BLACK SABBATH                  MICK WALL

Decades before reality television was invented, Ozzy Osbourne was subversive and dark. Ozzy was the singer in the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, and they meant business. In an era when rock bands were measured by how 'heavy' they were, no one was weightier than Black Sabbath. All four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other in a tiny Birmingham suburb. Though all shared a deep love of music--The Beatles for Ozzy, the Mothers of Invention for Geezer, the Shadows and Chet Atkins for Iommi, and Gene Kruppa for Ward— they formed their group "as the quickest way out of the slums." This is the story of how they made that dream come true--and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. At the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they'd been so badly ripped off by their managers they didn't even own their own songs. They looked for salvation from Don Arden—an even more notorious gangster figure, who resurrected their career but still left them indebted to him, financially and personally. It finally came to a head when in 1979 they sacked Ozzy: "For being too out of control--even for us," as Bill Ward put it. The next fifteen years were a war between the post-Ozzy Sabbath and Ozzy himself, whose solo career overshadowed Sabbath so much that a reunion was entirely on his terms. Or rather, those of his wife and manager—to add a further bitter twist for Sabbath, daughter of Don Arden —Sharon Osbourne.

A good book about the band in my opinion started heavy metal. Starts with their humble beginnings and leads into their first booking as a band then their first record and on from there. They talk about not getting their credit but when I was growing up first buying there music when it first came out my friends and I thought it was great and something new and different. We were so young we did not read any of the magazines about what people said about a record we just knew what we liked. We liked their music that is until Ozzy left. This book goes into all of the back story and then into the different replacement singers for Ozzy. In my opinion Ronnie James Dio was the best but they could not work things out to keep him. I started listening to him as well in his solo career. The book goes into his solo career and that of Ozzy, and the different people that came into the band. Also how Tony Iommi worked on keeping the brand going but was losing site because of all of the back fighting with managers. Then goes into how Sharon Osbourne after she married Ozzy was waiting for the right time to come in and take over Black Sabbath. The way she was able to get control of the name was brilliant on her part but Iommi had lost control of the name and of the group. Though they got together for a reunion except for Bill Ward the name lives on. Then ends with the making of Sabbath 13. Overall a good book, if you are a fan of the band you know some of the things maybe not all of the manager things that went on behind the scenes, but the drugs, sex, etc.. That is nothing new in this book. For me I have been listening to their music since I was 11 and that probably explains some things but their music was different and harder I still listen to those first records. So I did not know about all of the lack of press. Overall a good book well written and follows a time line. I got this book from Netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at 

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