Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all,
Or if he moves will he fall?
Is he alive or dead?
Has he thoughts within his head?
Well just pass him there
Why should we even care?
He was turned to steel
In the great magnetic field
Where he traveled time
For the future of mankind
Nobody wants him
He just stares at the world
Planning his vengeance
That he will soon unfold
Now the time is here
For iron man to spread fear
Vengeance from the grave
Kills the people he once saved
Nobody wants him
They just turn their heads
Nobody helps him
Now he has his revenge
Heavy boots of lead
Fills his victims full of dread
Running as fast as they can
Iron man lives again!
About Black Sabbath:
Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band from Birmingham. The original band line up of Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Terence "Geezer" Butler (bass), and Bill Ward (drums) is the same as the current line up (2007) although there have been shifts of personnel in between.
Black Sabbath remain a dominant influence in the genre they helped create.  VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock ranks them second, behind Led Zeppelin .
Currently, the early 1980s line-up of the band featuring Iommi, Butler, Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice are preparing to tour under the moniker Heaven and Hell, a title taken from the album of the same name.
Black Sabbath formed in Aston, Birmingham, England in 1966 under the name Polka Tulk Blues Band (soon shortened to "Polka Tulk"), and later Earth, playing blues rock and hard rock.
Black Sabbath's sound emerged from diverse influences. Guitarist Tony Iommi was greatly influenced both by Hank Marvin's playing on Cliff Richard and the Shadows' heavy-guitar based recordings and by jazz guitar, particularly that of Django Reinhardt. Iommi left EarthBlack Sabbath for a short time to tour with Jethro Tull. Ward has also expressed a fondness for jazz music, especially drummers like Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. Geezer Butler cites bassistvocalist Jack Bruce of British blues band Cream as a major influence on him: “He was the first player I ever saw who bent the strings and played the bass as a totally independent instrument”. Early incarnations of Black Sabbath merged elements of blues, jazz, and rock and paid their dues playing cover versions of songs by heavy rock acts including Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer, and the previously mentioned Cream. Osbourne says he was deeply influenced by The Beatles and his favourite album of all time is Revolver.
Earth moved in a darker direction when their bassist, Geezer Butler, a fan of the black magic novels of Dennis Wheatley, wrote an occult-themed song titled "Black Sabbath" (the song name was apparently inspired by a 1963 Mario Bava film) (in their reunion concert film, the band stated that the song is based on an experience Butler had one night when he saw a black figure at the end of his bed and noticed the next day that an occult book Osbourne had given him was missing). When the band found themselves being confused with another local band called Earth, they adopted the song title as their new name.
The group found its signature sound almost by accident. When the group was rehearsing in a studio which was situated opposite a cinema showing a horror movie, Osbourne recalls that Tony Iommi said to the rest of the band, "Innit weird man that people pay money to see a movie that scares the * out of them?". The band began to purposely write dark, ominous songs in an attempt to be music's answer to horror films, and in rebellion against the prevalent happy pop music of the 1960s. In a VH1 documentary about the band, Ozzy Osbourne recalled the laughable lyrics of radio-friendly pop at the time, such as "if you ever go to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair...," - "screw that,", they said, "let's go over there and scare everyone !!!"
Pairing their new heavy sound and the on-stage antics of Ozzy Osbourne, the band found success beginning with their first album, the eponymous Black Sabbath, released in 1970. They signed to Warner Bros. Records in the U.S. and Canada, and Vertigo Records for the rest of the world. Their follow-up album Paranoid, also released in 1970, brought them even greater attention in America and the UK. The song "War Pigs" was written in protest against the Vietnam war and was originally planned as the title track. The band recorded "Paranoid" at the last minute simply to add length to the album. The song ended up becoming the title track for the album and the band's first single to garner substantial radio airplay.
The content of the songs (both originals and cover versions) from both albums demonstrated a tongue in cheek interest in the occult and black magic. This was a crucial step in establishing the 'darkness' and 'heaviness' of later heavy metal lyrics. Black Sabbath was one of the first groups to feature such lyrical content. Led Zeppelin, The Doors and others hinted at magic or the occult in their lyrical content, but very few contemporaries could match Black Sabbath's lyrics (penned for the most part by Geezer Butler) for their direct references to the topic.
Sabbath Long Beach CA.
Sabbath Long Beach CA.
Another innovation was the by-product of an accident. Tony Iommi lost the tips of two fingers on his fretting hand while working in a sheet metal factory. Initially, he forged himself prosthetics from a melted plastic detergent bottle. The injured fingers were understandably tender, so Iommi downtuned his Gibson guitar from standard E to C# (starting with the third album, Master of Reality). The reduced tension of the strings allowed him to play with less pain to his fingertips. Butler lowered his bass tuning to match Iommi's. The lower pitch gave the music a "heavier" or more substantive tone matching the music of the bands lyrics.
Black Sabbath released another album in 1971, Master of Reality. This was the first Sabbath album to feature a significant amount of acoustic material ("Solitude" contained a flute solo by Iommi). This is an often overlooked switch in style by Black Sabbath, as they are largely known only for their simple, heavy, dark riffs. They added more varying musical elements by the time the band released Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 in 1972. Featuring the ballad "Changes" (containing only vocal, bass, piano and mellotron) and hard rock anthems like "Supernaut" and "Snowblind" (which included strings), Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 was the group's most mature record to date.
By 1973, the group was one of the most popular heavy metal bands in the world, and were a major concert attraction. Their next release, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, saw the band working with Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Along with the title track, the album also included the space-rock styled, "Spiral Architect," and the prog-rock inspired, "A National Acrobat".
By this time the band was heavily addicted to drugs and Osbourne and Ward supposedly took LSD every day for two years. Towards the end of Osbourne's tenure in 1978, he was so embroiled in drugs that he claims he was "very unhappy and got drunk and stoned every day". Many of the band's songs address drugs, both explicitly and implicitly.
The band was suffering major management problems (the group was managed by Osbourne's future father-in-law, Don Arden). The management problems and then a label change in the UK from Vertigo to WWA disrupted the release schedule of the band's new album while the band was still with Warner Bros. in the US and Canada. Despite the troubles, Sabotage was released in 1975 with continued success. However, drug problems, continued experimentation in their music style (Gregorian chants and a chorale of monks highlighted "Supertzar"), the hard rock scene's changing environment, and some internal issues were affecting the stability and output of the band.
Technical Ecstasy (1976) turned out to be a commercial failure. The album was laden with symphony orchestras, synthesisers, and vocals from drummer Bill Ward following a brief departure from Osbourne during the recording sessions. After the 1977 tour, Ozzy Osbourne stopped turning up at band rehearsals and the remaining band members recorded some music with singer Dave Walker, formerly of Fleetwood Mac. Osbourne returned to the band prior to recording the album, Never Say Die!, released in 1978. By far the band's most experimental release, the album contained elements of many genres. Like the previous album, its sales were poor.
Due to internal conflicts and an evident lack of commitment, Ozzy Osbourne was asked to leave the band in 1979. He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist, Ronnie James Dio.
Black Sabbath's next album (and first with singer Ronnie James Dio), Heaven and Hell, proved to be a revitalising success for the band with the band's highest charting since 1975's Sabotage. It was on this tour that Dio popularised the mano cornuto hand gesture, which has since become a symbol of heavy metal music in general. The album also marked the inclusion of Quartz's guitarist-turned-keyboardist Geoff Nicholls (Nicholls has not been consistently credited as an official member, and has often been forced to play live shows from backstage for supposed aesthetic purposes, but he has co-written many songs and has stayed with Black Sabbath through all subsequent incarnations). Also during the tour, drummer Bill Ward quit the band for personal reasons (both his parents died within a rather short period, and Ward was struggling with alcoholism and other addictions). Drummer Vinny Appice joined to complete the tour and then record the next album Mob Rules, whose title track appeared in the movie Heavy Metal.
The unauthorised release in 1980 of the live bootleg Live at Last (recorded in the Ozzy Osbourne era during the 1972 Volume 4 tour) prompted the band to properly record a live album on the Mob Rules tour, titled Live Evil. However, during the mixing of Live Evil, internal band problems and nasty accusations developed, which led to Dio and Appice quitting the band to form Dio. Bill Ward returned to the drum throne and Ian Gillan of Deep Purple fame became the new singer. To quote the singer ; "I had no plans to join Black Sabbath. I went out with Geezer and Tony and we got drunk, and I found out the next day that I agreed to join the band. And they're such nice guys. It was great fun and it paid the bills, I had a lovely year with them and that was it."
This line-up recorded the album Born Again, but Bill Ward again dropped out of the band before the tour, being replaced by Bev Bevan of Electric Light Orchestra. Although the album surprisingly ended up being one of their most successful ones to date (hitting #4 in the UK charts), things did not last, as Ian Gillan left to reunite with Deep Purple. Drummer Bill Ward once again returned to the fold, and the hiring of new singer David Donato was officially announced in 1984. However, after six months worth of rehearsals, American Donato was discharged by management when Iommi and Butler squabbled over financial issues.
At this point, the band's credibility-destroying line-up changes, Ozzy Osbourne's increasing success in his solo career and side-taking from music critics combined to put the band under Osbourne's shadow. Founding member Geezer Butler quit and formed the Geezer Butler Band, which ended without releasing any albums. The original line-up of Black Sabbath reunited for one three-song show at Live Aid in 1985. After this, Tony Iommi decided to record a solo album and enlisted the help of long-time Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls (who was finally made an official member) and vocalist Glenn Hughes, formerly of Deep Purple and Trapeze. Tony Iommi also got engaged to famous female heavy metal star Lita Ford, and enlisted the help of her band's bassist (Dave "The Beast" Spitz) and drummer Eric Singer, (later of KISS and Alice Cooper) to round off the line-up. However, management and record company pressure caused the album Seventh Star to be released as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi.
There is a certain amount of controversy around the Seventh Star album involving Jeff Fenholt, who claims to have been Sabbath's lead singer for about seven months. He claims that he left the band due to its incompatibility with his faith. Sabbath members maintain that he was never actually part of the band, only that he recorded some demos for Iommi's solo album. Supposedly some of the material on Seventh Star was written by an uncredited Fenholt.
Early in the tour for Seventh Star in 1986, Glenn Hughes got into a fist fight, and suffered severe blood clotting in his throat which made him lose his voice. An unknown young American singer by the name of Ray Gillen (no relation to Ian Gillan) was tapped for the job and finished the tour. The morale in the band was very high when they started recording The Eternal Idol (former drummer Bev Bevan had returned as a percussionist, and a second bassist, Bob Daisley, was also involved), but the new Black Sabbath hit a devastating series of catastrophes involving mismanagement and financial debt, mainly from poorly planned use of expensive recording studios. As a result Ray Gillen left the band during the recording sessions. He later hooked up with ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee to form the rather successful band Badlands (which would later include Eric Singer).
Birmingham-born singer Tony Martin (ex The Alliance) was brought in to re-record all of Gillen's original vocals on the Eternal Idol tapes, and the album was finally released. Tony "The Cat" Martin proved to be the perfect vocalist for the newly revitalised Black Sabbath. Though he somewhat resembled Dio, Martin clearly had his own style.
After the recording of The Eternal Idol, most of the band quit Sabbath, leaving Iommi, Martin, and Nicholls to recruit bassist Jo Burt and former Clash drummer Terry Chimes for the short-lived 1987 Eternal Idol tour.
In 1988, Kerrang! magazine ran a story that Vegas-lounge singer Tom Jones had joined Tony Iommi and Bill Ward in Black Sabbath. This later became known as a hoax, possibly due to the fact that it was the April issue of the magazine and during the shifting lineups of the 1980s, the Kerrang! staff seemed to enjoy poking fun at Black Sabbath as it then existed.
However, some degree of band stability finally came back to Black Sabbath by 1988 with the retention of Tony Martin and Geoff Nicholls and the addition of loyal drummer Cozy Powell, who replaced Terry Chimes. Powell, a legendary drummer, had had success with his own band, as well as with Rainbow, Whitesnake, ELP and many others. With bassist Laurence Cottle replacing Jo Burt, Sabbath released the critically acclaimed Headless Cross album in 1989, their most Satanic and occult-based album so far. An MTV video for the title track received considerable airplay, and was released to mostly positive reviews. After the Headless Cross sessions, Laurence Cottle was replaced by veteran bassist Neil Murray (a former bandmate of Cozy Powell's in Whitesnake). Sabbath released Tyr in 1990. The group toured extensively throughout 1990 and 1991 to support the Tyr album.
Tony Iommi cleaned house in 1992 to reunite the classic 1980s lineup of Black Sabbath (although what was to become the Dehumanizer line-up had originally been IommiButlerPowell before Cozy Powell suffered a hip injury) Founding member Geezer Butler, along with Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice, joined up with Tony Iommi once again (this was the same line-up from 1981's Mob Rules and 1982's Live Evil) and together they recorded Dehumanizer (1992). Playing to larger audiences than they had in nearly a decade, the rejuvenated Sabbath enjoyed renewed success with the Dehumanizer album and tour. It was around this time that Ozzy Osbourne announced his retirement from touring and proposed that Black Sabbath open his final two shows at Costa Mesa. When Dio refused to participate, Iommi, Butler and Appice agreed to appear without him.
Dio quit to return to his highly successful solo band, and Rob Halford, Judas Priest singer, was brought in as a last-minute replacement (specifically for this event only). The original Black Sabbath lineup, including Bill Ward, reunited to close the second night of performances, on November 15, 1992, performing four songs. In the end, Ozzy Osbourne decided not to retire (following his "No More Tours" tour with the aptly titled "Retirement Sucks" tour), and contracts were all ready for a new album and tour from the original Black Sabbath line-up, but then Osbourne decided at the last minute that he did not want to do it.
After the DioHalford debacle, Vinny Appice was replaced by former Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli. Vocalist Tony Martin and keyboardist Geoff Nicholls returned to the band and Black Sabbath recorded Cross Purposes, and Cross Purposes Live, a CD and video combination, which was released in late 1994, after which Bobby Rondinelli left the group mid-tour. His replacement for the rest of the tour was, surprisingly, original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward. After the tour, both Ward and Butler parted ways with Iommi, Martin, and Nicholls.
Another reunion was on tap in 1995. This time the Tyr-era group would again join forces, as drummer Cozy Powell and bassist Neil Murray rejoined Iommi, Martin, and Nicholls for Forbidden. The album was produced by Ernie C of the pioneering rap metal group Body Count. To date, Forbidden remains Black Sabbath's last full-length studio album recorded by any line-up. After the recording of the album, Cozy Powell left again and was replaced for the tour by a returning Bobby Rondinelli.
In 1996, Castle Records outside the U.S. and Canada remastered and re-released Black Sabbath's catalogue on CD up through Eternal Idol (1987), and a 1988-1995 compilation titled The Sabbath Stones was released to finish Tony Iommi's contract with the record label.
In 1996, Ozzy Osbourne launched his wildly successful Ozzfest metal festival tour, which he headlined on a nightly basis. On the 1997 tour, for the last part of his set each night, he was joined by Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi for a rundown on several Sabbath classics (Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin was on drums). However, in December 1997, original drummer Bill Ward joined forces with Osbourne, Iommi, and Butler to reform the original Black Sabbath for the first time since their brief reunion at Live-Aid in 1985 and 1992.
Black Sabbath have since released at least one authorised double-CD compilation, one double-CD live compilation, and an eight CD box set. The band had writing sessions together in 2001, and played one new song ("Scary Dreams") on the subsequent tour. However, a new studio album has yet to be released. The band initially began work on a new album in 2001 with legendary producer Rick Rubin, but Ozzy's solo contract has delayed, and perhaps killed, further progress on the album. The band took three years off before returning to the road in 2004 to headline yet another Ozzfest tour, celebrating their 35th anniversary. For 2005, Ozzy Osbourne performed with Black Sabbath in his Ozzfest tour, which also featured Iron Maiden. On keyboards for 2005 shows was Rick Wakeman's son Adam.
In November 2005, Black Sabbath were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, and the original line-up played at the awards ceremony. That same month it was also announced that they would be inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006. This time Sabbath did not play any songs, instead having heavy metal legends Metallica play two Black Sabbath songs, "Hole in the Sky" and "Iron Man".