With their latest album The End, the accompanying Black Sabbath tour is expected to live up to the album’s name. While long-time fans might not be ready to say goodbye to the band which launched John “Ozzy” Osbourne to rock music infamy, it may be for the band’s own good.
One listen to Black Sabbath’s self-titled original album should tell you just how long they’ve been around. Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, and Tony Iommi have been bringing their original brand of shock value and growling bass sounds to the world for 47 years, and their music has evolved to an incredible level since then.
Beginning in 1969, Black Sabbath’s touring had gotten its first boost when their self-titled song hit the airwaves on John Peel’s Top Gear radio show alongside “N.I.B.,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” and “Sleeping Village.” “Evil Woman” was actually the first song they’d performed and released as a single, though it was actually a cover of the same song done by the band Crow. Black Sabbath had seen its official release on Friday the 13th, 1970, coinciding with their love for riding shock value to fame. It had taken two days to record the album with producer Roger Bain, the second of which was taken simply by mixing, according to Wikipedia‘s recounting of Tony Iommi’s words.
It was Van Halen’s sound which had convinced Ozzy Osbourne to lose interest in the band he’d risen to fame with. Their youthful energy eventually made Ozzy leave Black Sabbath, ironically after their 1978 Never Say Die! tour. Ozzy had begun drinking heavily and eventually been forced out. Mirroring Dave Mustaine years later, Ozzy had started his own band and boosted himself into a whole new level of fame.
Black Sabbath had resumed touring without John Osbourne, but failed to achieve the same level of success even with their new vocalist Ronnie James Dio. A new sound of heavy metal had been born, and Ozzy had grabbed onto it.
In 1997, Ozzy Osbourne had decided to give Black Sabbath another chance, launching the Reunion tour as part of Ozzfest. This tour was part of Ozzy’s plan to bring fame to new and unknown bands trying to break into the heavy metal scene. The notion began a form of revival for Ozzy’s original band, but they then split up to work on individual albums again.
Black Sabbath once again headlined Ozzfest in 2004, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following year. After some legal troubles, Ozzy finally rejoined Black Sabbath to tour in 2012, two years after Ronnie James Dio died from stomach cancer.
Going on four years back together, Ozzy’s original band has been rocking concert halls and airwaves once more, with new material proving that John Osbourne is officially back.
— Screaming Guitars (@ScreamnGuitars) January 23, 2016
Their latest album, known as The End, allegedly marks Black Sabbath’s farewell tour as they follow the words of Def Leppard, burning out rather than fading away. Interest in the band is once again rabid enough that four of their newest tracks have once again hit the internet. Unless YouTube has taken them down, you can hear them on Ultimate Classic Rock. They include “Season of the Dead,” “Take Me Home,” “Cry All Night,” and “Isolated Man.”
Are you excited about Black Sabbath’s final album and the rocking finale of one of heavy metal’s original bands?
[Image via MusikAnimal / Wikimedia Commons]