This article is about the British heavy metal band. For the 1946 British attack on Jewish paramilitary organizations, see Operation Agatha.

Black Sabbath are a British heavy metal band originally composed of Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass), Bill Ward (drums)

Black Sabbath started in Birmingham, England in the late 60s under the name Earth.. Initially a blues band. Black Sabbath became one of the definitive classic heavy metal bands, to be ranked alongside Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Judas Priest.

With a competent rhythm section and the extraordinary antics of Osbourne the band enjoyed success with their British metal of brutal riffs right from their first album, the eponymous Black Sabbath (1970). Their second album Paranoid (1970) made them a success in America. Both the albums's tunes and covers marked the band as influenced by the occult and 'black' magic.

They released a further three albums, Master of Reality (1971), Vol. 4 (1972) and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) before management problems and the label change from Vertigo to WWA ruined the bands schedules in 1973. The next album Sabotage was not released until 1975 and the follow-up to that, Technical Ecstasy (1976) was the last Ozzy-Era album in the heavy Sabbath style.

In 1978 the band released Never Say Die and rumours that Osbourne was to leave the band were proved true in 1979 (Osbourne formed Blizzard of Ozz, swiftly renamed to Ozzy Osbourne Band). He was replaced by Ronnie James Dio but it was the end of an era.

Black Sabbath's first album with Dio, Heaven and Hell, did much to bring back the Sabbath spirit of heavy metal. However, after the departure of Bill Ward, with the Mob Rules album, they started to lose their touch, effectively fading into generic heavy metal oblivion for the most part.

That is, until the reunion of all the original Sabbath members in 1998.

The band rarely received any critical praise ("blundering bozos" was one description) and Osbourne vocal talent can be safely labelled as exuberant but non-existent. Their musical talent and ingenuity are however irrefutable. They served as a pioneer in the heavy metal field, and many heavy metal bands cite Sabbath as their inspiration, including such famous and successful groups as Iron Maiden and Metallica.

Many of the incidents and characters in the spoof rock documentary This is Spinal Tap are based on Black Sabbath.


  • Tony Iommi - guitar
  • Ozzy Osbourne - vocals
  • Geezer Butler - bass
  • Bill Ward - drums
  • Geoff Nichols - keyboards
  • Rick Wakeman - keyboards (guest musician)
  • Dave Walker - vocals (never recorded)
  • Don Airey - keyboards (guest musician)
  • Ronnie James Dio - vocals
  • Vinny Appice - drums
  • Ian Gillan - vocals
  • Bev Bevan - drums
  • Dave Donato - vocals (never recorded)
  • Jeff Fenholt - vocals (never officially released)
  • Glenn Hughes - vocals
  • Ray Gillen - vocals (recorded "Eternal Idol," vocals redone by Tony Martin)
  • Dave Spitz - bass
  • Eric Singer - drums
  • Jo Burt - bass (never recorded)
  • Terry Chimes - drums (never recorded)
  • Gordon Copley - bass
  • Tony Martin - vocals
  • Bob Daisley - bass
  • Eric Singer - drums
  • Laurence Cottle - bass
  • Cozy Powell - drums
  • Rob Halford - vocals (never recorded)
  • Neil Murray - bass
  • Bobby Rondinelli - drums


  • 1970 Black Sabbath (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1970 Paranoid (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1971 Master of Reality (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1972 Vol. 4 (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1973 Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1975 Sabotage (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1976 We Sold Our Souls For Rock & Roll (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1976 Technical Ecstasy (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1978 Never Say Die (Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1980 Heaven and Hell (Iommi, Dio, Butler, Ward)
  • 1981 Mob Rules (Iommi, Dio, Butler, Ward)
  • 1982 Live Evil (live - Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 1983 Born Again (Iommi, Gillan, Butler, Ward, Nicholls)
  • 1986 Seventh Star (Iommi, Hughes, Spitz, Singer, Nicholls, Copley)
  • 1987 The Eternal Idol (Iommi, Martin, Spitz, Daisley, Singer, Bevan, Nicholls)
  • 1989 Headless Cross (Iommi, Martin, Cottle, Powell, Nicholls)
  • 1990 Tyr (Iommi, Martin, Murray, Powell, Nicholls)
  • 1992 Dehumanizer (Iommi, Dio, Butler, Appice, Nicholls)
  • 1994 Cross Purposes (Iommi, Martin, Butler, Rondinelli, Nicholls)
  • 1995 Cross Purposes Live (live - Iommi, Martin, Butler, Rondinelli, Nicholls)
  • 1995 Forbidden (Iommi, Martin, Murray, Powell, Nicholls)
  • 1996 Under Wheels of Confusion: 1970-1987 (4-disc compilation)
  • 1996 The Sabbath Stones (compilation of later works)
  • 1998 Reunion (live - Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)
  • 2002 Past Lives (live - Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward)