20 Years Ago: Tony Iommi Releases ‘Iommi’

A few years prior to his reconciliation with the Ozzy Osbourne-fronted Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi started working on his star-studded solo album, Iommi, which came out Oct. 17, 2000. The record, which took almost five years to write and record, included guest vocals by Ozzy Osbourne, Henry Rollins, Dave Grohl, Phil Anselmo, Peter Steele, Billy Idol and others, and it still stands as an in impressive, eclectic and underrated piece of Iommi’s career.

While it might seem like a no-brainer that Iommi would include a track with Osbourne and drummer Bill Ward right before a Sabbath reunion, “Who’s Fooling Who” marked the first time Iommi worked on an original studio song with Ozzy and Ward since 1978’s Never Say Die (Ward last played with Sabbath on 1983’s Born Again).

“Who’s Fooling Who” starts with a tolling bell and a drum fill before bursting into an apocalyptic doom riff. Then Osbourne enters, singing first in a high baritone, then shifting into a more familiar and comfortable tenor as Iommi blasts out yet another classic rhythm. It’s hardly the only keeper on the album. “Flame On,” with The Cult’s Ian Astbury, “Black Oblivion,” fronted by Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, “Patterns,” with System of a Down’s Serj Tankian and “Time is Mine,” powered by Anselmo, are all winners.

Iommi Feat. Serj Tankian, “Patterns”

Interestingly, Iommi adjusts his playing to accommodate the different music styles. “Laughing Man (In The Devil Mask”), which is fronted by Rollins — features abrupt staccato guitars reminiscent of Helmet, and “Goodbye Lament,” with vocals by Grohl and guitars by Queen’s Brian May, is a hybrid of melodic alternative, electro-rock and downtuned metal. But regardless of what subgenres Iommi explores, he never abandons his signature sound, holding together what might otherwise be a schizophrenic collection of songs.

Iommi co-wrote the album with co-producer Bob Marlette and the guest vocalists, with the exception of “Black Oblivion,” which was penned solely by Iommi and Corgan. Writing sessions for Iommi were productive, leaving the guitarist a multitude of tracks to choose from. Anselmo and Iommi worked on three tracks, including the unreleased “Inversion of the Saviours,” Idol worked on three as well and Corgan guested on two.

Iommi Feat. Billy Corgan, “Black Oblivion”

In addition to showcasing a who’s who of rock vocalists, Iommi highlights an impressive variety of guest musicians, including Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd, Soundgarden / Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, ex-White Zombie drummer John Tempesta and legendary session drummer Kenny Aronoff.

Released in a dark season for metal, Iommi debuted at No. 129 on the Billboard 200 chart. The single, “Goodbye Lament,” made it to No. 10 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, but strangely, “Who’s Fooling Who” was not issued as a single.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Where Tony Iommi Ranks Among Our Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time

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Zakk Sabbath Cover of Black Sabbath ‘Under the Sun’ Is Flawless

Zakk Wylde is an absolute Black Sabbath fanatic. Already this year, his Zakk Sabbath tribute band released their cover version of Sabbath’s entire debut record and now they’ve contributed to a cover compilation of the band’s Vol. 4 album, closing it out with a crushing rendition of “Under the Sun,” premiering here at Loudwire.

One of Black Sabbath’s strongest deep cuts (setlist.fm indicates the band only played it 99 times live in all), “Under the Sun” is marked by a herculean riff with a lunging groove and Bill Ward’s inimitable swing. It’s also among the more intricate of Sabbath songs and, expectedly, Zakk Sabbath dished out a flawless, musclebound cover.

We’ve heard Zakk run through countless Sabbath jams before and it can be said with confidence and conviction that “Under the Sun” contains his best vocal performance when it comes to recreating Ozzy Osbourne‘s belting studio takes. The validity of this cover was never in doubt, but there’s an intangible magic(k) at play here.

Listen to Zakk Sabbath’s “Under the Sun” cover below.

The full Vol. 4 — Redux covers compilation will be released on Oct. 30 through Magnetic Eye Records, the same label that issued Zakk Sabbath’s Vertigo, the front-to-back cover edition of Sabbath’s self-titled 1970 debut. View the artwork and complete track listing further down the page and get your copy here.

Zakk Sabbath, “Under the Sun” (Black Sabbath cover)

Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4 — Redux (Covers Compilation) Album Art + Track Listing

Magnetic Eye Records

01. “Wheels of Confusion” (Thou)
02. Tomorrow’s Dream” (The Obsessed)
03. “Changes” (High Reeper)
04. “FX” (Matt Pike)
05. “Supernaut” (Spirit Adrift)
06. “Snowblind” (Green Lung)
07. “Cornucopia” (Whores)
08. “Laguna Sunrise” (Tony Reed)
09. “St. Vitus Dance” (Haunt)
10. “Under the Sun” (Zakk Sabbath)

See Where “Under the Sun” Landed in Black Sabbath Songs Ranked (Ozzy Osbourne Era)

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Tony Iommi + Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason Recorded a Song Together

Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi has confirmed that he’s recorded a new charity song with lone Pink Floyd constant, Nick Mason. Other notable musicians are said to be involved and Iommi speculated that The Rolling StonesRonnie Wood could be one of them.

Speaking with Spain’s La Heavy magazine, Iommi was first asked if any progress had been made regarding the collaborative effort between him and Queen‘s Brian May that had been in discussion.

“We’ve been talking for years about doing something together and we haven’t gotten around to it yet,” said Iommi, who chalked most of the difficulty up to scheduling and touring. “We haven’t really gone any further with it,” the guitarist continued as he also took stock of May’s current situation (he suffered from a torn gluteal muscle and a heart attack this year). “At the moment Brian has been going through a lot of medical things, but who knows? It’d be nice at some point to do something.”

Then, Iommi turned his attention toward new music that he has actually been working on and confirmed one big name while another legendary rocker could be in the mix as well.

“At the moment I’ve started putting some ideas down myself now and I played on a track with Nick Mason a few weeks ago,” Iommi revealed, noting, “We’re doing a charity record for cancer. I was asked if I’d play and come up with some riffs for it. There’s a lot of other celebrities doing something for this album so I said, ‘Yeah, it’d be nice to do that.’ I think there’s Nick Mason, myself and I think Ronnie Wood is going to play a bit on this track as well. I’m not sure.”

Hopefully there will be more new music from Iommi sooner rather than later. The 72-year-old metal icon said he has “loads” of new material earlier this year. Time will tell if it amounts to a new record.

Tony Iommi Reveals Collaborative Charity Song With Nick Mason

See Black Sabbath in the Best Metal Song of Each Year Since 1970

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The ‘Black Sabbath’ Model Is Getting a Funko Pop! Figure

The woman who posed as the model for the cover of Black Sabbath‘s groundbreaking debut album was identified earlier this year as Louisa Livingstone. Now, the British toy company Funko is creating a Funko Pop! figure based on the iconic photoshoot she did for the cover.

This is the first of Funko’s new line of Pop! figures based on albums. As per the Amazon listing for the figure, it’s titled “Black Sabbath” and will be released Dec. 26 of this year, but you can pre-order it now. See a photo of the upcoming figure below.

Until this year, Livingstone’s identity had remained a mystery, so no one really knew who the individual in the cloak in front of the church was. The former model now makes electronic music under the moniker Indreba, but she’ll forever be a part of one of the most iconic albums in music history, as it was truly the birth of heavy metal as we know it.

A ton of rock and metal artists have been immortalized into the toys, including Ozzy Osbourne, who received a new figure earlier this year based on his new solo album Ordinary Man. 

78 Rock + Metal Artists Turned Into Funko Pop! Figures

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‘Black Sabbath’ Cover Model Gets Funko Pop! Figure

The woman on the cover of Black Sabbath‘s first record is about to get her own Funko Pop! figure, as part of a new line devoted to classic albums.

According to a pre-order listing on Amazon, the collectible will be released on Dec. 26.

This is just the second figure in Funko Pop!’s new Albums series. The first, set to arrive this week, is the baby seen on the cover of the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 album Ready to Die.

In honor of Black Sabbath‘s 50th anniversary earlier this year, model Louisa Livingstone spoke about the shoot for the LP’s cover. “I remember it was freezing cold,” she recalled.

“I had to get up at about 4 o’clock in the morning. [Photographer] Keith [Macmillan] was rushing around with dry ice, throwing it into the water. It didn’t seem to be working very well, so he ended up using a smoke machine. It was just, ‘Stand there and do that.’ I’m sure he said it was for Black Sabbath, but I don’t know if that meant anything much to me at the time.”

Livingstone was chosen by Macmillan because she was only five feet tall, which would make the scenery around her look bigger. They went to Mapledurham Watermill in Oxfordshire, a building that dates back to the 15th century, and tried a variety of poses before deciding that a simple shot of her looking at the camera worked best.

“She wasn’t wearing any clothes under that cloak because we were doing things that were slightly more risque, but we decided none of that worked,” he said. “Any kind of sexuality took away from the more foreboding mood. But she was a terrific model. She had amazing courage and understanding of what I was trying to do.”

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Street Fight Could Have Stopped Sabbath From Making ‘Paranoid’

Tony Iommi said he still didn’t know how Black Sabbath managed to escape from a “vicious” street fight that took place three days before the band started the recording sessions for their second album Paranoid.

The record that secured their success may never have been made if the battle in Weston-super-Mare, in southwest England, had turned out differently in June 1970. In a recent interview with Kerrang!, Iommi recalled that the band had just finished a show, but there was a dispute over their fee. When bassist Geezer Butler went outside to call their manager from a payphone, he found himself surrounded by skinheads who shouted, “Get the hippie!”

“Geezer’s normally Mr. Peaceful and not one to go looking for trouble,” the guitarist said. “He got out of the phone box and came running back in to tell us what was going on. It felt as if a member of our gang had been threatened, so we all headed out front to sort it out. That’s when Ozzy [Osbourne] grabbed the hammer but, to be fair, they had all sorts of weapons, too. They were yobs, and they were ready for a proper fight.”

Iommi said Osbourne swung the hammer effectively. “There was quite a lot of blood,” he remembered. “It was a pretty vicious fight. At first, there were about half a dozen of them, but all of a sudden a load more emerged from somewhere. We just thought, ‘Oh, God, we’ve had it!’ I’m not quite sure how we managed it, to be honest, but we just about got out of there in one piece.”

The Black Sabbath members jumped into their van and drove 120 miles back to Birmingham, where Iommi still lived with his parents. “I remember getting home and my mum shouting up the stairs saying, ‘How did it all go?’” he said. “I replied, ‘Oh, yeah, really good, thanks!’ as I was looking at myself in the mirror with a black eye and blood everywhere.”

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Tony Iommi’s Struggle with ‘Horrible’ ‘Paranoid’ Solo

Tony Iommi recalled how much he hated the guitar solo on Black Sabbath’s breakthrough single “Paranoid,” and added that he spent time resenting the song.

It was written at the last minute when the band were told their second album was too short, and took around two hours to create. Believing the resulting track had hit potential, Sabbath’s label released it in August 1970 and renamed the album in its honor – another move that upset Iommi.

In an interview with Kerrang, the guitarist said that producer Rodger Bain had added a ring modulation sound effect to Ozzy Osbourne’s voice for “Iron Man.” He continued: “Rodger also used that on the guitar solo on the track ‘Paranoid’ itself. At first, I said, ‘What the hell’s that?! It sounds horrible!’ But they went ahead and picked it as the solo that ended up on the record all the same.” He added: “I’ve got used to it now.”

Black Sabbath – ‘Paranoid’

Iommi said of the album title change from War Pigs – their own preference – to Paranoid: “We didn’t have much pull in those days, so we didn’t really have a say in the matter… but we were pretty angry about it.” Going back to the song, he noted: “I really like it. I always have. Nowadays people know what we’ve done and what we’ve achieved so I can accept what Paranoid represents, whereas back then I would’ve been more critical of it because it stood for something else.”

Reflecting on Black Sabbath’s career as a result of Paranoid’s success, he said: “It means that we’ve been there for a purpose, and that people can relate to what we’ve done and learn from it. Our music is, by the standards of today, basic. But what we had comes from the heart.”

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How Eddie Van Halen Co-Wrote a Black Sabbath Song With Tony Iommi

In 1978, when Van Halen‘s debut album was released, the band secured an opening slot for Black Sabbath and it was the start of a lasting friendship between guitar figureheads Tony Iommi and Eddie Van Halen. Nearly two decades later, Van Halen co-wrote the Sabbath song “Evil Eye” with Iommi, who recently told Rolling Stone how it all happened while also reflecting on the guitarist’s death.

Sabbath were in the studio working on what would come to be 1994′ Cross Purposes, their 17th overall album and fourth with singer Tony Martin. During this time, Van Halen were on tour and played in Birmingham, England and Iommi went to meet up with the band.

“You ought to come down to rehearsal if you want,” Iommi told Eddie, who replied, “Oh, can I?”

Iommi continued, “I said, ‘I’ll pick you up from the hotel.’ I said, ‘Let’s go and get a guitar.’ We went down to the music shop in Birmingham. I said, ‘Can you lend us a guitar for Eddie?’ And of course, they went, ‘Oh, oh, wha’?’ [Laughs] So Eddie came in with me, and we got one of his guitars, his own model. And he came to rehearsal.”

“We played some of the Sabbath stuff for him. One of his favorites was ‘Into The Void’, strangely enough,” the Sabbath legend went on. “We played that and we went back to writing. I think it was ‘Evil Eye’, and I said, ‘Go on, you play the solo on this.’ He did and it was really great. When we recorded it, of course, I tried to duplicate that, but I couldn’t. [Laughs]”

The Sabbath guitarist also confirmed he has the tape recording of Eddie’s solo. “I don’t know where it is amongst my lot, but there is one,” he said. “I know I’ve got one. It was a real gem.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Iommi praised the Van Halen icon as a humble man and a “genuinely great person” who would “throw his arms around you and really show his affection” every time you met. Iommi also said the two had remained in touch often and would meet up for dinner whenever he was in Los Angeles.

In an effort to summarize Eddie Van Halen’s impact on music, the Sabbath co-founder gushed, “He’s had probably one of the biggest influences that you could have on people, from his generation onwards. He came up with something completely different. How hard is that, to come up with something different guitar-wise? I think he’s inspired so many people. There’s millions of people out there all trying to do that tapping stuff and play like Eddie and play Eddie’s solos. I think he’s had a huge impression on millions and millions of guitar players.”

Eddie Van Halen died earlier this week (Oct. 6) at the age of 65 after spending years battling throat cancer. The influential guitarist was remembered fondly by his family and bandmates and received an outpouring of love from his peers, many of whom cite him as a crucial influence and the reason they wanted to start playing guitar.

Black Sabbath, “Evil Eye”

Where Do Eddie Van Halen + Tony Iommi Rank Among the Top 66 Roc + Metal Guitarists of All Time?

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Geezer Butler Working on Book About Beginning of Black Sabbath

With so much downtime in 2020, musicians have kept busy in a number of ways, whether it’s performing livestreamed shows or drive-in concerts, getting friends to jam on cover songs or releasing solo material, to name a handful. For Black Sabbath‘s Geezer Butler, he’s used this time at home to get to work on a book about his early life and career.

“This is the longest I have been home in 50 years,” the bassist told Australia’s Wall of Sound in a recent interview. Regarding this extended stay at home, he quipped, “My dogs and cats are loving it — not so much my wife.”

Instead, Butler has embraced some of life’s simpler pleasures in a relatively low-key year. “Based here in Los Angeles, I have ventured out on some amazing road trips, mainly in Utah, my favorite state in the USA, but apart from that I’ve read [a lot] of books, watched a lot of TV, eaten too much and dabbled with various new basses — mainly five-, six- and even seven-string basses,” the Sabbath icon divulged.

Aside from a pandemic, 2020 has also been marked by the 50th anniversaries of Black Sabbath’s first pair of albums — Black Sabbath and Paranoid. It appears this has stirred some moments of reflection for Butler, who revealed, “I’m currently putting together a book about growing up in Aston, Birmingham and how Sabbath came about… but I’m really enjoying semi-retirement and not having to do anything or be anywhere, especially after being away from home for most of the last 50 years.”

“Every generation, as they get older, wants to look back fondly on their younger years, and music is a great way of reviving those feelings they had in their younger days,” he said earlier in the interview. “There is no denying there was some incredible music back in the sixties and seventies, lots of various styles and ideas, that still sound relevant now, and with each generation there is still a demand for that music.”

As part of celebrating that milestone 50-year mark, Black Sabbath have partnered with Dr. Martens boots for two different sets of footwear bearing the artwork seen on each of those first two records. See those here. A 5-LP super deluxe edition box set of Paranoid arrives on Oct. 9 as well.

Where Does Geezer Butler Rank Among the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Bassists of All Time?

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50 Years Ago: Black Sabbath Release ‘Paranoid’

When fans and critics look back at the early career of Black Sabbath they recognize that the band released six groundbreaking albums in a row before being consumed by their appetites for drugs and alcohol. But what they often fail to absorb is that all six albums were released within a five year timeframe. Yes, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward were reinventing the mythology of rock ‘n’ roll as they stormed from one town to another, but they had their act together enough to write some legendary music. Take, their second album, Paranoid, which was released on September 18, 1970.

The landmark release, which includes the metal staples “Paranoid,” “War Pigs” and “Iron Man,” was recorded live in the studio with producer Rodger Bain. And they tracked the entire album at Regent Sound Studios and Island Studios in London between June 16 and 21. It took just six days because, well, that’s all they were given.

“We finished the first album, toured Europe for six weeks and then went right back in the studio,” bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler told me in 2010. “It felt like the four of us against the world. We still hadn’t realized we had made it, you see?”

Sabbath started working on Paranoid so soon after returning from the road, all they had seen was negative reviews of their first album from the world’s rock press. They didn’t realize a loyal fan base was building in the U.S. and they’re main goal was to prove to their families that they weren’t wasting their time making music.”

Chris Walter, WireImage/Getty Images

“Our families had no nope in us whatsoever of ever making anything of ourselves,” Butler said. “They thought we were bums. And our friends used to laugh at the idea that we’d ever be successful at what we were doing. That brought us closer together and made us more determined to be successful. We didn’t feel like rock stars or anything. It was quite the opposite.”

Compared to the single day Black Sabbath had to record their first album, six days seemed like a luxury.

Fortunately, they had played some of the songs on the road, so when the stepped into the studio they acted on instinct. “We literally went in and played as if it was a live gig,” Butler said. “We didn’t know anything about studios or production or engineering. We just went in, set up and played live in the studio and they recorded us. It sounds easy, but it’s actually a really hard thing to do — to record a band live in the studio and get the whole feeling across. A lot of producers tried that, but dismally failed. But Rodger had the for it. He came up with a few suggestions here and there and we’d do it.”

One of the biggest suggestions was to write another song for the album that would serve as a single. So after tracking the other seven songs, Black Sabbath wrote the title track on the spot.

“I sat there during the lunch break and came up with the main riff for ‘Paranoid,’ Iommi said. “And then when the other guys came back I played it to them and they thought it was good, so we recorded that just as a filler.”

Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” Music Video

“We didn’t think anything of it because we thought it was just another song,” Butler said. “And then later the record company said, ‘Hey guys, this is the best song on the album. Let’s call the record Paranoid.’”

It was a strange suggestion since Black Sabbath and Warner Bros. Records had agreed to call the album War Pigs and were already working on the cover art. Even that was a compromise. The band’s originally wanted to use the title Walpurgis, for the record, which Butler said is “kind of like Christmas for Satanists.” The label refused and a compromise was reached – or so everyone thought.

“The record cover is really horrible to begin with, but it was based on this idea of ‘War Pigs,’” Butler said. “The cover was bad enough when the album was going to be ‘War Pigs,’ but when it was ‘Paranoid’ it didn’t even make sense.”

“There’s a guy standing there with a shield and a sword, with the album title called Paranoid,” added Iommi. “Imagine the questions we got asked after that? “What’s the have to do with Paranoid?” Well, nothing, really. But that’s how it was.

Black Sabbath, “War Pigs” — Live (1970)

Contrary from being the Satanic album it was portrayed as, Paranoid is filled with relevant social and political commentary. For example, “War Pigs,” with the famous line, “Satan laughing spreads his wings” isn’t about the Devil at all. “To me, war was the big Satan,” Butler said. “It wasn’t about politics or government or anything. It was evil. So I was saying ‘Generals gathered in the masses / Just like witches at black masses’ to make an analogy. But then everybody turned it all upside-down and accused of being Satanists. And in a way, I suppose we bought into that, but of course we never were.”

Another song, “Fairies Wear Boots,” which was based on an incident in which the band members were harassed and threatened by a gang of skinheads wearing Dr. Martens boots. “I wrote about whatever I saw going on around me,” Butler said. “I wrote about the Cold War in “Electric Funeral.’ It was always touch and go whether Russia would drop the atomic bomb on us or we would drop the atomic bomb on them. So atomic war was always imminent, we thought.”

Chris Walter, Getty Images

Much of the energy of Sabbath, especially on their first two albums, stemmed from their disgust with the rest of ‘60s youth culture. Having grown up in war-torn Birmingham, ‘flower power’ was an entirely foreign concept. They were surrounded by bombed out parks and when they looked around they saw unhappy people with dead-end jobs.

“We were four working class people in the most industrial part of England and all we had to look forward to was a job working in a factory,” Butler said. “We felt hopeless and constantly frustrated and we thought at any second we’d be called up to drop in to the Vietnam war because it looked like Britain was going to get involved in it as well. So there wasn’t much future in anything for us.”

As legendary as it became, Paranoid was a slow grower. The album reached No. 23 on the U.S. charts and No. 8 in Britain. The album went Gold in the States on May 7, 1971, almost eight months after it was released. And it took another 15 years to go platinum. In 1995, the album was certified quadruple platinum.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

Black Sabbath Songs Ranked (Ozzy Osbourne Era)

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Ozzy Osbourne Not Interested in Playing With Black Sabbath Again

Ozzy Osbourne recently said he has no interest in reuniting with Black Sabbath again for another performance.

The admission came in a Sept. 5 interview ahead of the premiere of Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne, A&E’s Biography special about the Prince of Darkness that will air on the network Monday (Sept. 7).

Asked if he’d like Black Sabbath to return to the stage, the rocker responded in the negative.

“Not for me,” Osbourne said. “It’s done.”

However, that doesn’t mean that the musician holds no misgivings about the legendary metal band’s most recent reunion. Especially when it comes to drummer Bill Ward — the original Black Sabbath percussionist who didn’t participate in the group’s 2014-2017 re-emergence.

“The only thing I do regret is not doing the last farewell show in Birmingham with Bill Ward,” Osbourne added to Rolling Stone. “I felt really bad about that. It would have been so nice. I don’t know what the circumstances behind it were, but it would have been nice. I’ve talked to him a few times, but I don’t have any of the slightest interest in [doing another gig]. Maybe [guitarist] Tony [Iommi]’s getting bored now.”

The “Under the Graveyard” singer previously articulated the same regret regarding the drummer’s farewell show snub.

In 2019, Ward expressed interest in returning should Sabbath reform yet again, despite his non-involvement in the latest iteration. Earlier this year, Iommi said he was sitting on tons of new material. As for Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, he’s explained that he “wouldn’t say never” to such an opportunity.

But it certainly seems that Osbourne doesn’t share the other members’ open-mindedness about the possibility.

Still, there’s one thing that’s undisputed amongst the act: who owns Black Sabbath’s name.

See Black Sabbath in the Most Performed Songs by 50 Big Metal Bands

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Ozzy Osbourne No Longer Wants Another Black Sabbath Show

Ozzy Osbourne has ruled out taking part in a future Black Sabbath reunion show, despite having previously said he wanted it to happen.

In a new interview he expressed regret that original drummer Bill Ward hadn’t taken part in their farewell appearances in Birmingham, U.K. in February 2017, after internal disagreements went unresolved. However, he also said he was no longer interested in getting back on stage with Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.

“I was talking to Tony Iommi the other day, and he was saying, by the looks of it, we’re gonna be a fucking thing of the past in the respect that there’ll be no more indoor gigs,” Osbourne told Rolling Stone. Asked about Iommi’s comments on doing one more show, he responded: “Not for me. It’s done. The only thing I do regret is not doing the last farewell show in Birmingham with Bill Ward. I felt really bad about that. It would have been so nice. I don’t know what the circumstances behind it were, but it would have been nice.” He emphasised that he didn’t have “any of the slightest interest” in another appearance, suggesting: “Maybe Tony’s getting bored now.”

Looking back on Black Sabbath’s five-decade history, the singer said: “I remember thinking, ‘Well, this will be all right for a few years.’ Fucking 50 years later, it’s still going. Those guys [are] my brothers, you know? They go back to my childhood. It’s more than a friendship with me and them guys; it’s a family. I don’t know any other people as long as I’ve known them.

Osbourne said he’d been trying to write songs for a follow-up to this year’s acclaimed solo album Ordinary Man, but that producer and co-writer Andrew Watt was still suffering the effects of COVID-19, which he caught in March. “He was very sick, and he still is,” Osbourne reported. “He had a good day and a bad day, you know? It fucks your lungs up. We were supposed to be [writing], but he texted me the other day and said, ‘I have to ask for some time.’ I said, ‘Whenever you’re ready, call me.’ I have a couple ideas; not many. With Andrew, it just comes out in the moment.”

He also vowed that he’d play another show at some point, saying: “I’m working out every day. I’m doing the best I can… I haven’t done my last gig yet. Even if it’s just to do one gig, I will do a gig. Then I’ll feel like I finished my job.”

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