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Black Sabbath


1948

Guitarist Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath is born in Birmingham, England.

1948

Drummer Bill Ward of Black Sabbath is born in Birmingham, England.

1948

Vocalist John “Ozzy” Osbourne of Black Sabbath is born in Birmingham, England.

1949

Bassist Terence “Geezer” Butler of Black Sabbath is born in Birmingham, England.

1968

The band Earth Blues Company (shortened to Earth) begins performing around their native Birmingham, England. Within a year they will change their name to Black Sabbath.

1969

Earth performs a newly written song, entitled “Black Sabbath,” at a Birmingham club called the Pokey Hole.

1969

The former Earth performs its first gig as the newly christened Black Sabbath, taking their name from the song that set them on their heavy-metal course.

1969

Black Sabbath records their self-titled debut album at London’s Regent Sound Studio in a single day-long session.

1970

Black Sabbath’s first single, “Evil Woman” - a cover of a song by the American band Crow - is released in England.

1970

The debut album Black Sabbath is released in England on Friday the 13th. It will appear in the U.S. three months later, in May 1970.

1970

Black Sabbath release the heavy-metal classic Paranoid in the U.K., where it will hit Number One a week later. It will appear in the U.S. nearly four months later, in January 1971.

1970

Black Sabbath kick off their first U.S. tour in Glassboro, New Jersey. They will share bills with the likes of Jethro Tull, Small Faces, Badfinger and Mungo Jerry.

1971

Black Sabbath’s Paranoid peaks at #12 on the U.S. album chart as they tour the U.S. for the second time, where they perform alongside Grand Funk Railroad, Mountain and the J. Geils Band.

1971

Master of Reality, the third Black Sabbath album, is their first to be released simultaneously around the world.

1972

Black Sabbath releases Vol. 4, which contains rock’s first power ballad, “Changes.” Thirty years later, Ozzy Osbourne would join his daughter Kelly on a hit remake of the song.

1974

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the fifth classic heavy-metal album in a row from Black Sabbath, is released in the U.S., two months after being issued in Britain.

1975

Black Sabbath releases Sabotage, their sixth album. The Sabotage World Tour will find them joined by such opening acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS and Peter Frampton.

1976

Black Sabbath release Technical Ecstasy, their seventh album (not counting the best-of compilation We Sold Our Souls for Rock ‘n’ Roll). The European leg of the tour that follows pairs them with a rising young hard-rock band named AC/DC.

1978

Ozzy Osbourne rejoins Black Sabbath after a three-month hiatus, during which he was replaced by Dave Walker (formerly of Savoy Brown).

1978

The eighth and final studio album by Black Sabbath, somewhat ironically titled Never Say Die!, is released.

1978

Black Sabbath close their Never Say Die! tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It marks Ozzy Osbourne’s final performance with the band, as he quits to launch a solo career.

1980

Black Sabbath releases Heaven and Hell, its first album sans Ozzy Osbourne, who has been replaced by American vocalist Ronnie James Dio.

1985

Ozzy Osbourne joins Black Sabbath onstage for the first time in six and a half years for a three-song set at JFK Memorial Stadium in Philadelphia as part of the Live Aid concerts.

1992

Another Black Sabbath mini-reunion occurs during encores for what Ozzy Osbourne claims are his “final performances ever.”

1995

Black Sabbath’s Paranoid receives its fourth platinum certification from the RIAA, signifying sales of four million copies. It remains their best-selling and most highly regarded album.

1997

Three reunited members of the original Black Sabbath - Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler - kick off the Ozzfest tour. Subbing for the absent Bill Ward is drummer Mike Bordin.

1997

All four original members of Black Sabbath reunite to perform two stadium shows in their hometown of Birmingham, England. The concerts are filmed, recorded and released as Reunion.

1999

Black Sabbath, featuring all four original members, headline Ozzfest. They will do so again in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

2002

The eight-track double-disc Past Lives, by Black Sabbath, is released. It is the first official live album documenting Black Sabbath in the Seventies (excepting the U.K.-only Live at Last).

2002

A double-disc compilation, entitled Symptom of the Universe - The Original Black Sabbath, 1970-1978, is released.

2004

Black Box - The Complete Original Black Sabbath is released. It includes the original lineup’s eight studio albums, plus a four-track DVD.

2006

Black Sabbath is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 21st annual induction dinner. Metallica is their presenter.

Black Sabbath