Genre: Heavy metal
This was going to a moment of rock history. Black Sabbath. In 1970, they released a song called Paranoid. Hardly anybody in Britain had ever heard a song like that before. It was a genre that these Aston Villa fans had pretty much invented themselves. It was called heavy metal, and many would say that this is still the best metal band that ever lived.
And they still live. The charismatic lead singer was Ozzy Osbourne. A lot of young people only know him now as the stoned looking father of a weird family on a TV reality show. He looked stoned because he was. The generation before that knew him best for the story, apparently true, that he once bit the head off a live bat on stage.
He hadn’t been part of Black Sabbath since 1979, when he was fired. The band had no option. The guy was always pissed. Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio took his place, and Black Sabbath have muscled on ever since, changing line-ups on a constant basis, while ironically, in the eighties, Ozzy probably enjoyed more success than his former bandmates as a solo artist.
There was a Black Sabbath reunion with Ozzy in 2007, but what was promised in 2012 was going to be rock history. The original band, Ozzy plus Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, were going to go on tour together for the first time in over thirty years, with Azkena Rock in Vitoria included on the itinerary.
Unfortunately, due to lymphoma, Tony Iommi is too ill to tour, and so instead we are going to have to make do with what’s being billed as Ozzy and Friends. One of those, naturally, is bassist Butler, another is a long time collaborator with Ozzy, Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society (who are also playing at Azkena, so he’s in for a busy time), and the other is some lop haired geezer that goes by the curious name of Slash. His former band, well the singer anyway, are playing at Costa de Fuego this year. Iommi won’t be there, but all the Black Sabbath classic tunes will be. Enjoy…
Did you know: The last time any guise of Black Sabbath released an album was Forbidden in 2005. Critics and fans alike agreed that it should have been just that … forbidden.