It’s rare that a band emerges and, with one inspired release, simultaneously launches and perfects a genre of music. Such is the singular case of Black Sabbath. Their 1970 self-titled debut, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, took the heavy blues and hard-rock idioms that came before and infused them with anthemic tritone riffs, doom-laden drum tempos, maniacal vocals and diabolical lyrics.
Black Sabbath's Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi was born 67 years ago today in Birmingham, England. As part of our ongoing celebration of Iommi's life and career, check out this just-posted animated video, part of VH1.com’s new animated series, The Complete History of Heavy Metal.
Classic Albums is a DVD series telling the stories behind some of rock’s most historic records. Below, watch an excerpt from their feature on Black Sabbath’s Paranoid LP. As the second studio album from Sabbath, the album contains some of the band’s most beloved tracks, including “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and “Paranoid.”
Regarded by many as the three most vital purveyors of pure hard rock/heavy metal sonic evil, AC/DC’s Angus Young, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi have each forged a distinct, instantly recognizable guitar style and sound. After more than three decades of dedicated service, all three players continue to influence countless up-and-coming metalheads the world over, and an in-depth study of each guitarist’s distinct musical personality is mandatory for any aspiring hard rock player.
The 1970 album Black Sabbath introduced the world to four English gents who would go down as the greatest, most influential heavy metal band in history. Twenty-two years later, the band’s hand of doom, Tony Iommi, continues to compose the most withering riffs this side of Hades.