The original lineup of Black Sabbath has reunited and will release a new studio album, the first to feature vocalist Ozzy Osbourne since 1978′s ‘Never Say Die’, next year. The foursome are also currently in rehearsals for a new tour.
Guitarist Tony Iommi confirmed the news to the Birmingham Mail, revealing that he and Osbourne met this past June to write material for a new album, which he says is scheduled for a 2012 release. “I think the stuff we’ve been writing is really good,” he states. “It’s more back to the old original stuff.”
Fans have been clamoring for a full-fledged Sabbath reunion ever since Osbourne was fired in 1979. The band — Osbourne, Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward — did get together in 2007 to headline Ozzfest, and mounted several other tours after that, even recording a pair of new songs for 1998′s ‘Reunion’ live album.
But Ozzy soon returned to his ultra-successful solo career, then Iommi and Butler formed Heaven & Hell with Ronnie James Dio, the first singer to replace Ozzy in Sabbath. The band released an excellent studio album, ‘The Devil You Know,’ and had much success on tour, but Dio’s death in 2010 once again left Iommi and Butler without a frontman.
Well, they seem to have found the best possible man for the job now, and Iommi reports the hardest part was keeping Ozzy quiet as the secret plans formed: “It’s all been very hush-hush. Ozzy’s been the worst at trying to hold it back… he told me ‘I don’t know what to say.’”
According to the unofficial Black Sabbath website Black-Sabbath.com, Tony Iommi’s memoir, Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath will be released in the U.S. on November 1. It will debut in Europe before then, on October 13.
Publishers Da Capo reportedly paid a six-figure amount at auction for the rights to the 352-page book, which was described as “Angela’s Ashes meets The Ground Beneath Her Feet meets Spinal Tap” by Peter McGuigan, who completed the North American rights deal for the memoir.
Iommi has, until now, been reluctant to open up. In a recent interview with Guitar World magazine, Iommi explained how his autobiography came together.
“I had a chap called T.J. Lammers, who I met many, many years ago when he used to work at Phonogram Records,” Iommi said. “He later became a journalist and he had his own magazine. He lives in Holland and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. I’ve had a few people say, ‘Oh, I can write a book for you,’ but I wanted a different outlook to the normal music journalist, and that’s what happened. He came over to England and stayed with me for a few days. Then he’d write it up, come back again and do more. The whole thing took a couple years to finish.”
Will it be different to the usual rock bio? “I don’t know!” Iommi says. “I don’t read rock biographies, so it could be the same, it could be different. It’s just my life, really. I’ve been meaning to do it for many, many years but never got around to it.”