that Sabbath are famous for).

Some of the great songs in the non Ozzy years included DioHeaven and Hell, Neon Knights, Children of the Sea and Mob Rules; Gillian: Trashed and Martin: Born to Lose.

Black Sabbath Dio Gillian Martin
Dio, Gillian and Martin

Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler have provided some of the greatest heavy metal guitar riffs of all time and are rated as being one of the best metal guitarists in the world (and along with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page basically invented that heavy riff style of playing in those early years). Iommi is actually missing a couple of finger tips from a sheet metal factory accident when he was 17, he wears special thimbles to extend those fingers so he can play guitar! Ozzy went on to have a massive solo career despite his various drug and alcohol addictions (he is now clean and sober) and has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. All band members have consistently performed in various band and solo projects since 1968.

The original lineup has appeared together since 1979, but not since 2006. They did a one-off performance set for Live Aid in 1985 (huge concerts in US and UK arranged by Bob Geldof to raise funds to stop famine in Ethiopia), then reformed and toured for Ozzfest (a heavy metal music festival founded by Ozzy Osbourne) in 1997, a European tour in 1998, released a live album “Reunion” that year with 2 new songs “Psycho Man” and “Selling My Soul“, Ozzfest again in 1999, in 2001 they attempted to record a new album but other band commitments prevented this from happening and then Ozzfest again in 2004 and 2005. In 2005 they appeared together for their induction into the UK Hall Of Fame and in 2006 they were also inducted in the US Music Hall Of Fame where Metallica played in tribute to the band.

Of the must see bands in my life, I have seen all the ones I have wanted to except for this original Black Sabbath lineup (it just hasn’t worked out to get to their previous tours from Australia). The other bands include:

AC/DC in 1996 (“Ballbreaker“), 2001 (“Stiff Upper Lip“), 2009 and 2010 (“Black Ice“) – three shows in Melbourne, Australia and one in Foxborough, MA. The “Black Ice” show in Melbourne was memorable as they did a tribute to former lead singer Bon Scott  by singing High Voltage and showing huge images of him on the various big screens. This was the only time they did this on the tour (the date was very close to the anniversary of the tragic death of Bon on February 19, 1980). On a side note these “Black Ice” concerts were the fastest selling in Australian music history and extra dates had to be added to meet demand!;

AC/DC Bon Scott
AC/DC Bon Scott Tribute – Melbourne 2010

Heaven and Hell in 2007 (“Black Sabbath – The Dio YearsMelbourne) – a huge sing along with Dio was awesome, Iommi and Geezer played brilliantly;

Iron Maiden in 2008 (“Somewhere Back In TimeMelbourne tour was a veritable treasure trove of 1980’s metal) and 2011 (“Final FrontierMelbourne) – a dream come true, it took nearly 25 years to see them but was well worth the wait! Evil Eddie….brilliant! A few days after that 2008 concert I got to meet lead singer Bruce Dickinson at a small country air show. Totally unexpected and an absolute highlight for me as I have been listening to him sing since I was a young teenager (he was surprised anyone knew who he was. He was there to do some stunt flying in an old military jet)!

Bruce Dickinson

Judas Priest in 2008 (“NostradamusMelbourne) and 2011 (“EpitaphSeattle)- the metal gods…..awesome…enough said;

KISS in 2001 on their “Farewell” tour in Melbourne (didn’t quite work out to be true as they are still touring) – this show was meant to be with the original lineup but drummer Peter Criss was a late withdrawal and was replaced by their other long-term drummer Eric Singer. This was an amazing show, but the highlight for me was seeing Ace Frehley perform his guitar solo;

Metallica in 2004 (“St. AngerMelbourne) and 2010 (“Death Magnetic” – this show was special as it was at the Sonisphere Festival in Switzerland and was also part of the first ever “The Big 4” shows with the American Thrash Metal Pioneers Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. Nearly 3 hours of thrash metal from Metallica alone, these guys appreciate their fans and they show it. This festival was also memorable for being freezing, with 8 hours of rain and then 8 hours of sloshing through a sea of mud whilst listening to an incredible metal lineup!;

Sonisphere 2010
Sonisphere mud 2010

Motorhead 2010 (Sonisphere Festival Switzerland) and 2011 (“The World Is YoursPhoenix, Arizona) – Lemmy is a legend, well into his 60’s he still rocks hard and parties harder;

Ozzy Osbourne in 1998 (“Retirement SucksMelbourne) and 2008 (“Black RainMelbourne) – the Ozzman cometh and all is good when the Prince Of Darkness sings;

The Rolling Stones in 1995 (“Voodoo LoungeMelbourne at the MCG our biggest stadium) and 2006 (“A Bigger BangMelbourne) – the Stones are the ultimate showmen and hearing all their classic tracks live was an amazing experience.

Seeing these bands was awesome and a dream come true for me, but an original lineup Black Sabbath tour for me will be the ultimate (I am excited)! I have seen hundreds of bands over the years but those previously mentioned are essentially the ones I have listened too constantly since I was a young teenager! Now for the long wait until Black Sabbath tour dates are announced and tickets go on sale! All hail Sabbath!!!!

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath – US Music Hall Of Fame 2006

2012 Update: In June 2012 I attended the Download Festival in the UK and got to see Black Sabbath play live! What an experience this was, standing in anticipation with over 100,000 people, then all of us starting chanting the riff to Iron Man….an amazing experience that gave me goosebumps! A long held music ambition had been fulfilled. \m/

2013 Update: The new Black Sabbath studio album titled “13” will hit the stores on June 11th, 2013.  The band has been working hard on the album (the first full studio album with the more or less original lineup since Never Say Die in 1978!) As we all know due to contractual disagreement original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward will not feature on this album, his place has been taken by Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk.

Black Sabbath 13 new album 2013
The new Black Sabbath album

The album has been produced by Rick Rubin. Some of the track titles from the new album are slated as follows:

End Of The Beginning
God Is Dead
Epic
Dear Father
Age Of Reason
Methademic

I can’t wait to hear this album!

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Deano says:

    The first Black Sabbath’s confirmed European tour dates are below (Donnington is no longer the kickoff):

    May
    18 – Moscow, Russia – Olimpiski
    20 – St. Petersburg, Russia – New Arena
    23 – Helsinki, Finland – Hartwall Arena
    25 – Stockholm, Sweden – Stadium
    29 – Bergen, Norway – Bergen Calling Festival
    31 – Oslo, Norway – Spektrum

    June
    2 – Malmo, Sweden – Malmo Stadium
    4 – Dortmund, Germany – Westfalenhalle
    10 – Donnington, UK – Download Festival
    12 – Rotterdam, Holland – Ahoy
    15 – Bilbao, Spain – Azkena Rock Festival
    17 – Nantes, France – Hellfest
    19 – Paris, France – Bercy
    22 – Dessel, Belgium – Graspop Metal Meeting
    24 – Milan, Italy – Gods of Metal

  2. Deano says:

    Terrible news: guitarist Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma cancer – get well soon Tony!!!
    http://www.noisecreep.com/2012/01/09/tony-iommi-lymphoma/

  3. Deano says:

    Message From Tony (from his website: http://www.iommi.com/index.php?story=152)

    13th January 2012

    My fans, friends & colleagues –

    I just want to say how overwhelmed I am with all your messages of support, thank you so much.

    Well it’s not what I wanted for Christmas, that’s for sure, but now I can’t wait for the test results to come in and get going with the treatment.

    It’s really good that the guys are coming over so that we can continue working on the album as things are going great in the studio.

    Well, not much else to say at this time, so thanks again.

    Bless you all,

    Tony

  4. Deano says:

    Speaking of Tony, I am currently reading his autobiography “Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell With Black Sabbath”. It’s an entertaining and amusing read.

  5. Deano says:

    Geezer Butler posted the following on his website today (http://www.geezerbutler.com/):

    Tony

    Posted on January 19, 2012

    Greetings Earth people,

    Today [Jan19th] we got the engines back up and running @ Tony’s home studio. Far from being down and depressed about his lymphoma diagnosis, Tony had already written the music for two new songs, and I must say it has given us all a kick up the rump- it’s great to hear him churning out those riffs again, assuaging the Demon C. Takes more than that to stop Tony. Can’t wait for you all to hear our workings, it has been great working on this stuff.

    I want to thank the lovely encouraging emails sent to this site giving Tony love and encouragement and great vibes. It really does help, not only Tony, but us as a band- it raises up our spirits and restores our faith in this tarnished world. Sabb fans are good people, time and again you have proven your faith in us and boosted our endeavour.

    Thanks, love, peace.

    Geezer

  6. Deano says:

    BLACK SABBATH have moved writing sessions for their long-awaited reunion album from Los Angeles to Birmingham, England due to guitarist Tony Iommi’s treatment for lymphoma.

    According to a band update, “Sabbath has gone back to where it all started and it’s been just amazing. This is where the writing of the album will be completed. Funny how it all goes full circle sometimes.”

    http://www.bravewords.com/news/176648

  7. Deano says:

    I am afraid there is more disruption to the Black Sabbath reunion:

    Bill Ward http://www.billward.com/

    Statement on Black Sabbath Album & Tour:

    Los Angeles, CA – February 2, 2012

    Dear Sabbath Fans, Fellow Musicians and Interested Parties,

    At this time, I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour. However, I am unable to continue unless a “signable” contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Last year, I worked diligently in good faith with Tony, Ozzy and Geezer. And on 11/11/11, again in good faith, I participated in the L.A. press conference. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another “unsignable” contract was handed to me.

    Let me say that although this has put me in some kind of holding pattern, I am packed and ready to leave the U.S. for England. More importantly, I definitely want to play on the album, and I definitely want to tour with Black Sabbath.

    Since the news of Tony’s illness, and the understanding that the band would move production to the U.K., I’ve spent everyday getting to or living in a place of readiness to leave. That involves something of a task, and as I’ve tried to find out what’s going on with the U.K. sessions, I’ve realized that I’ve been getting “the cold shoulder” (and, I might add, not for the first time). Feeling somewhat ostracized, my guess is as of today, I will know nothing of what’shappening unless I sign “the unsignable contract.”

    The place I’m in feels lousy and lonely because as much as I want to play and participate, Ialso have to stand for something and not sign on. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician. I believe in freedom and freedom of speech. I grew up in a hard rock/metal band. We stood for something then, and we played from the heart with honesty and sincerity. I am in the spirit of integrity, far from the corporate malady, I am real and honest, fair and compassionate.

    If I’m replaced, I have to face you, the beloved Sabbath fans. I hope you will not hold me responsible for the failure of an original Black Sabbath lineup as promoted. Without fault finding, I want to assure everyone that my loyalty to Sabbath is intact.

    So here I am. I lay my truth down before you. I’m good to go IF I get a “signable” contract. I don’t want to let anyone down, especially Black Sabbath and all the Sabbath fans. You know I love you. It would be a sad day in Rock if this current situation fell to the desires of a few.

    My position is not greed-driven. I’m not holding out for a “big piece” of the action (money) like some kind of blackmail deal. I’d like something that recognizes and is reflective of my contributions to the band, including the reunions that started fourteen years ago. After the last tour I vowed to never again sign on to an unreasonable contract. I want a contract that shows some respect to me and my family, a contract that will honor all that I’ve brought to Black Sabbath since its beginning.

    That’s the story so far.

    Stay safe and stay strong.

    I love every single one of you.

    –Bill Ward

  8. Deano says:

    This project is going haywire! Reinstate Bill immediately!

    http://metaltalk.net/news2012/2012587.php

  9. Deano says:

    If you are a Black Sabbath fan and want Bill Ward back in the band (and you use facebook) please like the page in the following link:

    https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/1000000-Black-Sabbath-fans-say-yes-to-Bill-Ward/387229524625706

  10. Deano says:

    *February 8th, 2012 Sharon Osbourne says:
    “I am not in any position to hire or fire anyone in Black Sabbath. I don’t manage the band, I manage my husband.”

  11. Deano says:

    With Tony Iommi battling cancer and the apparent sacking of Bill Ward, Sabbath with only be doing one gig at Donington (at this stage). Ozzy & Friends (with Geezer at times) will perform the other scheduled European dates. 😦

    Get well soon Tony Iommi 🙂

    http://www.bravewords.com/news/178261

    1. Deano says:

      Lollapalooza in Chicago has been added as the only other Black Sabbath gig for 2012

      1. Deano says:

        And one small gig in the UK which sold out straight away….luckily I am going to Donington and the Download Festival!

  12. Deano says:

    Sadly Bill Ward will not be playing at any of these shows unless a miracle happens

  13. Deano says:

    I finally got to see Sabbath at the Download Festival in the UK. They were brilliant! I will post something on this soon. \m/

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