Black Sabbath was formed in Birmingham, England when Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi began playing music as an escape from the monotonous life of factory work. Inspired by the popular British blue bands of the time like Led Zeppelin and Cream, the four musicians formed a group by the name of Earth in 1968.
During their concerts in 1969, the band discovered that they were mistaken for another English music band having the same name (Earth). A cinema across the musicians’ rehearsal room was showing a horror movie called ‘Black Sabbath.’ Inspired by the work of the film writer Dennis Wheatley and Butler’s own vision of a black silhouetted figure standing near his bed, the band came up with a song titled ‘Black Sabbath.’ The dark lyrics and ominous sound of the track was a good change for the audience from the folk music of the 60s . The popularity of this new sound persuaded the musicians to change their name to Black Sabbath in August of 1969.
Debut in the Industry
The band’s first show as Black Sabbath was held in Workington on the 30th of August, 1969. Their first single ‘Evil Woman’ was a cover song of the band Crow. They further gained attention when they appeared on John Peel’s Top Gear radio show and performed numbers like ‘Black Sabbath,’ ‘Behind the Wall of Sleep,’ ‘Sleeping Village’ and ‘NIB.’
Eventually Black Sabbath released their debut self titled album in 1970. It reached the top ten of the UK Albums Chart. It is also regarded as the first record to contribute largely to the development of the heavy metal genre.
Black Sabbath came up with their second album ‘Paranoid’ in October of 1970. The title track of the collection was a huge hit which led the album to the number one spot on the UK music charts. Its release in the US the following year met a positive response from the audience and sold around four million copies. Steve Huey of AllMusic termed the album as ‘one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time.’
Just six months following the release of ‘Paranoid,’ Black Sabbath released the album ‘Master of Reality.’ It reached the top ten of the charts both in the US as well as the UK. Some of the fan favorite singles of the record are ‘Sweet Leaf’ and ‘Children of the Grave.’ The album was eventually declared double platinum.
Following albums by Black Sabbath include ‘Black Sabbath Vol 4,’ ‘Sabotage,’ ‘Heaven and Hell,’ ‘Born Again,’ ‘Technical Ecstasy,’ ‘The Eternal Idol’ and ‘Forbidden.’
‘13’ is the nineteenth and most recent album by Black Sabbath. It is the band’s first album to be released in over fifteen years. It topped the US Billboard 200 chart and sold 155,000 copies within the first week of release. The musicians embarked upon a tour to promote this record and received immense appreciation at every stop they made. The success of their recent series of performances has compelled them to launch the second leg of their world tour starting in March 2014.