No it’s not the Beatles or a mystery-solving Enid Blyton quartet of cousins. I’m saying see ya to historic giants of rock, Black Sabbath. On February 4th 2017, the mighty Sabbath rocked out live for the final time at the Genting Arena on their home turf of Birmingham – well three of the original line-up did. Drummer Bill Ward no longer plays with the band.
Sadly I wasn’t there to see the 15 song set which included Sabbath classics Fairies Wear Boots, Under the Sun, Snowblind, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Iron Man and the encore, Paranoid – songs from their first eight albums, released between 1970 and 1978 (and for me, their best stuff). In fact I’ve never seen them live, I haven’t had the opportunity. My fella has though, around 1980 at Deeside, North Wales when Ronnie James Dio was the frontman.
Black Sabbath’s 2nd and 4th albums
Originally Sabbath were a blues act. They started off as the Polka Tulk Blues Band, then became Earth, and finally Black Sabbath after a Boris Karloff film. This was the era I think they had their best line-up: Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. They were a heavy rock band who have since been credited as being the founding fathers of Heavy Metal music.
To me, heavy metal is a different bucket of brass. Personally not a type of music I like at all – I’m a rock chick of the Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zep ilk. Later bands mainly just don’t float my boat, with the exception of certain mainstream rock bands who fill stadiums today. That’s just personal opinion, I’m certainly not slating.
Anyway, going back a few years, and watching old footage of the Never Say Die! concert from 1978, which was Sabbath’s 10th anniversary tour, Ozzy said at the end that he hoped they’d be together for another 10 years, and another 10. They were, but mostly without Ozzy, who left shortly after.
Sabbath have undergone numerous line-ups, but have always retained the one constant, guitarist and main riffsman Tony Iommi, who, to me, is the sound of Black Sabbath.
But back to now, Black Sabbath’s last gig from their last tour. They may record again, Ozzy will still probably continue touring with his own band, but the Fab Four as they were from albums Black Sabbath through to Never Say Die! was for many, a halcyon period of their evolution.
Never Say Die! was the end of the beginning – Ozzy Osbourne