By Phyllis Pollack
After endless predictions from fans, the original four members of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, basssist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward have reunited to record their first new studio album in 33 years with producer Rick Rubin (seven-time Grammy winner, two of those as Producer of the Year) and to embark on a massive world tour in 2012. Just 2 weeks ago, Iommi denied there were plans for a reunion. Although not announced, is expected that a tour will follow.
The announcement was made this morning at Whisky A Go-Go, the site of the groundbreaking and influential band’s first L.A. concert exactly 41 years ago (Nov 11, 1970).
Members of Sabbath had been playing in the band Heaven and Hell until until their lead singer, Ronnie James Dio, died from stomach cancer. The beloved metal icon passed away in May of 2010. CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE BELOW THE ADVERTISEMENT.
Osbourne had been in and out of the band, but the fans still wanted to hear the music.
Selling over 70 million albums together, the Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have signed a new record deal worldwide with Vertigo and Vertigo/ Universal Republic in the U.S., the band’s original label. Sabbath is now in the studio recording the as-yet-untitled new album for release in the fall of 2012 (exact date TBA). It will mark their ninth studio album together and their first since 1978’s Never Say Die!
Next summer, the band will headline the mammoth multi-day UK Download Festival in the U.K. on June 10. The new album will then be supported with a worldwide headline arena tour (dates TBA).
Black Sabbath also announced today the launch of www.blacksabbath.com, the first-ever official website for all authorized updates. In addition, the band’s online presence will also be supported by social media via Facebook and Twitter–again, marking the band’s first-ever foray into the social media world.
They released their self-titled debut album in 1970. “Black Sabbath is credited with creating heavy metal.” The term “heavy metal” was first used to describe music by late rock critic Lester Bangs in Creem Magazine.
In 1998, Sabbath released Reunion from their 1997 concerts in Birmingham, England, a two-CD live set that featured two new studio songs. The band has also sporadically reunited for shows in 1999, 2002 and 2004; in 2005, the four performed concerts together when they toured Europe and then headlined the 10th anniversary of Osbourne’s namesake festival OZZfest. Also in 2005, they were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame by Brian May of Queen. This was followed by their induction in 2006 into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A lawsuit over the use of the name Black Sabbath was settled in 2010.