YES! What do you think – are you looking forward to this one? Or is Sabbath not Sabbath without Bill Ward? Personally I’m a huge fan of Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath, and of course the Dio stuff, so any time there’s at least one original member I’m all good! Very keen to hear this album and see them live.
So yesterday Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward said he had no choice but to sit out the reunion until the band presented him with a fairer contract. Today the band responded with this:
“We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans… We have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open… We are still in the U.K. with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll… See you at Download!!!”
Y’know what? We’ve had a Sabbath ‘reunion’ with Vinnie Appice on drums. We’ve had a Sabbath reunion with Mike Bordin on drums. Those were for tours when Bill wasn’t up to it, but this is meant to be the big reunion album, probably the big Sabbath send-off, the last hurrah. Bill deserves to be there. His jazz-inflected drumming was a crucial part of the classic sound. C’mon guys, give the man what he wants! I don’t care if he wants eight jets and twelve gold plated Ferraris: give him eight jets and twelve gold plated Ferraris! If it’s a matter of everyone being recognised and compensated equally, then that means you’ll all get eight jets and twelve gold plated Ferraris. You’re Black Sabbath, you’ll be able to find the money from somewhere. C’mon, let’s just end this on the right note and let it be.
So the original Black Sabbath is back. How do you feel about this? Me, I’m a huge Sabbath fan – Sabbath was my first CD, in fact – but I’m kinda hesitant to get too excited. I loved Ozzy’s last solo album, Scream, but he runs hot and cold live. And I’m always a bit skeptical whenever anyone mentions Rick Rubin as producer – what, Nick Raskulinecz too hard to pronounce? Rubin’s hands-off style works great for some bands but not for others. For example, Metallica’s Death Magnetic could have been something really special with a little bit of extra work guidance.
Anyway, I’d love nothing more than for this reunion album and tour to be super-great. But I’ll wait until I actually hear something before getting too giddy.
Here’s the press release:
After much speculation, the original four members of BLACK SABBATH – guitarist Tony Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward – have reunited to record their first new studio album in 33 years with producer Rick Rubin (SLAYER, METALLICA) and to embark on a massive world tour in 2012.