Tony Iommi names his top 5 Dio-era Black Sabbath riffs

Tony Iommi
(Image credit: Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images)

When a longtime singer is replaced in a rock band, it seems that, usually, their fanbase rejects the change. And when Ozzy Osbourne left Black Sabbath in 1979, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that it would mark the end of Sabbath – especially considering their previous two albums underperformed on the charts and were not up to par with the band’s earlier classics.

But then Ronnie James Dio entered the picture. Fresh off exiting Rainbow, Dio breathed new life into Sabbath, who sounded re-energized and re-focused on the resulting two albums, 1980’s Heaven and Hell and 1981’s Mob Rules. 

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Greg Prato

Greg is a contributing writer at Guitar World. He has written for other outlets over the years, and has been lucky to interview some of his favorite all-time guitarists and bassists: Tony Iommi, Ace Frehley, Adrian Belew, Andy Summers, East Bay Ray, Billy Corgan, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Les Claypool, and Mike Watt, among others (and even took lessons from John Petrucci back in the summer of ’91!). He is the author of such books as Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, Shredders: The Oral History of Speed Guitar (And More) and Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story.