BLACK SABBATH is the English heavy metal rock band from Birmingham formed in 1969, by Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass guitar), and Bill Ward (drums).
The band was earlier known as "Earth" and had a very different blues/hard rock sound. The band has had multiple line-up changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years.
Black Sabbath are cited as pioneers of heavy metal and helped define the genre with releases such as quadruple-platinum Paranoid, released in 1970.
They were ranked by MTV as the "Greatest Metal Band" of all time, and placed second in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" list, behind Led Zeppelin.
Ozzy Osbourne's heavy drug usage led to his firing from the band in April 1979, after which he began a very successful solo music career, selling over 100 million albums and television celebrity.
The original line-up reunited with Osbourne in 1997 and released a live album Reunion. The line-up featuring Iommi, Butler, Dio, and Appice reformed in 2006 under the moniker Heaven & Hell until Dio's death in May 2010.
HISTORY: While playing shows in England in 1969, the band discovered they were being mistaken for another English group also named Earth, and that summer they decided to change their name. A cinema across the street from the band's rehearsal room was showing the 1963 horror film Black Sabbath starring Boris Karloff.
Subsequently, Osbourne and Butler wrote the lyrics for a song called "Black Sabbath" (listen to track), which was inspired by the work of English occult writer Dennis Wheatley. Butler also claimed to have had a vision of a black silhouetted figure standing at the foot of his bed.The song uses the musical tritone, AKA "The Devil's Interval" along with an ominous sound and dark lyrics which became the themes for their musical sound.
Official Website: http://www.blacksabbath.com