“I don't know whether we played it properly, but the audience loved it”: When Black Sabbath regularly covered Smoke on the Water – and unwittingly inspired Spinal Tap's Stonehenge

Black Sabbath perform in concert, New York, New York, October 29, 1983.
(Image credit: Larry Busacca/WireImage)

It's no secret that Black Sabbath went through a litany of lineup changes during their near-50-year run as heavy metal's pioneers. 

Though the band's music often shifted to accommodate the different strengths of those members who came and went – the vastly different, but equally powerful vocal styles of Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio, for instance – rarely did it get as much of a jolt as when Dio left the group in 1982 and was replaced by then-former Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.