Sabbath Members Touring With, Without Ozzy
Original Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward are reuniting with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced Osbourne in the band in 1979, under the moniker Heaven and Hell. The nMaybe it takes a little friendly competition to nudge Ozzy Osbourne back into the studio with Black Sabbath. Original Sabbath members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward are reuniting with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who replaced Osbourne in the band in 1979, under the moniker Heaven and Hell. The new group, named after the first post-Osbourne Sabbath album, will hit the road in early 2007, according to a spokesperson.
But wait, says Ozzy. This is all just a precursor to a Black Sabbath tour with Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward in late '07, along with the group's first new studio album featuring that lineup since 1978's "Never Say Die!"
"Tony Iommi and Ronnie Dio are working on a project together which has nothing to do with Black Sabbath," a statement from Osbourne's publicist reads. "There is only one Black Sabbath. However, Osbourne wishes Tony and Ronnie much success in their project together."
Adding to the drama, Osbourne himself told Billboard.com in March 2005 that he had no interest in making another Sabbath album.
"I could go in the studio and write a bunch of stuff, but why do an album just for the sake of Bill, Tony, me and Geezer together playing if it's not up to the Black Sabbath standard that I left?" he said. "It would f*ck it up, you know? It's so sad when you hear these monumental bands do these piece of sh*t records just because they want the money."
Iommi, on the other hand, told Billboard.com the following month that he was up for hitting the studio. "We've certainly talked about it," he said. "But to make any definite plans as to when it's going to be is another thing. Again, it's going to come down to time because we're going to have put aside quite a bit of time to get together, rehearse and write another album. [But] I really think we owe it to the fans as well to do the album."