One of the most closely guarded secrets in rock music is out – the original Black Sabbath line-up is getting back together.
Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward have begun rehearsing for a tour and new studio album.
In June this year vocalist Ozzy and guitarist Iommi wrote new material for a record that will be released next year.
‘‘We’re really looking forward to it and I think the stuff we’ve been writing is really good,’’ said 63-year-old Iommi. ‘‘It’s more back to the old original stuff.’’
He added that the reunion has been kept under wraps for some time.
‘‘It’s all been very hush-hush. Ozzy’s been the worst at trying to hold it back. He’s doing a lot of TV and he’s being asked stuff about a reunion and he’s going ‘well I never say never’.
‘‘He told me, ‘I don’t know what to say’.’’
Iommi's last version of Black Sabbath, called Heaven & Hell, came to an end when singer Ronnie James Dio died in May 2010.
‘‘I had umpteen number of people on the phone asking if I fancied getting together with a band but I couldn’t tell them what I was doing. I just had to say I was busy.’’
The classic line-up of Black Sabbath formed in Aston in 1969.
Ozzy was fired from the band in 1979 and there has since been many different members since.
Iommi said his only concern about the current reformation was the health of drummer Bill Ward who in the past has suffered a heart attack.
‘‘He hasn’t been 100 per cent. He had an operation a few months ago, so we’ll see how he is.’’