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BLACK SABBATH were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham
Birmingham
in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi , bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler , singer Ozzy Osbourne , and drummer Bill Ward . Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music . The band helped define the genre with releases such as _ Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
_ (1970), _Paranoid _ (1970) and _ Master of Reality _ (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Formed in 1968 as the Polka Tulk Blues Band, a blues rock band, the group went through line up changes, renamed themselves as Earth, broke up and reformed. By 1969, they had named themselves Black Sabbath after the film _ Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
_ starring Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff
, and began incorporating occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and tuned-down guitars. The band's first show as Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
took place on 30 August 1969, in Workington
Workington
. Signing to Philips Records in November 1969, they released their first single, "Evil Woman " in January 1970. Their debut album, _ Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
_, was released on Friday the 13th , February 1970, on Philips' newly formed progressive rock label, Vertigo Records . Though receiving a negative critical response, the album was a commercial success and reached number 8 in the UK Albums Chart , so the band returned to the studios to quickly record the follow up, _Paranoid _, which was released in 1970. The band's popularity grew, and by 1973's _ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath _, critics were starting to respond favourably.

Osbourne's regular use of alcohol and other drugs led to his dismissal from the band in 1979. He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio . Following two albums with Dio, Black Sabbath endured many personnel changes in the 1980s and 1990s that included vocalists Ian Gillan
Ian Gillan
, Glenn Hughes , Ray Gillen and Tony Martin , as well as several drummers and bassists. In 1991, Iommi and Butler rejoined Dio and drummer Vinny Appice to record _ Dehumanizer _ (1992). The original line-up reunited with Osbourne in 1997 and released a live album _Reunion _. Black Sabbath's final studio album and nineteenth overall, _13 _ (2013), features all of the original members but Ward, who left the band prior to the recording sessions due to a contract dispute. A year after embarking on a farewell tour , the band played their final concert in their home city of Birmingham on 4 February 2017, after which they broke up. Iommi has stated that he has not ruled out the possibility of new material or one-off shows under the Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
name.

They were ranked by MTV
MTV
as the "Greatest Metal Band" of all time, and placed second in VH1 's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" list. _ Rolling Stone _ magazine ranked them number 85 in their "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". They have sold over 70 million records worldwide. Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
in 2006. They have also won two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Formation and early days (1968–1969) * 1.2 _Black Sabbath_ and _Paranoid_ (1970–1971) * 1.3 _Master of Reality_ and _Volume 4_ (1971–1973) * 1.4 _Sabbath Bloody Sabbath_ and _Sabotage_ (1973–1976) * 1.5 _Technical Ecstasy_ and _Never Say Die!_ (1976–1979) * 1.6 _Heaven and Hell_ and _Mob Rules_ (1979–1982) * 1.7 _Born Again_ (1983–1984) * 1.8 Hiatus and _Seventh Star_ (1984–1986) * 1.9 _The Eternal Idol_, _Headless Cross_ and _Tyr_ (1986–1990) * 1.10 _Dehumanizer_ (1990–1992) * 1.11 _Cross Purposes_ and _Forbidden_ (1993–1996) * 1.12 _Reunion_ (1997–2006) * 1.13 _The Dio Years_ and Heaven the exact origin is confused. The Polka Tulk Blues Band included slide guitarist Jimmy Phillips, a childhood friend of Osbourne's, and saxophonist Alan "Aker" Clarke. After shortening the name to Polka Tulk, the band again changed their name to Earth (which Osbourne hated) and continued as a four-piece without Phillips and Clarke. Iommi became concerned that Phillips and Clarke lacked the necessary dedication and were not taking the band seriously. Rather than asking them to leave, they instead decided to break up and then quietly reformed the band as a four-piece. While the band was performing under the Earth title, they recorded several demos written by Norman Haines such as "The Rebel", "Song for Jim", and "When I Came Down". The demo titled "Song for Jim" was in reference to Jim Simpson. Jim Simpson was a manager for the bands Bakerloo Blues Line and Tea however, Warner changed the title of the album to _Paranoid _. The album's lead-off single, "Paranoid ", was written in the studio at the last minute. Ward explains: "We didn't have enough songs for the album, and Tony just played the guitar lick and that was it. It took twenty, twenty-five minutes from top to bottom." The single was released in September 1970 and reached number four on the UK charts, remaining Black Sabbath's only top ten hit. The album followed in the UK in October 1970, where, pushed by the success of the "Paranoid" single, it made number one in the charts.

The US release was held off until January 1971, as the _Black Sabbath_ album was still on the charts at the time of _Paranoid_'s UK release. Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
subsequently toured the United States
United States
for the first time and played their first US show at a club called Ungano's at 210 West 70th Street in New York City. The album reached No. 12 in the US in March 1971, and would go on to sell four million copies in the US, with virtually no radio airplay. Like _Black Sabbath_, the album was panned by rock critics of the era, but modern-day reviewers such as AllMusic's Steve Huey cite _Paranoid_ as "one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time", which "defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history". The album was ranked at No. 131 on _Rolling Stone_ magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time . _Paranoid_'s chart success allowed the band to tour the US for the first time in October 1970, which spawned the release of the album's second single " Iron Man ". Although the single failed to reach the top 40, "Iron Man" remains one of Black Sabbath's most popular songs, as well as the band's highest charting US single until 1998's "Psycho Man".

_MASTER OF REALITY_ AND _VOLUME 4_ (1971–1973)

In February 1971, after a one off performance at the Myponga Pop Festival in Australia, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
returned to the studio to begin work on their third album. Following the chart success of _Paranoid_, the band were afforded more studio time, along with a "briefcase full of cash" to buy drugs. "We were getting into coke, big time", Ward explained. "Uppers, downers, Quaaludes, whatever you like. It got to the stage where you come up with ideas and forget them, because you were just so out of it."

Production completed in April 1971, in July the band released _Master of Reality _, just six months after the US release of _Paranoid_. The album reached the top ten in both the US and UK, and was certified gold in less than two months, eventually receiving platinum certification in the 1980s and Double Platinum in the early 21st century. _Master of Reality_ contained Black Sabbath's first acoustic songs, alongside fan favourites such as " Children of the Grave
Children of the Grave
" and " Sweet Leaf ". Critical response of the era was generally unfavourable, with Lester Bangs delivering an ambivalent review of _Master of Reality_ in _Rolling Stone_, describing the closing song "Children of the Grave" as "naïve, simplistic, repetitive, absolute doggerel – but in the tradition ... The only criterion is excitement, and Black Sabbath's got it". In 2003, _Rolling Stone_ would place the album at number 300 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

Following the _Master of Reality_ world tour in 1972, Black Sabbath took its first break in three years. As Ward explained: "The band started to become very fatigued and very tired. We'd been on the road non-stop, year in and year out, constantly touring and recording. I think _Master of Reality_ was kind of like the end of an era, the first three albums, and we decided to take our time with the next album."

In June 1972, the band reconvened in Los Angeles to begin work on their next album at the Record Plant . The recording process was plagued with problems, many as a result of substance abuse issues. While struggling to record the song "Cornucopia" after "sitting in the middle of the room, just doing drugs", Ward was nearly fired from the band. "I hated the song, there were some patterns that were just ... horrible" Ward said. "I nailed it in the end, but the reaction I got was the cold shoulder from everybody. It was like 'Well, just go home, you're not being of any use right now.' I felt like I'd blown it, I was about to get fired". The album was originally titled _Snowblind_ after the song of the same name, which deals with cocaine abuse. The record company changed the title at the last minute to _Black Sabbath Vol. 4 _, with Ward stating "There was no Volume 1, 2 or 3, so it's a pretty stupid title really".

_ Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
Vol. 4_ was released in September 1972, and while critics were dismissive of the album upon release, it achieved gold status in less than a month, and was the band's fourth consecutive release to sell a million copies in the US. With more time in the studio, the album saw the band starting to experiment with new textures, such as strings, piano, orchestration and multi-part songs. The song "Tomorrow's Dream" was released as a single – the band's first since "Paranoid" – but failed to chart. Following an extensive tour of the US, in 1973 the band travelled again to Australia, followed by a tour for the first time to New Zealand, before moving onto mainland Europe.

_SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH_ AND _SABOTAGE_ (1973–1976)

Following the _Volume 4_ world tour, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
returned to Los Angeles to begin work on their next release. Pleased with the _Volume 4_ album, the band sought to recreate the recording atmosphere, and returned to the Record Plant studio in Los Angeles. With new musical innovations of the era, the band were surprised to find that the room they had used previously at the Record Plant was replaced by a "giant synthesiser". The band rented a house in Bel Air and began writing in the summer of 1973, but in part because of substance issues and fatigue, they were unable to complete any songs. "Ideas weren't coming out the way they were on _Volume 4_ and we really got discontent" Iommi said. "Everybody was sitting there waiting for me to come up with something. I just couldn't think of anything. And if I didn't come up with anything, nobody would do anything." Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne on stage at Kooyong Stadium in Melbourne, Australia on 13 January 1973

After a month in Los Angeles with no results, the band opted to return to England. They rented Clearwell Castle in The Forest of Dean . "We rehearsed in the dungeons and it was really creepy but it had some atmosphere, it conjured up things, and stuff started coming out again." While working in the dungeon, Iommi stumbled onto the main riff of " Sabbath Bloody Sabbath ", which set the tone for the new material. Recorded at Morgan Studios in London by Mike Butcher and building off the stylistic changes introduced on _Volume 4_, new songs incorporated synthesisers, strings, and complex arrangements. Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman was brought in as a session player, appearing on "Sabbra Cadabra ".

In November 1973, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
began to receive positive reviews in the mainstream press after the release of _ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath _, with Gordon Fletcher of _ Rolling Stone _ calling the album "an extraordinarily gripping affair", and "nothing less than a complete success." Later reviewers such as Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia cite the album as a "masterpiece, essential to any heavy metal collection", while also displaying "a newfound sense of finesse and maturity." The album marked the band's fifth consecutive platinum selling album in the US, reaching number four on the UK charts, and number eleven in the US.

The band began a world tour in January 1974, which culminated at the California Jam festival in Ontario, California on 6 April 1974. Attracting over 200,000 fans, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
appeared alongside popular 1970s rock and pop bands Deep Purple
Deep Purple
, Eagles , Emerson, Lake & Palmer , Rare Earth , Seals & Crofts , Black Oak Arkansas , and Earth, Wind "> Tony Iommi in 1978

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
began work for their next album at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida, in June 1976. To expand their sound, the band added keyboard player Gerry Woodruffe, who also had appeared to a lesser extent on _Sabotage_. During the recording of _ Technical Ecstasy _, Osbourne admits that he began losing interest in Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
and began to consider the possibility of working with other musicians. Recording of _Technical Ecstasy_ was difficult; by the time the album was completed Osbourne was admitted to Stafford County Asylum in Britain. It was released on 25 September 1976 to mixed reviews, and (for the first time) later music critics gave the album less favourable retrospective reviews; two decades after its release AllMusic gave the album two stars, and noted that the band was "unravelling at an alarming rate". The album featured less of the doomy, ominous sound of previous efforts, and incorporated more synthesisers and uptempo rock songs. _Technical Ecstasy_ failed to reach the top 50 in the US, and was the band's second consecutive release not to achieve platinum status, although it was later certified gold in 1997. The album included " Dirty Women ", which remains a live staple, as well as Ward's first lead vocal on the song "It's Alright". Touring in support of _Technical Ecstasy_ began in November 1976, with openers Boston and Ted Nugent in the US, and completed in Europe with AC/DC in April 1977.

In late 1977, while in rehearsal for their next album, and just days before the band was set to enter the studio, Osbourne abruptly quit the band. Iommi called vocalist Dave Walker , a longtime friend of the band, who had previously been a member of Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown , and informed him that Osbourne had left the band. Walker, who was at that time fronting a band called Mistress, flew to Birmingham from California in late 1977 to write material and rehearse with Black Sabbath. On 8 January 1978, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
made their only live performance with Walker on vocals, playing an early version of the song "Junior's Eyes" on the BBC Television programme "Look! Hear!" Walker later recalled that while in Birmingham
Birmingham
he had bumped into Osbourne in a pub and came to the conclusion that Osbourne was not fully committed to leaving Black Sabbath. "The last Sabbath albums were just very depressing for me", Osbourne said. "I was doing it for the sake of what we could get out of the record company, just to get fat on beer and put a record out." Walker has said that he wrote a lot of lyrics during his brief time in the band but none of them were ever used. If any recordings of this version of the band other than the "Look! Hear!" footage still exist, Walker says that he is not aware of them.

Osbourne initially set out to form a solo project featuring former Dirty Tricks members John Frazer-Binnie, Terry Horbury, and Andy Bierne. As the new band were in rehearsals in January 1978, Osbourne had a change of heart and rejoined Black Sabbath. "Three days before we were due to go into the studio, Ozzy wanted to come back to the band", Iommi explained. "He wouldn't sing any of the stuff we'd written with the other guy (Walker), so it made it very difficult. We went into the studio with basically no songs. We'd write in the morning so we could rehearse and record at night. It was so difficult, like a conveyor belt, because you couldn't get time to reflect on stuff. 'Is this right? Is this working properly?' It was very difficult for me to come up with the ideas and putting them together that quick."

The band spent five months at Sounds Interchange Studios in Toronto, Ontario , Canada, writing and recording what would become _Never Say Die! _. "It took quite a long time", Iommi said. "We were getting really drugged out, doing a lot of dope. We'd go down to the sessions, and have to pack up because we were too stoned, we'd have to stop. Nobody could get anything right, we were all over the place, everybody's playing a different thing. We'd go back and sleep it off, and try again the next day." The album was released in September 1978, reaching number twelve in the UK, and number 69 in the US. Press response was unfavourable and did not improve over time with Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic stating two decades after its release that the album's "unfocused songs perfectly reflected the band's tense personnel problems and drug abuse." The album featured the singles "Never Say Die " and "Hard Road", both of which cracked the top 40 in the UK. The band also made their second appearance on _Top of the Pops _, performing "Never Say Die". It took nearly 20 years for the album to be certified Gold in the US.

Touring in support of _Never Say Die!_ began in May 1978 with openers Van Halen
Van Halen
. Reviewers called Black Sabbath's performance "tired and uninspired", a stark contrast to the "youthful" performance of Van Halen, who were touring the world for the first time. The band filmed a performance at the Hammersmith Odeon
Hammersmith Odeon
in June 1978, which was later released on DVD as _Never Say Die_. The final show of the tour, and Osbourne's last appearance with the band (until later reunions) was in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 11 December.

Following the tour, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
returned to Los Angeles and again rented a house in Bel Air, where they spent nearly a year working on new material for the next album. The entire band were abusing both alcohol and other drugs, but Iommi says Osbourne "was on a totally different level altogether". The band would come up with new song ideas but Osbourne showed little interest and would refuse to sing them. Pressure from the record label and frustrations with Osbourne's lack of input coming to a head, Iommi made the decision to fire Osbourne in 1979. Iommi believed the only options available were to fire Osbourne or break the band up completely. "At that time, Ozzy had come to an end", Iommi said. "We were all doing a lot of drugs, a lot of coke, a lot of everything, and Ozzy was getting drunk so much at the time. We were supposed to be rehearsing and nothing was happening. It was like 'Rehearse today? No, we'll do it tomorrow.' It really got so bad that we didn't do anything. It just fizzled out." Drummer Ward, who was close with Osbourne, was chosen by Tony to break the news to the singer on 27 April 1979. "I hope I was professional, I might not have been, actually. When I'm drunk I am horrible, I am horrid", Ward said. "Alcohol was definitely one of the most damaging things to Black Sabbath. We were destined to destroy each other. The band were toxic, very toxic."

_HEAVEN AND HELL_ AND _MOB RULES_ (1979–1982)

Sharon Arden (later Sharon Osbourne ), daughter of Black Sabbath manager Don Arden
Don Arden
, suggested former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio to replace Ozzy Osbourne in 1979. Don Arden
Don Arden
was at this point still trying to convince Osbourne to rejoin the band, as he viewed the original line-up as the most profitable. Dio officially joined in June, and the band began writing their next album. With a notably different vocal style from Osbourne's, Dio's addition to the band marked a change in Black Sabbath's sound. "They were totally different altogether", Iommi explains. "Not only voice-wise, but attitude-wise. Ozzy was a great showman, but when Dio came in, it was a different attitude, a different voice and a different musical approach, as far as vocals. Dio would sing _across_ the riff, whereas Ozzy would follow the riff, like in "Iron Man". Ronnie came in and gave us another angle on writing."

Geezer Butler temporarily left the band in September 1979 for personal reasons. According to Dio, the band initially hired Craig Gruber (with whom Dio had previously played while in Elf) on bass to assist with writing the new album. Gruber was soon replaced by Geoff Nicholls of Quartz . The new line-up returned to Criteria Studios in November to begin recording work, with Butler returning to the band in January 1980, and Nicholls moving to keyboards. Produced by Martin Birch , _Heaven and Hell _ was released on 25 April 1980, to critical acclaim. Over a decade after its release Allmusic said the album was "one of Sabbath's finest records, the band sounds reborn and re-energised throughout". _Heaven and Hell_ peaked at number 9 in the UK, and number 28 in the US, the band's highest charting album since _Sabotage_. The album eventually sold a million copies in the US, and the band embarked on an extensive world tour, making their first live appearance with Dio in Germany on 17 April 1980. Black Sabbath performing in Cardiff
Cardiff
in 1981

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
toured the US throughout 1980 with Blue Öyster Cult on the "Black and Blue" tour, with a show at Nassau Coliseum
Nassau Coliseum
in Uniondale, New York
Uniondale, New York
filmed and released theatrically in 1981 as _Black and Blue_. On 26 July 1980, the band played to 75,000 fans at a sold-out Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with Journey , Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
, and Molly Hatchet . The next day, the band appeared at the 1980 Day on the Green at Oakland Coliseum
Oakland Coliseum
. While on tour, Black Sabbath's former label in England issued a live album culled from a seven-year-old performance, titled _Live at Last _ without any input from the band. The album reached number five on the British charts, and saw the re-release of "Paranoid" as a single, which reached the top 20.

On 18 August 1980, after a show in Minneapolis
Minneapolis
, Ward quit the band. "It was intolerable for me to get on the stage without Ozzy. And I drank 24 hours a day, my alcoholism accelerated". Geezer Butler stated that after the show, Ward came in drunk, talking about the things where "He might as well be a Martian". Ward then got angry, and decided to pack his things, and get on a bus to leave. The group then brought in drummer Vinny Appice to replace Ward. Ronnie James Dio

The band completed the _Heaven and Hell_ world tour in February 1981, and returned to the studio to begin work on their next album. Black Sabbath's second studio album produced by Martin Birch and featuring Ronnie James Dio as vocalist _Mob Rules _ was released in October 1981, to be well received by fans, but less so by the critics. _Rolling Stone_ reviewer J. D. Considine gave the album one star, claiming "_Mob Rules_ finds the band as dull-witted and flatulent as ever". Like most of the band's earlier work, time helped to improve the opinions of the music press, a decade after its release, Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia called _Mob Rules_ "a magnificent record". The album was certified gold, and reached the top 20 on the UK charts. The album's title track " The Mob Rules ", which was recorded at John Lennon
John Lennon
's old house in England, also featured in the 1981 animated film _Heavy Metal _, although the film version is an alternate take, and differs from the album version.

Unhappy with the quality of 1980's _Live at Last _, the band recorded another live album—titled _Live Evil _—during the _Mob Rules_ world tour, across the United States
United States
in Dallas
Dallas
, San Antonio
San Antonio
, and Seattle
Seattle
, in 1982. During the mixing process for the album, Iommi and Butler had a falling out with Dio. Misinformed by their then-current mixing engineer, Iommi and Butler accused Dio of sneaking into the studio at night to raise the volume of his vocals. In addition, Dio was not satisfied with the pictures of him in the artwork. Butler also accused Dio and Appice of working on a solo album during the album's mixing without telling the other members of Black Sabbath. "Ronnie wanted more say in things," Iommi said. "And Geezer would get upset with him and that is where the rot set in. _Live Evil_ is when it all fell apart. Ronnie wanted to do more of his own thing, and the engineer we were using at the time in the studio didn't know what to do, because Ronnie was telling him one thing and we were telling him another. At the end of the day, we just said, 'That's it, the band is over'". "When it comes time for the vocal, nobody tells me what to do. Nobody! Because they're not as good as me, so I do what I want to do," Dio later said. "I refuse to listen to _Live Evil_, because there are too many problems. If you look at the credits, the vocals and drums are listed off to the side. Open up the album and see how many pictures there are of Tony, and how many there are of me and Vinny".

Ronnie James Dio left Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
in November 1982 to start his own band , and took drummer Vinny Appice with him. _Live Evil_ was released in January 1983, but was overshadowed by Ozzy Osbourne's platinum selling album _Speak of the Devil _.

_BORN AGAIN_ (1983–1984)

The remaining two original members, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, began auditioning new singers for the band's next release. Samson 's Nicky Moore, and Lone Star 's John Sloman were considered and Iommi states in his autobiography that Michael Bolton auditioned for the band. The band settled on former Deep Purple
Deep Purple
vocalist Ian Gillan
Ian Gillan
to replace Ronnie James Dio in December 1982. While the project was not initially set to be called Black Sabbath, pressures from the record label forced the group to retain the name. The band entered The Manor Studios in Shipton-on-Cherwell , Oxfordshire, in June 1983 with a returned and newly sober Bill Ward on drums. _Born Again _ was panned upon release by critics. Despite the negative reception of the album, it reached number four on the UK charts, and number 39 in the US. Even a decade after its release Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia called the album "dreadful", noting that "Gillan's bluesy style and humorous lyrics were completely incompatible with the lords of doom and gloom".

Although he performed on the album, drummer Ward was unable to tour because of the pressures of the road, and quit the band after the commencement of the Born Again album. "I fell apart with the idea of touring", Ward later said. "I got so much fear behind touring, I didn't talk about the fear, I drank behind the fear instead and that was a big mistake." Ward was replaced by former Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan for the _Born Again_ \'83 -\'84 world tour , (often unofficially referred to as the 'Feigh Death Sabbath '83 – '84' World Tour) which began in Europe with Diamond Head , and later in the US with Quiet Riot
Quiet Riot
and Night Ranger . The band headlined the 1983 Reading Festival in England, adding the Deep Purple
Deep Purple
song "Smoke on the Water " to their set list.

The tour in support of _Born Again_ included a giant set of the Stonehenge
Stonehenge
monument. In a move that would be later parodied in the mockumentary _ This Is Spinal Tap _, the band made a mistake in ordering the set piece. As Geezer Butler later explained:

We had Sharon Osbourne's dad, Don Arden
Don Arden
, managing us. He came up with the idea of having the stage set be Stonehenge. He wrote the dimensions down and gave it to our tour manager. He wrote it down in metres but he meant to write it down in feet. The people who made it saw fifteen metres instead of fifteen feet. It was 45 feet high and it wouldn't fit on any stage anywhere so we just had to leave it in the storage area. It cost a fortune to make but there was not a building on earth that you could fit it into.

HIATUS AND _SEVENTH STAR_ (1984–1986)

Following the completion of the _Born Again_ tour in March 1984, vocalist Ian Gillan
Ian Gillan
left Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
to re-join Deep Purple, which was reforming after a long hiatus. Bevan left at the same time, and Gillan remarked that he and Bevan were made to feel like "hired help" by Iommi. The band then recruited an unknown Los Angeles vocalist named David Donato . The new line-up wrote and rehearsed throughout 1984, and eventually recorded a demo with producer Bob Ezrin in October. Unhappy with the results, the band parted ways with Donato shortly after. Disillusioned with the band's revolving line-up, bassist Geezer Butler quit Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
in November 1984 to form a solo band. "When Ian Gillan
Ian Gillan
took over that was the end of it for me", Butler later said. "I thought it was just a joke and I just totally left. When we got together with Gillan it was not supposed to be a Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
album. After we had done the album we gave it to Warner Bros. and they said they were going to put it out as a Black Sabbath album and we didn't have a leg to stand on. I got really disillusioned with it and Gillan was really pissed off about it. That lasted one album and one tour and then that was it."

Following Butler's exit, sole remaining original member Tony Iommi put Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
on hiatus, and began work on a solo album with long-time Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls . While working on new material, the original Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
line-up were offered a spot at Bob Geldof 's Live Aid benefit concert; the band agreed, performing at the Philadelphia show, on 13 July 1985. The event marked the first time the original line-up appeared on stage since 1978, and also featured reunions of the Who and Led Zeppelin . Returning to his solo work, Iommi enlisted bassist Dave Spitz , drummer Eric Singer and initially intended to use multiple singers, including Rob Halford of Judas Priest, former Deep Purple
Deep Purple
and Trapeze vocalist Glenn Hughes , and former Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
vocalist Ronnie James Dio. This plan didn't work as he forecasted. "We were going to use different vocalists on the album, guest vocalists, but it was so difficult getting it together and getting releases from their record companies. Glenn Hughes came along to sing on one track and we decided to use him on the whole album."

The band spent the remainder of the year in the studio, recording what would become _ Seventh Star _. Warner Bros. refused to release the album as a Tony Iommi solo release, instead insisting on using the name Black Sabbath. Pressured by the band's manager, Don Arden
Don Arden
, the two compromised and released the album as " Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
featuring Tony Iommi" in January 1986. "It opened up a whole can of worms really", Iommi explained, "because I think if we could have done it as a solo album, it would have been accepted a lot more." _Seventh Star_, which sounded little like a Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
album, incorporated more hard rock elements popularised by the 1980s Sunset Strip
Sunset Strip
hard rock scene, and was panned by the critics of the era, although later reviewers such as Allmusic gave the album favourable reviews, calling the album "often misunderstood and underrated".

The new line-up rehearsed for six weeks preparing for a full world tour, although the band were eventually forced to use the Black Sabbath name. "I was into the ' Tony Iommi project', but I wasn't into the Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
moniker", Hughes said. "The idea of being in Black Sabbath didn't appeal to me _whatsoever_. Glenn Hughes singing in Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
is like James Brown singing in Metallica . It wasn't gonna work". Just four days before the start of the tour, vocalist Glenn Hughes got into a bar fight with the band's production manager John Downing which splintered the singer's orbital bone . The injury interfered with Hughes' ability to sing, and the band brought in vocalist Ray Gillen to continue the tour with W.A.S.P. and Anthrax , although nearly half of the US dates would eventually be cancelled because of poor ticket sales.

One vocalist whose status is disputed, both inside and outside Black Sabbath, is Christian evangelist and former Joshua frontman, Jeff Fenholt . Fenholt has insisted that he was a singer in Black Sabbath between January and May 1985. Tony Iommi has never confirmed this. Fenholt gives a detailed account of his time with Iommi and Sabbath in Garry Sharpe-Young's book _Sabbath Bloody Sabbath: The Battle for Black Sabbath_.

_THE ETERNAL IDOL_, _HEADLESS CROSS_ AND _TYR_ (1986–1990)

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
began work on new material in October 1986 at Air Studios in Montserrat with producer Jeff Glixman . The recording was fraught with problems from the beginning, as Glixman left after the initial sessions to be replaced by producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven . Bassist Dave Spitz quit over "personal issues", and former Rainbow and Ozzy Osbourne bassist Bob Daisley was brought in. Daisley re-recorded all of the bass tracks, and wrote the album's lyrics, but before the album was complete, he left to join Gary Moore 's backing band, taking drummer Eric Singer with him. After problems with second producer Coppersmith-Heaven, the band returned to Morgan Studios in England in January 1987 to work with new producer Chris Tsangarides . While working in the UK, new vocalist Ray Gillen abruptly left Black Sabbath to form Blue Murder with John Sykes . The band enlisted former Alliance vocalist Tony Martin to re-record Gillen's tracks, and former Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan to complete a few percussion overdubs. Before the release of the new album Black Sabbath accepted an offer to play six shows at Sun City , South Africa during the apartheid era. The band drew criticism from activists and artists involved with Artists United Against Apartheid , who had been boycotting South Africa since 1985. Drummer Bev Bevan refused to play the shows, and was replaced by Terry Chimes , formerly of the Clash .

After nearly a year in production, _ The Eternal Idol _ was released on 8 December 1987 and ignored by contemporary reviewers. On-line internet era reviews were mixed. AllMusic said that "Martin's powerful voice added new fire" to the band, and the album contained "some of Iommi's heaviest riffs in years." _Blender_ gave the album two stars, claiming the album was " Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
in name only". The album would stall at No. 66 in the UK, while peaking at 168 in the US. The band toured in support of _Eternal Idol_ in Germany, Italy and for the first time, Greece. Unfortunately, in part because of a backlash from promoters over the South Africa incident, other European shows were cancelled. Bassist Dave Spitz left the band shortly before the tour, and was replaced by Jo Burt , formerly of Virginia Wolf.

Following the poor commercial performance of _The Eternal Idol_, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
were dropped by both Vertigo Records and Warner Bros. Records, and signed with I.R.S. Records . The band took time off in 1988, returning in August to begin work on their next album. As a result of the recording troubles with _Eternal Idol_, Tony Iommi opted to produce the band's next album himself. "It was a completely new start", Iommi said. "I had to rethink the whole thing, and decided that we needed to build up some credibility again". Iommi enlisted former Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell , long-time keyboardist Nicholls and session bassist Laurence Cottle , and rented a "very cheap studio in England".

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
released _ Headless Cross _ in April 1989, and it was also ignored by contemporary reviewers, although Allmusic contributor Eduardo Rivadavia gave the album four stars and called it "the finest non-Ozzy or Dio Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
album". Anchored by the number 62 charting single "Headless Cross", the album reached number 31 on the UK charts, and number 115 in the US. Queen guitarist Brian May
Brian May
, a good friend of Iommi's, played a guest solo on the song "When Death Calls". Following the album's release the band added touring bassist Neil Murray , formerly of Whitesnake , Gary Moore 's backing band, and Vow Wow .

The unsuccessful _Headless Cross_ US tour began in May 1989 with openers Kingdom Come and Silent Rage , but because of poor ticket sales, the tour was cancelled after just eight shows. The European leg of the tour began in September, where the band were enjoying chart success. After a string of Japanese shows the band embarked on a 23 date Russian tour with Girlschool . Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
was one of the first bands to tour Russia, after Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
opened the country to western acts for the first time in 1989.

The band returned to the studio in February 1990 to record _Tyr _, the follow-up to _Headless Cross_. While not technically a concept album , some of the album's lyrical themes are loosely based on Norse mythology . _Tyr_ was released on 6 August 1990, reaching number 24 on the UK albums chart, but was the first Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
release not to break the _Billboard_ 200 in the US. The album would receive mixed internet-era reviews, with Allmusic noting that the band "mix myth with metal in a crushing display of musical synthesis", while _Blender_ gave the album just one star, claiming that "Iommi continues to besmirch the Sabbath name with this unremarkable collection". The band toured in support of _Tyr_ with Circus of Power in Europe, but the final seven UK dates were cancelled because of poor ticket sales. For the first time in their career, the band's touring cycle did not include US dates.

_DEHUMANIZER_ (1990–1992)

Following a performance in 1990, both Ronnie James Dio and Geezer Butler expressed interest in rejoining Black Sabbath.

While on his own _ Lock Up the Wolves _ US tour in August 1990, former Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
vocalist Ronnie James Dio was joined on stage at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium by former Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
bassist Geezer Butler to perform "Neon Knights". Following the show, the two expressed interest in rejoining Black Sabbath. Butler convinced Iommi, who in turn broke up the current line-up, dismissing vocalist Tony Martin and bassist Neil Murray. "I do regret that in a lot of ways", Iommi said. "We were at a good point then. We decided to and I don't even know why, really. There's the financial aspect, but that wasn't it. I seemed to think maybe we could recapture something we had".

Ronnie James Dio and Geezer Butler joined Tony Iommi and Cozy Powell in autumn of 1990 to begin working on the next Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
release. While rehearsing in November, Powell suffered a broken hip when his horse died, falling on the drummer's legs. Unable to complete work on the album, Powell was replaced by former drummer Vinny Appice , reuniting the _Mob Rules_ era line-up, and the band entered the studio with producer Reinhold Mack . The year-long recording process was plagued with problems, primarily stemming from writing tension between Iommi and Dio. Some songs were re-written multiple times. "_Dehumanizer_ took a long time, it was just hard work", Iommi said. "We took too long on it, that album cost us a million dollars, which is bloody ridiculous". Dio later recalled the album as difficult, but worth the effort. "It was something we had to really wring out of ourselves, but I think that's why it works", he said. "Sometimes you need that kind of tension, or else you end up making the Christmas album".

The resulting album, _ Dehumanizer _ was released on 22 June 1992. In the US, the album was released on 30 June 1992 by Reprise Records , as Ronnie James Dio and his namesake band were still under contract with the label at the time. While the album received mixed reviews, it was the band's biggest commercial success in a decade. Anchored by the top 40 rock radio single "TV Crimes", the album peaked at number 44 on the _Billboard 200._ The album also featured the song "Time Machine", a version of which had been recorded for the 1992 film _Wayne\'s World _. Additionally, the perception by many fans of a return of some semblance of the "real" Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
provided the band with some much needed momentum.

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
began touring in support of _Dehumanizer_ in July 1992 with Testament , Danzig , Prong , and Exodus . While on tour, former vocalist Ozzy Osbourne announced his first retirement, and invited Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
to open for his solo band at the final two shows of his _No More Tours _ tour in Costa Mesa, California . The band agreed, aside from vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who told Iommi in no uncertain terms "I'm not doing that. I'm not supporting a clown." Dio spoke of the situation in an interview years later:

I was told in the middle of the tour that we would be opening for Ozzy in Los Angeles. And I said, "No. Sorry, I have more pride than that." A lot of bad things were being said from camp to camp, and it created this horrible schism. So by agreeing to play the shows in L.A. with Ozzy, that, to me, spelled out reunion. And that obviously meant the doom of that particular project.

Dio quit Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
following a show in Oakland, California on 13 November 1992, one night before the band were set to appear at Osbourne's retirement show. Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford stepped in at the last minute, performing two nights with the band. Iommi and Butler also joined Osbourne and former drummer Ward on stage for the first time since 1985's _ Live Aid _ concert, performing a brief set of Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
songs.

_CROSS PURPOSES_ AND _FORBIDDEN_ (1993–1996)

Drummer Vinny Appice left the band following the reunion show to join Ronnie James Dio's solo band, later appearing on Dio's _Strange Highways _ and _ Angry Machines _. Iommi and Butler enlisted former Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli , and reinstated former vocalist Tony Martin . The band returned to the studio to work on new material, although the project was not originally intended to be released under the Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
name. As Geezer Butler explains:

It wasn't even supposed to be a Sabbath album; I wouldn't have even done it under the pretence of Sabbath. That was the time when the original band were talking about getting back together for a reunion tour. Tony and myself just went in with a couple of people, did an album just to have, while the reunion tour was (supposedly) going on. It was like an Iommi/Butler project album.

Under pressure from their record label, the band released their seventeenth studio album, _ Cross Purposes _, on 8 February 1994, under the Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
name. The album received mixed reviews, with _Blender_ giving the album two stars, calling Soundgarden 's 1994 album _ Superunknown _ "a far better Sabbath album than this by-the-numbers potboiler". Allmusic's Bradley Torreano called _Cross Purposes_ "the first album since _Born Again_ that actually sounds like a real Sabbath record". The album just missed the Top 40 in the UK reaching number 41, and also reached 122 on the _Billboard_ 200 in the US. _Cross Purposes_ contained the song "Evil Eye", which was co-written by Van Halen
Van Halen
guitarist Eddie Van Halen
Van Halen
, although uncredited because of record label restrictions. Touring in support of _Cross Purposes_ began in February with Morbid Angel and Motörhead in the US. The band filmed a live performance at the Hammersmith Apollo on 13 April 1994, which was released on VHS accompanied by a CD, titled _ Cross Purposes Live _. After the European tour with Cathedral and Godspeed in June 1994, drummer Bobby Rondinelli quit the band and was replaced by original Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
drummer Ward for five shows in South America. Geezer Butler in 1995

Following the touring cycle for _Cross Purposes_, bassist Geezer Butler quit the band for the second time. "I finally got totally disillusioned with the last Sabbath album, and I much preferred the stuff I was writing to the stuff Sabbath were doing". Butler formed a solo project called GZR , and released _ Plastic Planet _ in 1995. The album contained the song "Giving Up the Ghost", which was critical of Tony Iommi for carrying on with the Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
name, with the lyrics: _You plagiarised and parodied / the magic of our meaning / a legend in your own mind / left all your friends behind / you can't admit that you're wrong / the spirit is dead and gone_ ("I heard it's something about me ..." said Iommi. "I had the album given to me a while back. I played it once, then somebody else had it, so I haven't really paid any attention to the lyrics ... It's nice to see him doing his own thing – getting things off his chest. I don't want to get into a rift with Geezer. He's still a friend."

Following Butler's departure, newly returned drummer Ward once again left the band. Iommi reinstated former members Neil Murray on bass and Cozy Powell on drums, effectively reuniting the _Tyr_ line-up. The band enlisted Body Count guitarist Ernie C to produce the new album, which was recorded in London in autumn of 1994. The album featured a guest vocal on "Illusion of Power" by Body Count vocalist Ice-T . The resulting _Forbidden _ was released on 8 June 1995, but failed to chart in the US or the UK. The album was widely panned by critics; Allmusic's Bradley Torreano said "with boring songs, awful production, and uninspired performances, this is easily avoidable for all but the most enthusiastic fan"; while _Blender_ magazine called _Forbidden_ "an embarrassment ... the band's worst album".

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
embarked on a world tour in July 1995 with openers Motörhead and Tiamat
Tiamat
, but two months into the tour, drummer Cozy Powell left the band, citing health issues, and was replaced by former drummer Bobby Rondinelli . "The members I had in the last lineup – Bobby Rondinelli, Neil Murray – they're great, great characters ..." Iommi told Sabbath fanzine _Southern Cross_. "That, for me, was an ideal lineup. I wasn't sure vocally what we should do, but Neil Murray and Bobby Rondinelli I really got on well with."

After completing Asian dates in December 1995, Tony Iommi put the band on hiatus, and began work on a solo album with former Black Sabbath vocalist Glenn Hughes , and former Judas Priest drummer Dave Holland . The album was not officially released following its completion, although a widely traded bootleg called _Eighth Star_ surfaced soon after. The album was officially released in 2004 as _The 1996 DEP Sessions _, with Holland's drums re-recorded by session drummer Jimmy Copley .

In 1997, Tony Iommi disbanded the current line-up to officially reunite with Ozzy Osbourne and the original Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
line-up. Vocalist Tony Martin claimed that an original line-up reunion had been in the works since the band's brief reunion at Ozzy Osbourne's 1992 Costa Mesa show, and that the band released subsequent albums to fulfill their record contract with I.R.S. Records. Martin later recalled _Forbidden_ as a "filler album that got the band out of the label deal, rid of the singer, and into the reunion. However I wasn't privy to that information at the time". I.R.S. Records released a compilation album in 1996 to fulfill the band's contract, titled _The Sabbath Stones _, which featured songs from _Born Again_ to _Forbidden_.

_REUNION_ (1997–2006)

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
on stage in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
on 16 December 1999, L-R: Butler, Osbourne, Iommi, Ward

In the summer of 1997, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Ozzy Osbourne officially reunited to co-headline the Ozzfest
Ozzfest
festival tour alongside Osbourne\'s solo band . The line-up featured Osbourne's drummer Mike Bordin filling in for Ward, who was unable to participate because of previous commitments with his solo project, the Bill Ward Band. In December 1997, the group was joined by Ward, marking the first reunion of the original four members since Osbourne's 1992 "retirement show". The original line-up recorded two shows at the Birmingham
Birmingham
NEC , which were released as the double live album _Reunion _ on 20 October 1998. _Reunion_ reached number eleven on the _Billboard_ 200, and went platinum in the US. The album spawned the single " Iron Man ", which won Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
their first Grammy Award
Grammy Award
in 2000 for Best Metal Performance , 30 years after the song was originally released. _Reunion_ also featured two new studio tracks, "Psycho Man" and "Selling My Soul", both of which cracked the top 20 on the _Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks_ chart.

Shortly before the 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
Pantera
, which began in January 1999 and continued through the summer, headlining the annual Ozzfest
Ozzfest
tour. Following the Ozzfest
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 _.

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
returned to the studio to work on new material with all four original members and producer Rick Rubin in the spring of 2001, but the sessions were halted when Osbourne was called away to finish tracks for his solo album in the summer of 2001. "It just came to an end", Iommi said. "We didn't go any further, and it's a shame because were really good". Iommi commented on the difficulty getting all of the band members together to work on material:

It's quite different recording now. We've all done so much in between. In days there was no mobile phone ringing every five seconds. When we first started, we had nothing. We all worked for the same thing. Now everybody has done so many other things. It's great fun and we all have a good chat, but it's just different, trying to put an album together.

In March 2002, Ozzy Osbourne's Emmy winning reality TV show _The Osbournes _ debuted on MTV, and quickly became a worldwide hit. The show introduced Osbourne to a broader audience and to capitalise, the band's back catalogue label, Sanctuary Records released a double live album _Past Lives _, which featured concert material recorded in the 1970s, including the previously unofficial _Live at Last _ album. The band remained on hiatus until the summer of 2004 when they returned to headline Ozzfest
Ozzfest
2004 and 2005. In November 2005, Black Sabbath
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
Black Sabbath
songs, "Hole in the Sky " and " Iron Man " in tribute to the band.

_THE DIO YEARS_ AND HEAVEN & HELL (2006–2010)

Main article: Heaven "> Tony Iommi in 2007 with Heaven & Hell

While Ozzy Osbourne was working on new solo album material in 2006, Rhino Records released _Black Sabbath: The Dio Years _, a compilation of songs culled from the four Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
releases featuring Ronnie James Dio. For the release, Iommi, Butler, Dio and Appice reunited to write and record three new songs as Black Sabbath. _The Dio Years_ was released on 3 April 2007, reaching number 54 on the _Billboard_ 200, while the single "The Devil Cried" reached number 37 on the _Mainstream Rock Tracks_ chart. Pleased with the results, Iommi and Dio decided to reunite the _Heaven and Hell_ era line-up for a world tour . While the line-up of Osbourne, Butler, Iommi and Ward were still officially called Black Sabbath, the new line-up opted to call themselves Heaven & Hell, after the album of the same name, to avoid confusion. When asked about the name of the group, Iommi stated "it really is Black Sabbath, whatever we do... so everyone knows what they're getting so people won't expect to hear 'Iron Man' and all those songs. We've done them for so many years, it's nice to do just all the stuff we did with Ronnie again." Ward was initially set to participate, but dropped out before the tour began due to musical differences with "a couple of the band members". He was replaced by former drummer Vinny Appice , effectively reuniting the line-up that had featured on the _Mob Rules_ and _Dehumanizer_ albums.

Heaven "> Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
at the Vector Arena , Auckland, 2013

In a January 2010 interview while promoting his biography _I Am Ozzy _, Osbourne stated that although he would not rule it out, he was doubtful there would be a reunion with all four original members of the band. Osbourne stated: "I'm not gonna say I've written it out forever, but right now I don't think there's any chance. But who knows what the future holds for me? If it's my destiny, fine." In July, Butler said that there would be no reunion in 2011, as Osbourne was already committed to touring with his solo band. However, by that August they had already met up to rehearse together, and continued to do so through the autumn.

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. It was later announced that an intimate show would be played in their hometown Birmingham
Birmingham
. It was the first concert since the reunion and the only indoors concerts that year. In February 2012, drummer Ward announced that he would not participate further in the band's reunion until he was offered a "signable contract".

On 21 May 2012, at the O2 Academy in Birmingham, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
played their first concert since 2005, with Tommy Clufetos playing the drums. In June, they performed at Download Festival, followed by the last concert of the short tour at Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago. Later that month, the band started recording an album. Black Sabbath at Barclays Center
Barclays Center
, Brooklyn, 2014

On 13 January 2013, the band announced that the album would be released in June under the title _13 _. Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine was chosen as the drummer, and Rick Rubin was chosen as the producer. Mixing of the album commenced in February. 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.

The band's first single from _13_, " God Is Dead? ", was released on 19 April 2013. On 20 April 2013, Black Sabbath
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
Black Sabbath
their first Grammy Award
Grammy Award
in 14 years for Best Metal Performance in 2014.

In July 2013, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
embarked on a North American Tour (for the first time since July 2001), followed by a Latin American tour in October 2013. In November 2013, the band started their European tour which lasted until December 2013. In March and April 2014, they made 12 stops in North America (mostly in Canada) as the second leg of their North American Tour before embarking in June 2014 on the second leg of their European tour, which ended with a concert at London's Hyde Park.

FINAL TOUR, THE FUTURE AND DISBANDMENT (2014–2017)

On 29 September 2014, Osbourne told _ Metal Hammer _ that Black Sabbath would begin work on their twentieth studio album in early 2015 with producer Rick Rubin , followed by a final tour in 2016. In an April 2015 interview, however, Osbourne said that these plans "could change", and added, "We all live in different countries and some of them want to work and some of them don't want to, I believe. But we are going to do another tour together." Osbourne at the band's last ever concert which took place at the Genting Arena , Birmingham in February 2017

On 3 September 2015, it was announced that Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
would embark on their final tour, titled The End , from January 2016 to February 2017. Numerous dates and locations across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand were announced. The final shows of The End tour took place at the Genting Arena in their home city of Birmingham , England on 2 and 4 February 2017.

On 26 October 2015, it was announced the band consisting of Osbourne, Iommi and Butler would be returning to the Download Festival on 11 June 2016. Despite earlier reports that they would enter the studio before their farewell tour, Osbourne stated that there would not be another Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
studio album. However, an 8-track CD entitled _The End _ was sold at dates on the tour. Along with some live recordings, the CD includes four unused tracks from the _13_ sessions. Sabbath at the end of their final concert, February 2017

On 4 March 2016, Iommi discussed future re-releases of the Tony Martin -era catalogue. He explained: "We've held back on the reissues of those albums because of the current Sabbath thing with Ozzy Osbourne, but they will certainly be happening... I'd like to do a couple of new tracks for those releases with Tony Martin... I'll also be looking at working on _ Cross Purposes _ and _Forbidden _." Martin has suggested that this could coincide with the 30th anniversary of _ The Eternal Idol _, in 2017. In an interview that August, Martin added " still has his cancer issues of course and that may well stop it all from happening but if he wants to do something I am ready." On 10 August 2016, Iommi revealed that his cancer was in remission.

Asked in November 2016 about his plans after Black Sabbath's final tour, Iommi replied, "I'll be doing some writing. Maybe I'll be doing something with the guys, maybe in the studio, but no touring." The band played their final concert on 4 February 2017 in Birmingham. The final song was streamed live on the band's Facebook
Facebook
page and fireworks went off as the band took their final bow. Iommi has said that he does not rule out the possibility of one-off shows, "I wouldn't write that off, if one day that came about. That's possible. Or even doing an album, 'cause then, again, you're in one place. But I don't know if that would happen." In an April 2017 interview, Butler revealed that Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
considered making a blues album as the follow-up to _13_, but added that, "the tour got in the way."

On 7 March 2017, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
announced they had disbanded, through posts made on their official social media accounts.

MUSICAL STYLE

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
were a heavy metal band, whose music has also been described as psychedelic rock , blues rock , hard rock , progressive rock , proto-progressive metal , and acid rock . The band have also been cited as a key influence on genres including stoner rock , grunge , doom metal , and sludge metal .

Early on Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
were influenced by Cream , the Beatles , Fleetwood Mac , Jimi Hendrix , John Mayall ">♯ tuning, or 3 semitones down, before settling on E♭/D♯ tuning, or a half-step down from standard tuning.

LEGACY

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
has sold over 70 million records worldwide, including a RIAA -certified 15 million in the US. They are one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time. The band helped to create the genre with ground-breaking releases such as _Paranoid _, an album that _Rolling Stone_ magazine said "changed music forever", and called the band "the Beatles of heavy metal". _Time Magazine_ called _Paranoid_ "the birthplace of heavy metal", placing it in their Top 100 Albums of All Time. _Rolling Stone_ magazine ranked Black Sabbath number 85 in their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time. MTV placed Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
at number one on their Top Ten Heavy Metal Bands and VH1 placed them at number two on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. VH1 ranked Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" the number one song on their 40 Greatest Metal Songs countdown. Allmusic's William Ruhlmann said:

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
has been so influential in the development of heavy metal rock music as to be a defining force in the style. The group took the blues-rock sound of late '60s acts like Cream , Blue Cheer , and Vanilla Fudge to its logical conclusion, slowing the tempo, accentuating the bass, and emphasising screaming guitar solos and howled vocals full of lyrics expressing mental anguish and macabre fantasies. If their predecessors clearly came out of an electrified blues tradition, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
took that tradition in a new direction, and in so doing helped give birth to a musical style that continued to attract millions of fans decades later.

According to _Rolling Stone_'s Holly George-Warren, "Black Sabbath was the heavy metal king of the 70s." Although initially "despised by rock critics and ignored by radio programmers", the group sold more than 8 million albums by the end of that decade.

INFLUENCE AND INNOVATION

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
have influenced many acts including Iron Maiden , Slayer
Slayer
, Metallica , Nirvana , Korn
Korn
, Mayhem , Venom , Judas Priest , Guns N\' Roses , Soundgarden , Body Count , Alice in Chains , Anthrax , Disturbed , Death , Opeth
Opeth
, Pantera
Pantera
, Megadeth
Megadeth
, the Smashing Pumpkins , Slipknot , Foo Fighters , Fear Factory , Candlemass
Candlemass
, Godsmack , and Van Halen
Van Halen
. Two gold selling tribute albums have been released, _ Nativity in Black Volume 1 very indicative of what Sabbath meant at the time. Tony's playing style—doesn't matter whether it's off _Paranoid_ or if it's off _Heaven and Hell_—it's very distinctive." Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian said "I always get the question in every interview I do, 'What are your top five metal albums?' I make it easy for myself and always say the first five Sabbath albums."

Lamb of God 's Chris Adler said: "If anybody who plays heavy metal says that they weren't influenced by Black Sabbath's music, then I think that they're lying to you. I think all heavy metal music was, in some way, influenced by what Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
did." Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford commented: "They were and still are a groundbreaking band..you can put on the first Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
album and it still sounds as fresh today as it did 30-odd years ago. And that's because great music has a timeless ability: To me, Sabbath are in the same league as the Beatles or Mozart. They're on the leading edge of something extraordinary." On Black Sabbath's standing, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello states: "The heaviest, scariest, coolest riffs and the apocalyptic Ozzy wail are without peer. You can hear the despair and menace of the working-class Birmingham
Birmingham
streets they came from in every kick-ass, evil groove. Their arrival ground hippy, flower-power psychedelia to a pulp and set the standard for all heavy bands to come." Phil Anselmo of Pantera
Pantera
and Down stated that "Only a fool would leave out what Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
brought to the heavy metal genre".

According to Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns
L.A. Guns
and former member of Guns N\' Roses , the main riff of " Paradise City " by Guns N\' Roses , from _ Appetite for Destruction _ (1987), was influenced by the song "Zero the Hero" from the _Born Again _ album. King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque affirmed that the clean guitar part of "Sleepless Nights" from _Conspiracy _ (1989) is inspired by Tony Iommi's playing on _ Never Say Die! _.

In addition to being pioneers of heavy metal, they also have been credited for laying the foundations for heavy metal subgenres stoner rock , sludge metal , thrash metal , black metal and doom metal as well as for alternative rock subgenre grunge . According to the critic Bob Gulla , the band's sound "shows up in virtually all of grunge's most popular bands, including Nirvana , Soundgarden , and Alice in Chains ".

Tony Iommi has been credited as the pioneer of lighter gauge guitar strings. The tips of his fingers were severed in a steel factory, and while using thimbles (artificial finger tips) he found that standard guitar strings were too difficult to bend and play. He found that there was only one size of strings available, so after years with Sabbath he had strings custom made.

Culturally, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
have exerted a huge influence in both television and literature and have in many cases become synonymous with heavy metal. In the film _ Almost Famous _, Lester Bangs gives the protagonist an assignment to cover the band (plot point one) with the immortal line: 'Give me 500 words on Black Sabbath'. Contemporary music and arts publication _Trebuchet Magazine_ has put this to practice by asking all new writers to write a short piece (500 words) on Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
as a means of proving their creativity and voice on a well documented subject.

MEMBERS

Main article: List of Black Sabbath band members

LAST LINE-UP

* Tony Iommi – guitars (1968–2006, 2011–2017) * Geezer Butler – bass (1968–1979, 1980–1985, 1987, 1990–1994, 1997–2006, 2011–2017) * Ozzy Osbourne – vocals (1968–1977, 1978–1979, 1985, 1997–2006, 2011–2017)

TOURING MEMBERS

* Adam Wakeman – keyboards , additional guitars (2004–2006, 2012–2017) * Tommy Clufetos – drums (2012–2017)

TOURS

* Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
Tour 1970 * Paranoid Tour 1970–1971 * Master of Reality Tour 1971–1972 * Vol. 4 Tour 1972–1973 * Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Tour 1973–1974 * Sabotage Tour 1975–1976 * Technical Ecstasy Tour 1976–1977 * Never Say Die! Tour 1978 * Heaven -webkit-column-count: 2; column-count: 2;">

* _ Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
_ (1970) * _Paranoid _ (1970) * _ Master of Reality _ (1971) * _Vol. 4 _ (1972) * _ Sabbath Bloody Sabbath _ (1973) * _Sabotage _ (1975) * _ Technical Ecstasy _ (1976) * _ Never Say Die! _ (1978) * _Heaven and Hell _ (1980) * _Mob Rules _ (1981) * _Born Again _ (1983) * _ Seventh Star _ (1986) * _ The Eternal Idol _ (1987) * _ Headless Cross _ (1989) * _Tyr _ (1990) * _ Dehumanizer _ (1992) * _ Cross Purposes _ (1994) * _Forbidden _ (1995) * _13 _ (2013)

SEE ALSO

* Book: Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath

* List of cover versions of Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
songs * Heavy metal groups

REFERENCES

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