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Black Sabbath is one of the most iconic and influential rock bands in the history of music, known for pioneering the heavy metal genre.
The band's history is marked by a series of highs and lows, lineup changes, and musical evolution. Here's a detailed history of Black Sabbath:
Formation and Early Years (1968-1969):
- Black Sabbath was formed in Birmingham, England, in 1968. The founding members included:
- Tony Iommi (guitar)
- Geezer Butler (bass)
- Bill Ward (drums)
- Ozzy Osbourne (vocals)
- Initially, they performed under various names, including "Polka Tulk" and "Earth."
- The band adopted the name "Black Sabbath" in 1969, inspired by a 1963 horror film directed by Mario Bava.
Self-Titled Debut Album (1970):
- Black Sabbath released their eponymous debut album, "Black Sabbath," in February 1970.
- The album was groundbreaking, blending bluesy rock with dark and heavy elements that would become the hallmark of heavy metal.
- Songs like "Black Sabbath," "The Wizard," and "N.I.B." showcased their distinctive sound.
Paranoid and Master of Reality (1970-1971):
- In 1970, Black Sabbath released "Paranoid," their second album, which included hits like "Paranoid," "Iron Man," and "War Pigs."
- "Paranoid" catapulted the band to international stardom and is considered a classic of the genre.
- They followed it up with "Master of Reality" in 1971, featuring tracks like "Sweet Leaf" and "Children of the Grave."
Lineup Changes and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1972-1974):
- Black Sabbath experienced lineup changes during this period. Vocalist Ozzy Osbourne briefly left the band in 1972 and was replaced by Dave Walker before returning.
- In 1973, they released "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," which showcased a more experimental and progressive approach to their music.
- The album featured the title track, "Sabbra Cadabra," and "Killing Yourself to Live."
Sabotage and Technical Ecstasy (1975-1976):
- The mid-'70s saw the release of "Sabotage" (1975) and "Technical Ecstasy" (1976).
- While these albums received mixed critical reception, they contained notable tracks like "Symptom of the Universe" and "Dirty Women."
Departure of Ozzy Osbourne (1978):
- Ozzy Osbourne's struggles with substance abuse and tensions within the band led to his departure in 1978.
- Ronnie James Dio replaced Ozzy as the lead vocalist, and the band released "Heaven and Hell" in 1980, featuring the hit "Neon Knights."
Various Lineup Changes and Dio Era (1980-1983):
- Black Sabbath underwent several lineup changes during the early '80s, with Dio as the frontman.
- They released albums like "Mob Rules" (1981) and "Live Evil" (1982) during this period.
- Dio's powerful vocals and songwriting contributed to the band's continued success.
Return of Ozzy Osbourne (1985):
- Ozzy Osbourne returned to Black Sabbath in 1985, leading to the creation of "Seventh Star" (1986), although it was originally intended as a solo album.
- The late '80s and early '90s saw more lineup changes and albums, including "The Eternal Idol" (1987) and "Headless Cross" (1989).
Ozzfest Reunion and Beyond (1997-2017):
- In 1997, the original lineup of Black Sabbath reunited for the Ozzfest tour, featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward.
- The reunion led to the recording of the album "13" (2013), which topped the charts and earned critical acclaim.
Farewell Tour and Legacy (2017-Present):
- Black Sabbath embarked on a farewell tour called "The End" in 2016-2017, marking the end of their touring career.
- While they have not officially disbanded, it is uncertain if they will record new music or tour again.
- Black Sabbath's influence on heavy metal and rock music remains profound, and they are widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the genre.
Throughout their career, Black Sabbath endured numerous challenges, including substance abuse, creative differences, and lineup changes. Nevertheless, their impact on the music world is undeniable, and their contributions to the development of heavy metal continue to be celebrated by fans and musicians alike.