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This is the story about Black Sabbath, without Ronnie James Dio. For the Dio years you go to The Ronnie James Dio Story 4 Black Sabbath

and The Ronnie James Dio story 5 Dio

Black Sabbath are an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist 

Geezer Butler, singer Ozzy Osbourne, and drummer Bill Ward. The band have since experienced multiple line-up changes, with guitarist Iommi being the only constant presence in the band through the years. Originally formed as a 

blues rock band, the group soon adopted the Black Sabbath moniker and began incorporating occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and tuned-down guitars. Despite an association with these two themes, Black Sabbath also composed songs dealing with social instability, political corruption, the dangers of drug abuse and apocalyptic prophecies of the horrors of war.

Osbourne's regular abuse of alcohol and other drugs led to his dismissal from the band in 1979. He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist, 

Ronnie James Dio. Following two albums with Dio, Black Sabbath endured countless personnel changes in the 1980s and 1990s that included vocalists 

Ian GillanGlenn HughesRay Gillen and Tony Martin, as well as several drummers and bassists. In 1992, Iommi and Butler rejoined Dio and drummer Vinny Appice to record Dehumanizer. The original line-up reunited with Osbourne in 1997 and released a live album Reunion. Black Sabbath's 19th studio album, 13, which features all of the original members but Ward, was released in June 2013.

Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath  (1970), Paranoid (1970) and Master of Reality (1971). They were ranked by MTV as the "Greatest Metal Band" of all time, and placed second in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" list. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them number 85 in their "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". They have sold over 70 million records worldwide. Black Sabbath were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. They have also won two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance.

Formation and early days (1968–1969)

Following the break-up of their previous band Mythology in 1968, guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward sought to form a heavy 

blues rock band in Aston, Birmingham. They enlisted bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, who had played together in a band called Rare Breed, Osbourne having placed an advertisement in a local music shop: "Ozzy Zig Needs Gig – has own PA". The new group was initially named the Polka Tulk Blues Band, the name taken either from a brand of talcum powder or an Indian/Pakistani clothing shop; the exact origin is confused. The Polka Tulk Blues Band featured slide guitarist Jimmy Phillips, a childhood friend of Osbourne's, and saxophonist Alan "Aker" Clarke. After shortening the name to Polka Tulk, the band again changed their name to Earth (which Osbourne hated) and continued as a four-piece without Phillips and Clarke. Iommi became concerned that Phillips and Clarke lacked the necessary dedication and were not taking the band seriously. Rather than asking them to leave, they instead decided to break up and then quietly reformed the band as a four-piece. While the band was performing under the Earth title, they recorded several demos written by Norman Haines such as "The Rebel", "Song for Jim", and "When I Came Down". The demo titled "Song for Jim" was in reference to Jim Simpson. Jim Simpson was a manager for the bands Bakerloo Blues Line and Tea & Symphony. Simpson was also a trumpet player for the group Locomotive. Simpson had recently opened a new pub named Henry's Blues House and offered to let Earth play some gigs in his club. The audience response was positive and Simpson agreed to manage Earth.

In December 1968, Iommi abruptly left Earth to join Jethro Tull. Although his stint with the band would be short-lived, Iommi made an appearance with Jethro Tull on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV show. Unsatisfied with the direction of Jethro Tull, Iommi returned to Earth in January 1969. "It just wasn't right, so I left", Iommi said. "At first I thought Tull were great, but I didn't much go for having a leader in the band, which was 

Ian Anderson's way. When I came back from Tull, I came back with a new attitude altogether. They taught me that to get on, you got to work for it."

While playing shows in England in 1969, the band discovered they were being mistaken for another English group named Earth. They decided to change their name again. A cinema across the street from the band's rehearsal room was showing the 1963 horror film Black Sabbath starring Boris Karloff and directed by Mario Bava. While watching people line up to see the film, Butler noted that it was "strange that people spend so much money to see scary movies." Following that, Osbourne and Butler wrote the lyrics for a song called "Black Sabbath", which was inspired by the work of horror and adventure-story writer Dennis Wheatley, along with a vision that Butler had of a black silhouetted figure standing at the foot of his bed. Making use of the musical tritone, also known as "the Devil's Interval", the song's ominous sound and dark lyrics pushed the band in a darker direction, a stark contrast to the popular music of the late 1960s, which was dominated by flower power

folk music, and hippie cultureJudas Priest frontman Rob Halford has called the track "probably the most evil song ever written". Inspired by the new sound, the band changed their name to Black Sabbath in August 1969, and made the decision to focus on writing similar material, in an attempt to create the musical equivalent of horror films.

Black Sabbath and Paranoid (1970–1971)

The band's first show as Black Sabbath took place on 30 August 1969, in Workington. They were signed to Philips Records in November 1969, and released their first single, "Evil Woman" (a cover of a song by the band Crow), recorded at Trident Studios, through Philips subsidiary Fontana Records in January 1970. Later releases were handled by Philips' newly formed progressive rock label, Vertigo Records.

Black Sabbath's first major exposure came when the band appeared on 

John Peel's Top Gear radio show in 1969, performing "Black Sabbath", "N.I.B.", "Behind the Wall of Sleep", and "Sleeping Village" to a national audience in Great Britain shortly before recording of their first album commenced. Although the "Evil Woman" single failed to chart, the band were afforded two days of studio time in November to record their debut album with producer Rodger Bain. Iommi recalls recording live: "We thought 'We have two days to do it and one of the days is mixing.' So we played live. Ozzy was singing at the same time, we just put him in a separate booth and off we went. We never had a second run of most of the stuff."

Black Sabbath was released on Friday the 13th, February 1970, and reached number 8 in the UK Albums Chart. Following its US and Canadian release in May 1970 by Warner Bros. Records, the album reached number 23 on the Billboard 200, where it remained for over a year. The album was a commercial success but was widely panned by some critics. Lester Bangs  dismissed it in a Rolling Stone review as "discordant jams with bass and guitar reeling like velocitised speedfreaks all over each other's musical perimeters, yet never quite finding synch". It sold in substantial numbers despite being panned, giving the band their first mainstream exposure. It has since been certified platinum in both US by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and in the UK by British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

To capitalise on their chart success in the US, the band returned to the studio in June 1970, just four months after Black Sabbath was released. The new album was initially set to be named War Pigs after the song "War Pigs", which was critical of the Vietnam War; however, Warner changed the title of the album to Paranoid. The album's lead-off single, "Paranoid", was written in the studio at the last minute. Ward explains: "We didn't have enough songs for the album, and Tony just played the [Paranoid] guitar lick and that was it. It took twenty, twenty-five minutes from top to bottom." The single was released in September 1970 and reached number four on the UK charts, remaining Black Sabbath's only top ten hit. The album followed in the UK in October 1970, where, pushed by the success of the "Paranoid" single, it made number one in the charts.

The US release was held off until January 1971, as the Black Sabbath album was still on the charts at the time of Paranoid's UK release. Black Sabbath subsequently toured America for the first time and played their first US show at a club called Ungano's at 210 West 70th Street in New York City. The album reached No. 12 in the US in March 1971, and would go on to sell four million copies in the US, with virtually no radio airplay. Like Black Sabbath, the album was panned by rock critics of the era, but modern-day reviewers such as AllMusic's Steve Huey cite Paranoid as "one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time", which "defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history". The album was ranked at No. 131 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 

The 500 Greatest Albums of All TimeParanoid's chart success allowed the band to tour the US for the first time in October 1970, which spawned the release of the album's second single "Iron Man". Although the single failed to reach the top 40, "Iron Man" remains one of Black Sabbath's most popular songs, as well as the band's highest charting US single until 1998's "Psycho Man".

Master of Reality and Volume 4 (1971–1973)

In February 1971, after a one off performance at the Myponga Pop Festival in Australia, Black Sabbath returned to the studio to begin work on their third album. Following the chart success of Paranoid, the band were afforded more studio time, along with a "briefcase full of cash" to buy drugs. "We were getting into coke, big time", Ward explained. "UppersdownersQuaaludes, whatever you like. It got to the stage where you come up with ideas and forget them, because you were just so out of it."

Production completed in April 1971, in July the band released 

Master of Reality, just six months after the US release of Paranoid. The album reached the top ten in both the US and UK, and was certified gold in less than two months, eventually receiving platinum certification in the 1980s and Double Platinum in the early 21st century. Master of Reality contained Black Sabbath's first acoustic songs, alongside fan favourites such as "Children of the Grave" and "Sweet Leaf". Critical response of the era was generally unfavourable, with Lester Bangs delivering an ambivalent review of Master of Reality in Rolling Stone, describing the closing song "Children of the Grave" as "naïve, simplistic, repetitive, absolute doggerel – but in the tradition [of rock'n'roll] ... The only criterion is excitement, and Black Sabbath's got it". In 2003, Rolling Stone would place the album at number 300 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

Following the Master of Reality world tour in 1972, Black Sabbath took its first break in three years. As Ward explained: "The band started to become very fatigued and very tired. We'd been on the road non-stop, year in and year out, constantly touring and recording. I think Master of Reality was kind of like the end of an era, the first three albums, and we decided to take our time with the next album."

In June 1972, the band reconvened in Los Angeles to begin work on their next album at the Record Plant. The recording process was plagued with problems, many as a result of substance abuse issues. While struggling to record the song "Cornucopia" after "sitting in the middle of the room, just doing drugs", Ward was nearly fired from the band. "I hated the song, there were some patterns that were just ... horrible" Ward said. "I nailed it in the end, but the reaction I got was the cold shoulder from everybody. It was like 'Well, just go home, you're not being of any use right now.' I felt like I'd blown it, I was about to get fired". The album was originally titled Snowblind after the song of the same name, which deals with cocaine abuse. The record company changed the title at the last minute to 

Black Sabbath Vol. 4, with Ward stating "There was no Volume 1, 2 or 3, so it's a pretty stupid title really".

Black Sabbath Vol. 4 was released in September 1972, and while critics were dismissive of the album upon release, it achieved gold status in less than a month, and was the band's fourth consecutive release to sell a million copies in the US. With more time in the studio, the album saw the band starting to experiment with new textures, such as strings, piano, orchestration and multi-part songs. The song "Tomorrow's Dream" was released as a single – the band's first since "Paranoid" – but failed to chart. Following an extensive tour of the US, in 1973 the band travelled again to Australia, followed by a tour for the first time to New Zealand, before moving onto mainland Europe.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage (1973–1976)

Following the Volume 4 world tour, Black Sabbath returned to Los Angeles to begin work on their next release. Pleased with the Volume 4 album, the band sought to recreate the recording atmosphere, and returned to the Record Plant studio in Los Angeles. With new musical innovations of the era, the band were surprised to find that the room they had used previously at the Record Plant was replaced by a "giant synthesiser". The band rented a house in 

Bel Air and began writing in the summer of 1973, but in part because of substance issues and fatigue, they were unable to complete any songs. "Ideas weren't coming out the way they were on Volume 4 and we really got discontent" Iommi said. "Everybody was sitting there waiting for me to come up with something. I just couldn't think of anything. And if I didn't come up with anything, nobody would do anything."

After a month in Los Angeles with no results, the band opted to return to England. They rented Clearwell Castle in The Forest of Dean. "We rehearsed in the dungeons and it was really creepy but it had some atmosphere, it conjured up things, and stuff started coming out again." While working in the dungeon, Iommi stumbled onto the main riff of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", which set the tone for the new material. Recorded at Morgan Studios in London by Mike Butcher and building off the stylistic changes introduced on Volume 4, new songs incorporated synthesisers, strings, and complex arrangements. Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman was brought in as a session player, appearing on "Sabbra Cadabra".

In November 1973, Black Sabbath began to receive positive reviews in the mainstream press after the release of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, with Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone calling the album "an extraordinarily gripping affair", and "nothing less than a complete success." Later reviewers such as Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia cite the album as a "masterpiece, essential to any heavy metal collection", while also displaying "a newfound sense of finesse and maturity." The album marked the band's fifth consecutive platinum selling album in the US, reaching number four on the UK charts, and number eleven in the US.

The band began a world tour in January 1974, which culminated at the California Jam festival in Ontario, California on 6 April 1974. Attracting over 200,000 fans, Black Sabbath appeared alongside popular 1970s rock and pop bands Deep PurpleEaglesEmerson, Lake & PalmerRare EarthSeals & CroftsBlack Oak Arkansas, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Portions of the show were telecast on ABC Television in the US, exposing the band to a wider American audience. In the same year, the band shifted management, signing with notorious English manager Don Arden. The move caused a contractual dispute with Black Sabbath's former management, and while on stage in the US, Osbourne was handed a subpoena that led to two years of litigation.

Black Sabbath began work on their sixth album in February 1975, again in England at Morgan Studios in Willesden, this time with a decisive vision to differ the sound from Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath. "We could've continued and gone on and on, getting more technical, using orchestras and everything else which we didn't particularly want to. We took a look at ourselves, and we wanted to do a rock album – Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath wasn't a rock album, really." Produced by Black Sabbath and Mike Butcher, Sabotage was released in July 1975. As with its precursor, the album initially saw favourable reviews, with Rolling Stone stating "Sabotage is not only Black Sabbath's best record since Paranoid, it might be their best ever", although later reviewers such as AllMusic noted that "the magical chemistry that made such albums as Paranoid and Volume 4 so special was beginning to disintegrate".

Sabotage reached the top 20 in both the US and the UK, but was the band's first release not to achieve Platinum status in the US, only achieving Gold certification. Although the album's only single "Am I Going Insane (Radio)" failed to chart, Sabotage features fan favourites such as "Hole in the Sky", and "Symptom of the Universe". Black Sabbath toured in support of Sabotage with openers Kiss, but were forced to cut the tour short in November 1975, following a motorcycle accident in which Osbourne ruptured a muscle in his back. In December 1975, the band's record companies released a greatest hits album without input from the band, titled We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll. The album charted throughout 1976, eventually selling two million copies in the US.

Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die! (1976–1979)

Black Sabbath began work for their next album at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida, in June 1976. To expand their sound, the band added keyboard player Gerry Woodruffe, who also had appeared to a lesser extent onSabotage. During the recording of Technical Ecstasy, Osbourne admits that he began losing interest in Black Sabbath and began to consider the possibility of working with other musicians. Recording of Technical Ecstasywas difficult; by the time the album was completed Osbourne was admitted to Stafford County Asylum in Britain. It was released on 25 September 1976 to mixed reviews, and (for the first time) later music critics gave the album less favourable retrospective reviews; two decades after its release AllMusic gave the album two stars, and noted that the band was "unravelling at an alarming rate". The album featured less of the doomy, ominous sound of previous efforts, and incorporated more synthesisers and uptempo rock songs. Technical Ecstasy failed to reach the top 50 in the US, and was the band's second consecutive release not to achieve platinum status, although it was later certified gold in 1997. The album included "Dirty Women", which remains a live staple, as well as Ward's first lead vocal on the song "It's Alright". Touring in support of Technical Ecstasy began in November 1976, with openers Boston  and Ted Nugent in the US, and completed in Europe with AC/DC in April 1977.

In late 1977, while in rehearsal for their next album, and just days before the band was set to enter the studio, Osbourne abruptly quit the band. Iommi called vocalist Dave Walker, a longtime friend of the band, who had previously been a member of Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown, and informed him that Osbourne had left the band. Walker, who was at that time fronting a band called Mistress, flew to Birmingham from California in late 1977 to write material and rehearse with Black Sabbath. On 8 January 1978, Black Sabbath made their only live performance with Walker on vocals, playing an early version of the song "Junior's Eyes" on the BBC Television program "Look! Hear!". Walker later recalled that while in Birmingham he had bumped into Osbourne in a pub and came to the conclusion that Osbourne wasn't fully committed to leaving Black Sabbath. "The last Sabbath albums were just very depressing for me", Osbourne said. "I was doing it for the sake of what we could get out of the record company, just to get fat on beer and put a record out." Walker has said that he wrote a lot of lyrics during his brief time in the band but none of them were ever used. If any recordings of this version of the band other than the "Look! Hear!" footage still exist, Walker says that he is not aware of them.

Osbourne initially set out to form a solo project featuring former Dirty Tricks members John Frazer-Binnie, Terry Horbury, and Andy Bierne. As the new band were in rehearsals in January 1978, Osbourne had a change of heart and rejoined Black Sabbath. "Three days before we were due to go into the studio, Ozzy wanted to come back to the band", Iommi explained. "He wouldn't sing any of the stuff we'd written with the other guy (Walker), so it made it very difficult. We went into the studio with basically no songs. We'd write in the morning so we could rehearse and record at night. It was so difficult, like a conveyor belt, because you couldn't get time to reflect on stuff. 'Is this right? Is this working properly?' It was very difficult for me to come up with the ideas and putting them together that quick."

The band spent five months at Sounds Interchange Studios in Toronto, Canada, writing and recording what would become Never Say Die!. "It took quite a long time", Iommi said. "We were getting really drugged out, doing a lot of dope. We'd go down to the sessions, and have to pack up because we were too stoned, we'd have to stop. Nobody could get anything right, we were all over the place, everybody's playing a different thing. We'd go back and sleep it off, and try again the next day." The album was released in September 1978, reaching number twelve in the UK, and number 69 in the US. Press response was unfavourable and did not improve over time with Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic stating two decades after its release that the album's "unfocused songs perfectly reflected the band's tense personnel problems and drug abuse." The album featured the singles "Never Say Die" and "Hard Road", both of which cracked the top 40 in the UK. The band also made their second appearance on Top of the Pops, performing "Never Say Die". It took nearly 20 years for the album to be certified Gold in the US.

Touring in support of Never Say Die!  began in May 1978 with openers 

Van Halen. Reviewers called Black Sabbath's performance "tired and uninspired", a stark contrast to the "youthful" performance of Van Halen, who were touring the world for the first time. The band filmed a performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in June 1978, which was later released on DVD as Never Say Die. The final show of the tour, and Osbourne's last appearance with the band (until later reunions) was in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 11 December.

Following the tour, Black Sabbath returned to Los Angeles and again rented a house in Bel Air, where they spent nearly a year working on new material for the next album. The entire band were abusing both alcohol and other drugs, but Iommi says Osbourne "was on a totally different level altogether". The band would come up with new song ideas but Osbourne showed little interest and would refuse to sing them. Pressure from the record label and frustrations with Osbourne's lack of input coming to a head, Iommi made the decision to fire Osbourne in 1979. Iommi believed the only options available were to fire Osbourne or break the band up completely. "At that time, Ozzy had come to an end", Iommi said. "We were all doing a lot of drugs, a lot of coke, a lot of everything, and Ozzy was getting drunk so much at the time. We were supposed to be rehearsing and nothing was happening. It was like 'Rehearse today? No, we'll do it tomorrow.' It really got so bad that we didn't do anything. It just fizzled out." Drummer Ward, who was close with Osbourne, was chosen by Tony to break the news to the singer on 27 April 1979. "I hope I was professional, I might not have been, actually. When I'm drunk I am horrible, I am horrid", Ward said. "Alcohol was definitely one of the most damaging things to Black Sabbath. We were destined to destroy each other. The band were toxic, very toxic."

For the period 1979-1982, and 1992 with Ronnie James Dio you go to 

The Ronnie James Dio Story 4 Black Sabbath

Born Again (1983–1984)

The remaining two original members, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, began auditioning new singers for the band's next release. Samson's Nicky Moore, and Lone Star's John Sloman were considered. The band settled on former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan to replace Ronnie James Dio in December 1982. While the project was not initially set to be called Black Sabbath, pressures from the record label forced the group to retain the name. The band entered The Manor Studios in Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, in June 1983 with a returned and newly sober Bill Ward on drums. Born Again was panned upon release by critics. Despite the negative reception of the album, it reached number four on the UK charts, and number 39 in the US. Even a decade after its release Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia called the album "dreadful", noting that "Gillan's bluesy style and humorous lyrics were completely incompatible with the lords of doom and gloom".

Although he performed on the album, drummer Ward was unable to tour because of the pressures of the road, and quit the band after the commencement of the Born Again album. "I fell apart with the idea of touring", Ward later said. "I got so much fear behind touring, I didn't talk about the fear, I drank behind the fear instead and that was a big mistake." Ward was replaced by former Electric Light Orchestra  drummer Bev Bevan for the Born Again '83 -'84 world tour, (often unofficially referred to as the 'Feigh Death Sabbath '83 – '84' World Tour) which began in Europe with Diamond Head, and later in the US with Quiet Riot and 

Night Ranger. The band headlined the 1983 Reading Festival in England, adding the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water" to their set list.

The tour in support of Born Again included a giant set of the Stonehenge monument. In a move that would be later parodied in the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, the band made a mistake in ordering the set piece. As Geezer Butler later explained:

We had Sharon Osbourne's dad, Don Arden, managing us. He came up with the idea of having the stage set be Stonehenge. He wrote the dimensions down and gave it to our tour manager. He wrote it down in metres but he meant to write it down in feet. The people who made it saw fifteen metres instead of fifteen feet. It was 45 feet high and it wouldn't fit on any stage anywhere so we just had to leave it in the storage area. It cost a fortune to make but there was not a building on earth that you could fit it into.

Hiatus and Seventh Star (1984–1986)

Following the completion of the Born Again tour in March 1984, vocalist Ian Gillan left Black Sabbath to re-join Deep Purple, which was reforming after a long hiatus. Bevan left at the same time, and Gillan remarked that he and Bevan were made to feel like "hired help" by Iommi. The band then recruited an unknown Los Angeles vocalist named David Donato. The new line-up wrote and rehearsed throughout 1984, and eventually recorded a demo with producer Bob Ezrin in October. Unhappy with the results, the band parted ways with Donato shortly after. Disillusioned with the band's revolving line-up, bassist Geezer Butler quit Black Sabbath in November 1984 to form a solo band. "When Ian Gillan took over that was the end of it for me", Butler later said. "I thought it was just a joke and I just totally left. When we got together with Gillan it was not supposed to be a Black Sabbath album. After we had done the album we gave it to Warner Bros. and they said they were going to put it out as a Black Sabbath album and we didn't have a leg to stand on. I got really disillusioned with it and Gillan was really pissed off about it. That lasted one album and one tour and then that was it."

Following Butler's exit, sole remaining original member Tony Iommi put Black Sabbath on hiatus, and began work on a solo album with long-time Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls. While working on new material, the original Black Sabbath line-up were offered a spot at Bob Geldof's Live Aid benefit concert; the band agreed, performing at the Philadelphia show, on 13 July 1985. The event marked the first time the original line-up appeared on stage since 1978, and also featured reunions of The Who and Led Zeppelin. Returning to his solo work, Iommi enlisted bassist Dave Spitz, drummer Eric Singer and initially intended to use multiple singers, including Rob Halford of Judas Priest, former Deep Purple and Trapeze vocalist Glenn Hughes, and former Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio. This plan didn't work as he forecasted. "We were going to use different vocalists on the album, guest vocalists, but it was so difficult getting it together and getting releases from their record companies. Glenn Hughes came along to sing on one track and we decided to use him on the whole album."

The band spent the remainder of the year in the studio, recording what would become Seventh Star. Warner Bros. refused to release the album as a Tony Iommi solo release, instead insisting on using the name Black Sabbath. Pressured by the band's manager,Don Arden, the two compromised and released the album as "Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi" in January 1986. "It opened up a whole can of worms really", Iommi explained, "because I think if we could have done it as a solo album, it would have been accepted a lot more." Seventh Star, which sounded little like a Black Sabbath album, incorporated more hard rock elements popularised by the 1980s Sunset Strip  hard rock scene, and was panned by the critics of the era, although later reviewers such as Allmusic gave the album favourable reviews, calling the album "often misunderstood and underrated".

The new line-up rehearsed for six weeks preparing for a full world tour, although the band were eventually forced to use the Black Sabbath name. "I was into the 'Tony Iommi project', but I wasn't into the Black Sabbath moniker", Hughes said. "The idea of being in Black Sabbath didn't appeal to me whatsoever. Glenn Hughes singing in Black Sabbath is like James Brown  singing in Metallica. It wasn't gonna work". Just four days before the start of the tour, vocalist Glenn Hughes got into a bar fight with the band's production manager John Downing which splintered the singer's orbital bone. The injury interfered with Hughes' ability to sing, and the band brought in vocalist 

Ray Gillen to continue the tour with W.A.S.P. and Anthrax, although nearly half of the US dates would eventually be cancelled because of poor ticket sales.

One vocalist whose status is disputed, both inside and outside Black Sabbath, is Christian evangelist and former Joshua frontman, Jeff Fenholt. Fenholt has insisted that he was a singer in Black Sabbath between January and May 1985. Tony Iommi has never confirmed this. Fenholt gives a detailed account of his time with Iommi and Sabbath in Garry Sharpe-Young's book Sabbath Bloody Sabbath: The Battle for Black Sabbath.

Go to the second part in English