Dust off your copy of Master of Reality, because Black Sabbath's original lineup -- Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, and Ozzy Osbourne -- are reuniting again. The band that put heavy metal on the map reunites with Ozzy roughly every half-decade, so this isn't like if the Smiths or Talking Heads decided to reform. However, none of those previous get-togethers resulted in the first Ozzy/Sabbath studio album since 1978's Never Say Die! This time around, Iommi and Osbourne sat down in June to write new material for an album that will be released next year. "We're really looking forward to it and I think the stuff we've been writing is really good. It's more back to the old original stuff," Iommi told the Birmingham Mail.
Amazingly, Black Sabbath are one of the few bands from that bygone era in rock where all of the group's original members are still alive, a feat made even more impressive when you add Osbourne, a literal miracle of science, to the equation. A Black Sabbath re-reunion has been rumored for years now, but Ozzy was busy balancing his TV and solo career while Iommi was concentrating on his Sabbath-stocked side project Heaven & Hell. However, the death of Ronnie James Dio, Heaven & Hell's singer (and Ozzy's replacement in Black Sabbath), probably hastened this reunion.
"It's all been very hush-hush. Ozzy's been the worst at trying to hold it back. He's doing a lot of TV and he's being asked stuff about a reunion and he's going, 'Well I never say never,' " Iommi says. "He told me, 'I don't know what to say.' " It's true, Ozzy spent all of last year going around saying "I never say never." Black Sabbath are also in the process of rehearsing for a tour. Rock out:
UPDATE: Tony Iommi has issued a statement on his official site that calls the Birmingham Mail's story "absolute nonsense," but doesn't go as far as denying the rumors of the Black Sabbath reunion. Perhaps Iommi is just mad the news was broken in an interview and not some official announcement. Either way, this reunion shouldn't surprise anybody.
[Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com]
- Ozzy Osbourne
- Tony Iommi
- Geezer Butler