Time flies when you’re headbanging to good music, around 50 years to be exact. That was just about the time when a couple of young artists in the late 60s chose to swim against the current. Some of these artists would later become icons, influencing a whole genre of music. One of these we know as the legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath.
Black Sabbath is considered to be one of the pioneers of heavy metal, alongside other bands like Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Motörhead and Led Zeppelin. They were amongst the first to experiment with themes of darkness and horror, and write lyrics that shook you to your core; “Look into my eyes, you will see who I am/my name is Lucifer, please take my hand”.
At the time where music was predominantly smooth Jazz and Blues, this band shook the world with a sound and vibe that no one had ever heard or felt before. However, establishing themselves as Black Sabbath, and developing their unique style took them a couple of tries.
In fact, unbeknownst to many, the group first formed a blues-rock band by the name of the Polka Tulk Blues Band in 1968 and underwent quite a few line-up changes. They broke up, reformed and named themselves as Earth (which they later found out was already taken by another band), when a new movie by the name Black Sabbath was released and inspired the name of their band.
The band was now set to go – with acclaimed Tony Iommi setting the rhythm as the lead guitarist; the soul of the band, Geezer Butler as the bassist; the backbone of the band, Bill Ward as the drummer and last but certainly not least, the god of heavy metal, sending shivers down our spine, frontman and lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.
Yet, once more, it was no walk in the park for the guys. In the beginning, they kept getting rejected time and time again and were told to “learn how to play first” before trying to get signed by a label, but albeit the struggles, the band stayed true to themselves and their music and pushed harder on playing live gigs. That was until their manager, Simpson, managed to secure them studio time to record their debut album.
The band recorded their first album Black Sabbath, in just two days, when in January 1970, only three months after debuting their album, the record label Philips issued “Evil Woman, after it took an interest in the band’s recordings. Soon after, Black Sabbath found themselves back in the studio recording their second album after their debut album reached number 8 in the UK Albums Chart.
But just about ten years after the group was first formed came trouble in paradise, which led the frontman, Ozzy Osbourne, to be kicked out of the band by his bandmates. The reasons being this decision was due to Ozzy’s heavy use of drugs and alcohol which became too much for the band to handle. He was kicked out in 1979 and was replaced by the former vocalist for Rainbow, Ronnie James Dio.
But that wasn’t the end all, for the rock legend. On the contrary, it was the beginning of something greater, something that he would have never thought possible after leaving the band he thought was his only future. After being kicked out of the band, Ozzy Osbourne’s fame skyrocketed when he pursued his solo career. Sharon Arden, who would later become his wife, was one of the first people to encourage Ozzy to go solo, and so he did, making a name for himself and winning several awards in the process too, including three Grammy Awards.
Today, he is recognized as one of the most influential people in history, and praised as the “god of heavy metal” and “the prince of darkness”. In November of last year, he was asked to join Metal Casino, a casino created for metal fans and casino lovers. Needless to say, it sparked a lot of hype in the gaming industry, much to the benefit of the casino:
“Metal Casino launched onto the casino industry just this summer, and to some serious anticipation. It promised us harder edges, ballsy promotions and a World Tour we’re not soon to forget. And, for the most part, it’s been delivering on that front. But this deal has seriously rocked our socks. Ozzy Osbourne, ex-lead vocalist of the legendary Black Sabbath, as the new front-man for Metal Casino? Sign us up please. ” – Casinos.co, casino industry experts
“Ozzy Osbourne is a legend and now he’s a partner with Metal Casino. As far as we’re concerned, this is the biggest sponsorship deal in the world and we’re still in awe that our all-time hero is on board with the project.” – Clas Dahlén, CEO of Metal Casino
Meanwhile, the other band members seem to have taken a break from the limelight, especially after the band’s Farewell Tour which ended in last February of last year, which took place with the band’s official lineup, except for Bill Ward, who left the band over a dispute back in 2012.
The fans, however, were left with the hope of a comeback when Tony Iommi claimed did not exclude the possibility for new material or one-off shows under the Black Sabbath name, although, the band’s first frontman, Ozzy Osbourne, didn’t share the same view.
Perhaps, it’s because he feels he’s achieved closure, or maybe because he’s got his hands full already working on his own Farewell Tour which kicked off just a week ago. Either way, we’re all grateful for the band’s dedication to their fans throughout the years, and for gracing us with their music for the last five decades.