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Tony Iommi Recalls the Best and Worst of Black Sabbath, the Heaviest Band South of Heaven

Tony Iommi Recalls the Best and Worst of Black Sabbath, the Heaviest Band South of Heaven

Paranoid (1970)

“I think the reason this record turned out so well was that we had a long time to work out all the material. We were playing seven 45-minute sets each day in a dusty old club in Switzerland, in front of anywhere from three to two dozen people. Rehearsing like that for six weeks really tightened us up. It also enabled us to experiment more because we really only had enough songs for one set each day—certainly not seven. It gave us a chance to make stuff up and rearrange existing songs.”

Master of Reality (1971)

“During Master of Reality, we started getting more experimental and began taking too much time to record. Ultimately, I think it really confused us. Sometimes I think I’d really like to go back to the way we recorded the first two albums. I’ve always preferred just going into the studio and playing, without spending a lot of time rehearsing or getting sounds.

“We tried recording ‘Into the Void’ in a couple of different studios because Bill [Ward] just couldn’t get it right. Whenever that happened, he would start believing that he wasn’t capable of playing the song. He’d say, ‘To hell with it—I’m not doing this!’ There was one track like that on every album, and ‘Into the Void’ was the most difficult one on Master of Reality. “The coughing that opens the album is actually me! Ozzy had pulled out a joint, and I nearly choked to death on the bloody thing—and they recorded it! I didn’t have any idea that it would end up on the record.”

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