The reunited original lineup of the legendary heavy metal band BLACK SABBATH will headline a number of Europe’s premier festivals in 2012. Kicking off on Friday May 18 in Moscow at Olimpski, the tour will bring BLACK SABBATH to the masses at: Download (U.K.), Azkena Rock (Spain), Hellfest (France), Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium) and Gods Of Metal (Italy). However, that’s only the beginning of the group’s global tour which will take the band around the world, including countries the band has never played before and others they have not visited in more than three decades.
The four original members of BLACK SABBATH — Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums) — are recording their first studio album in 33 years with legendary producer Rick Rubin (seven-time Grammy winner, two of those as “Producer Of The Year”) for release worldwide on Vertigo, and Vertigo/Universal Republic in the U.S. in the fall 2012.
When asked by Artisan News for his opinion on the reunion of SABBATH’s original lineup, legendary bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes — who fronted SABBATH on 1986’s “Seventh Star” LP — said (see video below), “I think it’s wonderful that Ozzy now is sober and willing to bring it all together. And I think that just shows the kind of man that he has now become. And he has always been a lovely, good friend to me. But it just shows how far they have come as brothers to come together at this time. I think it’s perfect timing.”
The Ronnie James Dio lineup of BLACK SABBATH reunited under the moniker HEAVEN & HELL in 2006 but split four years later, after Dio passed away.
Regarding what Ronnie’s reaction would have been to SABBATH’s original lineup reunion had he still been alive, his wife/manager Wendy Dio told Artisan News (see video below), “I think Ronnie would have given it his blessing. It’s the right thing to do. They were the innovators of rock and roll and they need to finish as… They’re legends — complete legends. I think it will be fantastic and I think Ronnie would have totally given his blessing.”
According to U.K.’s The People, BLACK SABBATH’s planned world tour and festival appearances are expected to earn the musicians in excess of £100 million (around $159 million), meaning each member of the band could take home up to £25 million (approximately $40 million).
The band did attempt to record a new disc in 1998, but abandoned the attempt and released only two songs as part of a concert album called “Reunion”.
Following a reunion tour in 1998, SABBATH reunited sporadically in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2005 for live dates. The foursome last appeared together at their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006.
At their long-overdue induction, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne spoke about the respect that SABBATH had earned over the years. “For a while, nobody would take us seriously,” Iommi said. “But as we went on, the more we carried on, the more we proved, the more we stayed there, you know? And I think we got the respect from that.” Ozzy added, “I never thought anybody liked us, and people on the Ozzfest would come to me and go, ‘You were really one of our inspirations.’ And I didn’t really, I didn’t believe it, you know?”