The name Black Sabbath is synonymous with Heavy Metal, although the name of its lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne was once synonymous with excess, even in rock circles when premature deaths from substance abuse and fast living are far from unknown. By any reckoning, Ozzy should have been dead years ago, if not from booze and other unmentionables then from an horrific quad bike accident
in December 2003. The good news is that not only did he survive, but he made a full recovery. The even better news is that he will be fronting the band for not simply a new album but a new world tour. Best not to mention his other "career" as a reality show "star". On stage, Ozzy is a real star, but let's begin at the beginning.
This announcement was actually made back in August
by lead guitarist Tony Iommi, but now it has been confirmed
. To the beginning!
Black Sabbath hail from Birmingham where the band was formed in 1968, taking the name Black Sabbath the following year. Currently, the man from SongFacts
has 28 of the band's songs
in his database.
Ozzy was fired in 1979 due to over-indulgence in the demon drink, and was replaced by the late great Ronnie James Dio, who brought his own distinctive sound and lyrics to the band.
In his long career, Dio had worked with a number of artists, most recently fronting Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
. He died last year, aged 67.
Meanwhile, Ozzy had got his act together, and with the help of future wife Sharon (who would later become a celebrity in her own right), he put together his own band with lead guitarist Randy Rhoads, who was killed in a bizarre accident in March, 1982 aged only 25.
The short lived Blizzard Of Oz and Ozzy's solo career
produced such classics as Mr Crowley
and Close My Eyes Forever
In 1997, the original Black Sabbath line up were back together briefly for a live album. This though must surely be a world record, 33 years between studio albums for four rock dinosaurs who in spite of their trials and tribulations have remained young at heart.
With a combined age of 250 (two hundred and fifty!) years and four current wives, there is unlikely to be a big emphasis on sex and drugs along with the rock 'n' roll they produce this time, which is good news for both old Sabbath fans, and those yet to come.