Friday, August 19, 2011

Black Sabbath… Reunion rumors and their very weird history

As reported by every music outlet on Tuesday (except this one), heavy metal gods Black Sabbath have supposedly been working on a new studio album in secret since June, which would be their first release (with Ozzy) since 1978. Well, at least according to an article written by Birmingham Mail reporter Andy Coleman. The story has since been debunked by Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. It appears that a conversation Coleman had with Iommi back in June was misconstrued and reported two months (WTF?) later. Shame on him… I guess.

Either way, if you’re confused about the hype surrounding a full on Black Sabbath reunion, here’s an abridged (and weird) breakdown of the band’s on-again/off-again history, and why a reunion with Ozzy is actually kinda sorta special:

  • Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler form Black Sabbath in 1968.
  • The band releases seven studio albums, most of which receive critical acclaim.
  • Ozzy quits in 1977 only to have a change of heart and rejoin in 1978. Yes, but then in 1979, Ozzy is fired for being… well, Ozzy.
  • Ronnie James Dio, arguably(?) the better Sabbath frontman, is brought into the lineup later that year. But then drummer Bill Ward is fired in 1980 for being… well, just like Ozzy
  • Okay, so we’re down to two original members here (Butler and Iommi). Dio then leaves in 1982 to form his own band (Dio) and Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan is brought in to fill Dio’s shoes shortly after. The album they record, Born Again, is actually not supposed to even be released as a Black Sabbath album, but record label pressure forces them to do so. Gillan’s tenure is short lived.
  • Some dude named David Donato is given lead vocal duties. Big mistake, that guy sucks (apparently, though I honestly have no idea).
  • Geezer Butler quits shortly after. Down to one member now, Tony Iommi.
  • Hey – remember Live Aid in 1985? When The Who and Led Zeppelin kinda sorta reunited (blarf)? Well Sabbath does the same thing, except all four original members actually showed up. And it's kinda cool (from what I remember).
  • Tony Iommi resumes work on a solo album, Seventh Star, featuring the vocalists of Judas Priest, Trapeze, Deep Purple and even Dio again. Again, record label pressure forces Iommi to release the album as “Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi.” Weird.
  • A tour under the Black Sabbath banner even happens. Not cool. But this is where it gets really weird. Christian evangelist Jeff Fenholt claims he was the singer of Black Sabbath between January and May of 1985, except that Iommi claims Fenholt was merely auditioning for Iommi’s solo album (which was, um, Seventh Star).
  • Whatever, Iommi continues to replace and fire various band members, at one point even enlisting Terry Chimes, former drummer of The Clash to play some shows in South Africa during the apartheid era… what?
  • A couple more Iommi-led Sabbath albums are released and trashed by music critics. Many even refuse to review them. Shitty... the records, not the lack of attention.
  • The band plays a show in Minneapolis and Geezer Butler and Dio show up randomly, so Iommi decides to fire Sabbath's current singer (Tony Martin) (who the fuck is that?) and bassist Neil Murray.
  • Dio quits Sabbath yet again in 1992 because the idea of them opening for Ozzy Osbourne for his "retirement" show pisses him the fuck off. Fuck.
  • The band, once again, releases another album not intended to be a Black Sabbath album, but it happens anyway. Cross Purposes is released in 1994. And it blows.
  • Geezer Butler quits the band again.
  • A bunch of other stupid shit happens.
  • Ok, finally, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Ozzy Osbourne reform as Black Sabbath to headline Ozzfest in 1997. Bill Ward couldn't make it, he was touring as The Bill Ward Band of course.
  • The reformed Black Sabbath, now with all four original members, enters the studio with Rick Rubin in 2001. Nothing ever comes with it. Ah, shit.
  • *Sigh*... Dio rejoins and the band releases The Dio Years, a compilation of the fucking Dio years of Sabbath, and they record three more songs. I don't know what songs they are, but they're probably not too good.
  • This is really a mindfuck to write all of this.
  • Osbourne sues Iommi claiming that he illegally claimed the band's name in 2009. The ended up settling out of court.
  • Ronnie James Dio passes away on May 16, 2010.
  • Here we are.
Holy shit that is insane. Has there ever been a band with that much shit that's gone down? Anyway, though Iommi is denying a confirmation, he never explicitly denies that they have been working on a new album. So who knows what may actually happen. But you do have to question why these four guys would want to look at each others faces ever again. Fuck.

No comments:

Post a Comment