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Sabbath is meant to be a time for rest, but Black Sabbath turned that idea – and the metal genre – on its head.
With Ozzy Osbourne as one of the original members, Black Sabbath were unsurprisingly masters of shock and kings of the extreme, from on-stage antics to shredding and screaming vocals that defined an era. Black Sabbath were much more than just stunts and gimmicks, though. The music was timeless, trailblazing and trend breaking. Led Zeppelin consider Black Sabbath to be one of the most important bands of all time, and we don’t disagree.
That’s why we’re stocked full of Black Sabbath merch in our licenced online store. From Black Sabbath t shirts to exclusive Black Sabbath jackets and Ozzy Osbourne merchandise, step "Into the Void" and get your hands on elite stuff when you shop with EMP.
Ozzy Zig Needs Gig - the Black Sabbath story
Aston, England was not the most hip of places back in the late 60s. Locals worked in factories, met after work at the local pub, and crawled into bed after drinking the town dry. And if you didn't work in a factory, you tended to occupy yourself with petty crime. As Ozzy said himself, life in the traditional working-class town of Aston was grey, very grey.
Music was an escape, and soon grey would turn black – black metal and heavy metal. One day in 1968, Ozzy strolled to the nearest music shop and placed an ad reading "Ozzy Zig Needs Gig - has own P.A.". And since virtually no one had their own PA system at the time, especially one loud enough for a band rehearsal, it wasn't long before Ozzy became a member of a band. From that point onwards, Ozzy started playing in the Polka Tulk-Blues-Band together with school pals Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and two other musicians who wouldn’t stick around for long.
After dabbling around with the name 'Earth' for a while, they realised they had to change it. Bassist Geezer Butler came up with the name 'Black Sabbath' whilst watching the horror film called, you guessed it, "Black Sabbath". What’s in a name? Well, a lot it would seem. Along with the change of name came a change in style, and when they were rehearsing across the street from a cinema, Iommi came to the conclusion that music should inspire listeners to feel fear and discomfort. Obsessed with the idea, the boys tinkered with Black Sabbath's style, finding the dark metal sound that would revolutionise the industry.
Back in 1970, they released their eponymous debut album which turned out to be a massive hit. Black Sabbath were legitimate, but soon, they would be legends…
Paranoid - how Black Sabbath took over the world
Black Sabbath released their legendary second album "Paranoid" in that very same year. Worldwide commercial success followed – as did their reputation for shock.
Major tours, copious amounts of drugs and alcohol followed. This IS rock and roll after all. Inspired by their success, they brought out even more legendary albums that were to shape the rock and metal scene in a massive way, including albums such as "Master of Reality", "Volume 4" and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". Many of these albums have been re-released and are available as part of our Black Sabbath merchandise online.
The band continued with worldwide acclaim even after the lifestyle took it out of them – with Ozzy being expunged from the band to clean his act up.
But, in 1997, Black Sabbath announced that the band would reappear with its original line-up, meaning the Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne was back on his throne. It resulted in the band releasing a live album, followed by a final album in 2011.
Black Sabbath may finally be taking their own sabbath, but rock legends like this never go away – especially not when there’s official Black Sabbath merchandise available to relive the glory days.