Ozzy Osbourne Reflects on History: Black Sabbath Is Like a ‘Clever Mistake’
Black Sabbath began their career in the late ’60s and all these years later the band is wrapping up their career with “The End” tour. But the metal pioneers weren’t as always as beloved as they are today, and in a new interview with Rolling Stone they reflect on the struggles of their beginnings.
Bassist Geezer Butler recalled, “We used to do these auditions for record companies, and they’d just leave after the third song or something. I’ll always remember one producer told us to go away, learn how to play and learn how to write some decent songs. We were rejected again and again by company after company, and then the management at the time had this great idea to write some pop songs, and it wasn’t even us that wrote them.”
Butler recalls hating the material they were given to record and says they even tried their hand at recording a jazzy song that featured Tony Iommi on flute titled “A Song for Jim.” “When we were recording songs like ‘The Rebel’ and ‘Song for Jim,’ that was our management trying to get us a record deal. We were playing ‘Black Sabbath,’ ‘Wicked World’ and ‘N.I.B.,’ but record labels told us to go and write proper songs. They just didn’t get it, so they tried to make us a pop band.”
Ozzy Osbourne interjects, “Sabbath don’t write f—ing hit singles. Sabbath is like a clever mistake. I’ve always said, no matter what Tony Iommi and myself have been through with each other personally, I’ve never took it way from him. There’s no other guy on the face of the earth that can come up with riffs like him. He’s f—ing brilliant with ’em.”
So nearly 50 years after their start, by sticking to their guns against pressure to conform to the sounds of the day, Black Sabbath are still going strong and a genre of heavy music has been influenced by what they did all the way back in the late ’60s.
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