Upon the completion of the “Forbidden” tour, Cozy Powell decided to leave Black Sabbat, citing exhaustion from years of constant touring. Bobby Rondinelli, in fact, finished up the last dates of the tour. At this point, the band was essentially over. Tony Iommi authorized the “Sabbath Stones” compilation in order to fulfill his record contract, and moved on to working on solo music.
Former vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, however, had begun the Ozzfest tour in 1996, and desired to have Black Sabbath play the tour in 1997. Ozzy was back in Black Sabbath for the first time since the one-off Live Aid show in 1985, albeit sans Bill Ward. Ozzy solo drummer Mike Bordin played the drums alongside Iommi and Geezer Butler.
By the end of the year, however, Ward was brought on board, and the original lineup was reunited. The “Reunion” album emerged from these early shows, which also featured two new original Black Sabbath songs with the original lineup, “Psycho Man” and “Selling My Soul”.
The original lineup toured on and off throughout the 2000s, but nothing else ever emerged.
Meanwhile, following a compilation of the Ozzy-era material in 2004, the band put together a compilation of the Ronnie James Dio-era material in 2006. As things progressed, the band felt it would be a good idea to record a few new songs for the compilation. Ward elected not to be a part of this, so Appice returned, and the band recorded three new songs: “The Devil Cried”, “Shadow of the Wind”, and “Ear in the Wall”.
Soon after, the lineup reunited as Heaven and Hell, which for all intents and purposes is simply Black Sabbath’s “Mob Rules” and “Dehumanizer” lineup. Under the Heaven and Hell name, the band recorded a new album called “The Devil You Know”, which was released in 2009, and toured extensively.
Unfortunately, Dio passed away from stomach cancer in May 2010, and the Heaven and Hell project was laid to rest with him. To learn more about this third era of Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio, click here.
Over the next two years, the original members of Black Sabbath repetitively denied rumors of yet another reunion; however, that reunion did take place, as was officially announced on November 11, 2011.
Of course, Ward announced his non-participation in the project in February 2012 due to disputes with the band’s management. Iommi also battled lymphoma during this time, which halted plans on a world tour and a new album. Tommy Clufetos, Ozzy’s current solo drummer, fulfilled the band’s live obligations, and former Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk recorded the drums for the upcoming album, “13”.
Click here to read about the Ronnie James Dio era in chapter one.
Click here to read about the Ian Gillan era in chapter two.
Click here to read about the Glenn Hughes era in chapter three.
Click here to read about the Tony Martin era in chapter four.
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