The song that started it all. The story goes that the proto-Sabbath, the blues-rock band Earth, were rehearsing close to a cinema showing late-night horror films in a seedy part of Birmingham, when one of the band suggested that if people would pay money to watch scary films, then they might pay money to hear scary music. The band had found their identity, a whole new genre of music was founded, and the rest was history. Black Sabbath are sometimes seen as the originators of black metal, but in reality their religious views were Catholic rather than Satanic. There is a reason metal fans revere Iommi as one of the greatest guitarists of all. And to demonstrate that they could still do light and shade, it goes all Jazz Odyssey at the end. By the end of the 70s, Sabbath were losing their mojo. Drink and drugs were taking their toll, musical fashions were changing and the band were running out of ideas. The arrival of former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced the increasingly unreliable Osbourne in , completely revitalised the band.
18. Dehumaniser (1992)
10) Into The Void
Power ballad? Well, it certainly makes you feel like letting go of your humanity. The return of Geezer Butler and Ronnie James Dio should have been a good thing, but the band forgot to write any good songs to take advantage of the optimism. Letters from Earth has a good Iommi riff, but the rest is subpar. What long looked likely to be the final Black Sabbath album would have been a sad little footnote to their career.
'Symptom of the Universe'
They are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band had multiple line-up changes following Osbourne's departure in , with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history. They distinguished themselves through occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and tuned-down guitars. Their debut album, Black Sabbath , was released the following month. Though it received a negative critical response, the album was a commercial success, leading to a follow-up record, Paranoid , later in The band's popularity grew, and by 's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath , critics were starting to respond favourably. Osbourne's regular use of drugs and alcohol led to his firing in He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio.
Picking the 10 best Black Sabbath songs is nearly impossible. If the legendary foursome -- Ozzy Osbourne , Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward -- didn't invent heavy metal, well, they pretty much defined its vocabulary over the course of their first six albums. Their influence is felt on nearly every hard rock and metal band to this day.