Legendary British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, currently on their "The End" world tour which started in January this year, has decided to bid their final goodbyes at the place where it all started. They will play their final show on Feb. 4, 2017, at their hometown Birmingham, England.
It was in 1968 when Tommy Iommi and Bill Ward decided to form a band to play blues rock with heavily distorted guitars. They enlisted vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Bulter and started jamming together in search of a unique sound. Eventually Osbourne and Bulter wrote "Black Sabbath" inspired by the eponymous horror 1963 film. The sound was heavy, ominous and hard-hitting. Combined with its dark lyrics, the song let them achieve something that the world had never seen before. And that is how heavy metal, as we know it today, was born.
The band's music has acted as an inspiration for many bands, such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Nirvana and Opeth. But in spite of their legendary status, the band has seen a lot of ups and downs in their career that spans more than four decades. So let us take a look at some key moments in their history that summarise their career.
"Paranoid" elevates Black Sabbath to super-stardom (1970)
Although their self-titled debut album achieved moderate success, it wasn't praised by the critics. But with "Paranoid," Black Sabbath established itself as a force to reckon with. It topped the U.K. Albums Chart and achieved a peak position of 12 in the Billboard 200 chart. Also, songs from the record such as the title track, "War Pigs" and "Iron Man" went on to become the band's signature anthems.
"Never Say Die! Tour;" Ozzy bids farewell (1978-1979)
The tour began in May 1978, before which the band had recorded the "Never Say Die!" album. When the record was released in September that year, it was not well received by critics and fans alike. By then, tensions had risen between Osbourne and the other band members, which eventually led to the singer's departure the following year. He was replaced by Ronnie James Dio.
Black Sabbath inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame (2006)
The band was inducted in the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame by none other than Metallica. At the ceremony, Metallica covered two iconic songs of Black Sabbath namely, "Iron Man" and "Hole In The Sky." Osbourne, who had earlier condemned the ceremony's selection procedure, also joined Iommi, Butler and Ward at the ceremony.
Ronnie James Dio passes away; Osbourne and Iommi end their legal battle over band name trademark (2010)
After a long battle with stomach cancer, Dio took his final breath on May 16, 2010. He had been diagnosed in November 2009. A memorial ceremony was organised in his honour. It was attended by Iommi, Butler and ex-Black Sabbath drummer Vince Appice.
The year 2010 also marked the end of the legal battle between Osbourne and Iommi over the Black Sabbath name trademark. Osbourne had filed a lawsuit in May 2009 claiming 50 per cent ownership of the trademark. Although the dispute was solved, the settlement terms were never disclosed.
Reunion and final studio album (2012-2013)
The original announcement that the original members of Black Sabbath were reuniting was made in late 2011. But February 2012 Ward backed out due to contractual problems. The band eventually enlisted Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk and went on to record what was to be their last ever album, "13." In 2014, Osbourne had stated that another Black Sabbath album featuring the original members was on the cards. But that plan was scraped due to the members living in different countries. However, all the members decided to come together for one last time and bid farewell with what we know as "The End" world tour now.