'An epic tale, told the way it should be' RECORD COLLECTOR
'The book he was born to write' CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE
'An entertaining read for long-standing fans and newcomers alike' GUITARIST
The final word on the only name synonymous with heavy metal - Black Sabbath.
Way back in the mists of time, in the days when rock giants walked the earth, the name Ozzy Osbourne was synonymous with the subversive and dark. Back then, Ozzy was the singer in Black Sabbath, and they meant business. A four-piece formed from the ashes of two locally well-known groups called The Rare Breed (Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler) and Mythology (guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward), all four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other.
This biography tells the story of how they made that dream come true - and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. How at the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they had been so badly ripped off by their managers they did not even own their own songs. How 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. And how 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 15 years would see a war break out between the two camps: the post-Ozzy Sabbath and Ozzy himself, whose solo career overshadowed Sabbath to the point where, when he offered them the chance to reform around him again, it was entirely on his terms. Or rather, that of his wife and manager, daughter of Don Arden - Sharon Osbourne.
Veteran U.K. rock writer and broadcaster Wall (Enter Night) sets his sights on his biggest subject yet: groundbreaking band Black Sabbath. With solid research and impressive writing, he delivers a book worthy of the band's legacy. Four lads from a quiet British suburb outside of industrial Birmingham create a new sound that would launch heavy metal music. But the rock 'n' roll dream quickly devolves into a nightmare of alcohol abuse, mountains of cocaine, personality clashes, shady management, fiscal misdeeds, breakups, new lineups and, in the end, a successful reunion. The band's two outsize personalities especially come to life. Bandleader and guitarist Tony Iommi dabbles in the occult, and his iron-fist paranoid perfectionism and drug abuse leads him to tear the band apart. Ozzy Osbourne, the charismatic singer, would resurrect his career from the boozy and drug-addled depths more than once first in a solo career with ill-fated guitarist Randy Rhoads, and later as a reality TV star. As he did in his biography of Led Zeppelin, When Giants Walked the Earth, Wall rises to the occasion of writing the story of a band so tightly cloaked in legend, resulting in a quintessential rock biography.