Black Sabbath (English heavy metal band)

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Black Sabbath were an English heavy metal band formed in Birmingham in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. They are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970) and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes following Osbourne's departure in 1979, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout their history.

After previous iterations of the group – the Polka Tulk Blues Band and Earth – the band settled on the name Black Sabbath in 1969. They distinguished themselves through occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and down-tuned guitars. Signing to Philips Records in November 1969, they released their first single, "Evil Woman", in January 1970, and 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 that year. The band's popularity grew, and by 1973's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, critics were starting to respond favourably.

Osbourne's excessive substance abuse led to his firing in 1979. He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Following two albums with Dio, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, the second of which saw drummer Vinny Appice replace Ward, Black Sabbath endured many personnel changes from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s that included vocalists Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin, as well as several drummers and bassists, with Butler's departure in 1984 leaving Iommi as the only remaining original member. Martin, who replaced Gillen in 1987, was the second-longest serving vocalist after Osbourne and recorded three albums with Black Sabbath before his dismissal in 1991. That same year, Iommi rejoined with Butler, Dio and Appice to record Dehumanizer (1992). After two more studio albums with Martin, who returned to replace Dio in 1993, the band's original line-up reunited in 1997 and released a live album, Reunion, the following year; they continued to tour occasionally until 2005. Other than various back catalogue reissues and compilation albums, as well as the Mob Rules-era line-up reuniting as Heaven & Hell, there was no further activity under the Black Sabbath name until 2011 with the release of their final studio album and 19th overall, 13, in 2013, which features all of the original members except Ward. During their farewell tour, the band played their final concert in their home city of Birmingham on 4 February 2017. Occasional partial reunions have happened since, most recently when Osbourne and Iommi performed together at the closing ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Black Sabbath have sold over 70 million records worldwide as of 2013, making them one of the most commercially successful heavy metal bands. Black Sabbath, together with Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies". They were ranked by MTV as the "Greatest Metal Band of All Time" and placed second on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" list. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them number 85 on their "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Black Sabbath were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. They have also won two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance, and in 2019 the band were presented a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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1970Black SabbathBlack Sabbath4.5541
1970ParanoidBlack Sabbath4.753
1971Master of RealityBlack Sabbath4.642
1972Vol 4Black Sabbath4.3535
1973Sabbath Bloody SabbathBlack Sabbath4.340
1975SabotageBlack Sabbath430
1976Technical EcstasyBlack Sabbath3.324
1978Never Say Die!Black Sabbath3.1523
1980Heaven and HellBlack Sabbath4.8528
1981Mob RulesBlack Sabbath4.5521
1983Born AgainBlack Sabbath3.2516
1986Seventh StarBlack Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi3.4518
1987The Eternal IdolBlack Sabbath3.515
1989Headless CrossBlack Sabbath3.810
1990TYRBlack Sabbath4.2511
1992DehumanizerBlack Sabbath3.5516
1994Cross PurposesBlack Sabbath3.56
1995ForbiddenBlack Sabbath3.259
201313Black Sabbath3.719

Album + Compilation

1972Attention! Black Sabbath Volume OneBlack Sabbath3
1974Attention! Black Sabbath Volume TwoBlack Sabbath2
1975ReflectionBlack Sabbath1
1976The OriginalBlack Sabbath1
1976We Sold Our Soul for Rock ’n’ RollBlack Sabbath514
1977Greatest HitsBlack Sabbath510
1982Best of the BiscuitBlack Sabbath / Scorpions1
1984Heavy Metal, Vol. 1Motörhead, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath2
1984Hand of DoomBlack Sabbath1
1984The History of Rock – Volume Twenty SevenBlack Sabbath / Deep Purple / Wishbone Ash / Mott the Hoople1
1985The Sabbath CollectionBlack Sabbath53
1987Master Of Reality / Black Sabbath Vol.4Black Sabbath1
1987Paranoid / Black SabbathBlack Sabbath1
1988Sabbath Bloody Sabbath / Black SabbathBlack Sabbath1
1989Blackest SabbathBlack Sabbath2
1989Backtrackin’Black Sabbath4
1990Black Sabbath / Judas PriestBlack Sabbath / Judas Priest1
1991The Ozzy Osbourne YearsBlack Sabbath43
1991The Black Sabbath StoryBlack Sabbath1
1992ForeverBlack Sabbath2
1992Iron ManBlack Sabbath1
1992The Ultimate in Heavy MetalBlack Sabbath / Judas Priest1
1993Between Heaven & Hell: The Best of Black SabbathBlack Sabbath2
1994Iron ManBlack Sabbath1
1995The Best of Ozzy Osbourne YearsBlack Sabbath1
1995Between Heaven and Hell: 1970–1983Black Sabbath3
1996Ozzy Osbourne: Best TracksBlack Sabbath1
1996The Sabbath StonesBlack Sabbath2
1996Under Wheels of Confusion: 1970–87Black Sabbath1
1996The Best of Black SabbathBlack Sabbath13
1997Rock GiantsBlack Sabbath1
1999The CollectionBlack Sabbath1
2000The Singles (1970–1978)Black Sabbath1
2001The Complete 70’s Replica CD Collection: 1970–1978Black Sabbath1
2001Rock ChampionsBlack Sabbath1
2002Symptom of the Universe: 1970–1978Black Sabbath1
2004Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970–1978)Black Sabbath52
2006Greatest Hits 1970–1978Black Sabbath53
2006Black SabbathBlack Sabbath1
2007The Dio YearsBlack Sabbath510
2008The Rules of HellBlack Sabbath52
2009Greatest HitsBlack Sabbath41
2010The Ozzy Years: Complete Albums Box SetBlack Sabbath1
2010Cross BoxBlack Sabbath1
2012Iron Man: The Best of Black SabbathBlack Sabbath2
2012The Vinyl Collection 1970–1978Black Sabbath2
2014The Complete Albums 1970–1978Black Sabbath1
2016The Ultimate CollectionBlack Sabbath4
2017The Ten Year WarBlack Sabbath2
2018Supersonic Years: The Seventies Singles Box SetBlack Sabbath1
2018Essentials (2018)Black Sabbath1
2021Solid Gold Black SabbathBlack Sabbath1
2022Ten Songs for YouBlack Sabbath1
Greatest HitsBlack Sabbath1

Album + Live

19701970-12-20: War Pigs: Olympia, Paris, FranceBlack Sabbath2
1980Live at LastBlack Sabbath416
1982Live EvilBlack Sabbath3.3516
1995Cross Purposes LiveBlack Sabbath2
1998ReunionBlack Sabbath45
1999The Last SupperBlack Sabbath2
2002Past LivesBlack Sabbath3.58
2003Never Say DieBlack Sabbath1
2007Live at Hammersmith OdeonBlack Sabbath1
2011Montreux 1970Black Sabbath2
2013Live… Gathered in Their MassesBlack Sabbath3
2017The EndBlack Sabbath310
2020Live In Lausanne, April 1970Black Sabbath2


1970Evil Woman / Wicked WorldBlack Sabbath4
1970ParanoidBlack Sabbath4
1970The Wizard / Evil Woman, Don't Play Your Games With MeBlack Sabbath1
1971Sweet LeafBlack Sabbath2
1971Iron Man / Electric FuneralBlack Sabbath2
1972Children of the GraveBlack Sabbath1
1972Tomorrow's DreamBlack Sabbath1
1973Sabbath Bloody Sabbath / ChangesBlack Sabbath1
1976GypsyBlack Sabbath1
1976It's AlrightBlack Sabbath1
1978Hard RoadBlack Sabbath1
1978Never Say DieBlack Sabbath1
1980Neon KnightsBlack Sabbath1
1980Die YoungBlack Sabbath1

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