Finally, Ozzy has made it through the last level of Hell and come out on the other side. We were just as shocked as you to find the final level was “reality TV,” but you can’t argue with Dante, right?
Today the original four members of the band - Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward – announced [lastfm link_type=”similar_artist_radio”]Black Sabbath[/lastfm] was coming together for a 2012 reunion, including a headlining gig at the Download Festival in June.
But that wasn’t all; The new album will be produced by Rick Rubin, co-president of Columbia records, and a man who helped produce albums by Slipknot, Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Danzig, Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Weezer, Linkin Park, The Cult, Neil Diamond, Mick Jagger, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Avett Brothers and even Adele.
The air was ripe with excitement as host Henry Rollins greeted the eager crowd at the Whiskey a Go-G0 on November 11th, 2011 (11/11/11) at 11:11am. He began the event with a heartfelt speech about the emotional attachment America has sunk in its Heavy Metal roots.
“I was a very alienated young person,” Rollins said, “and when I heard Black Sabbath I realized my life had a soundtrack. I realized there were people out there using music to make great statements. When I heard ‘Iron Man,’ high school became powerless over me. This is true outsider music.”
With that, he brought out Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, And Bill Ward, along with a fifth – Rick Rubin, producer extraordinaire.
And just like that, Black Sabbath announced they will reunite, cut a new album, and begin a world tour in 2012.
[pullquote quote=”When I heard Black Sabbath, I realized my life had a soundtrack.” credit=”Henry Rollins”]
When asked why now, nearly 33 years after their last album, Ozzy calmly replied, “It’s just time.”
Iommi chimed in, agreeing with his band mates. “It’s now or never,” he said. “We get along great. Everything’s really good.”
The band has already begun rehearsing their new material. “It’s really back to the old Sabbath style and sound,” said Butler. While the new album and tour are not expected until next fall, it’s nice to know there’s a little more C# tuning, blues-like guitar solos and dark, minor-key riffing with a high-gain, heavily distorted tone back in the world.
The official press release:
After much speculation, the original four members of BLACK SABBATH–OZZY OSBOURNE (vocals), TONY IOMMI (guitar), GEEZER BUTLER (bass) and BILL WARD (drums)–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.
OSBOURNE, IOMMI, BUTLER and WARD as well as Rubin all gathered today on 11/11/11 to announce the news at a Los Angeles press conference at the legendary club, the Whisky A Go-Go, the site of the groundbreaking and influential band’s first L.A. concert exactly 41 years ago (Nov 11, 1970). The event was hosted by the revered musical and spoken word artist Henry Rollins who has said that “Any band worth their weight in napalm wishes they had written ‘War Pigs.'”
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. BLACK 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, BLACK SABBATH 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 http://www.blacksabbath.com, the first-ever official BLACK SABBATH website for all authorized BLACK SABBATH news. 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.
BLACK SABBATH released their self-titled debut album in 1970. “Black Sabbath is credited with creating heavy metal,” according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “The success of their first two albums–Black Sabbath and Paranoid–marked a paradigm shift in the world of rock. Not until Black Sabbath upended the music scene did the term ‘heavy metal’ enter the popular vocabulary to describe the denser, more thunderous offshoot of rock over which they presided.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also noted, “…they remain one of the most misunderstood bands in rock history,” adding: “The band’s musicality was generally overlooked, but they possessed an inventiveness and fluency that, in hindsight, makes them seem as much of a progressive-rock band as a heavy-metal one.”
In 1998, BLACK 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, an honor bestowed on them by Metallica’s James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.