It was announced this week, after years of rumors and doubts from fellow band members, that the classic Black Sabbath lineup of Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne will reform for a new tour and album. According to the Birmingham Mail, where guitarist Iommi broke the news, “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.’”
In 2007, bassist Butler and Iommi reunited with the late Ronnie James Dio under the handle Heaven & Hell performing ‘80s-era Sabbath epics and most recently Iommi formed a charity supergroup with Deep Purple’s Ian Gillian, Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain and others titled Whocares. The original members from the Ozzy-fronted Sabbath haven’t toured since 2005 much less been in the studio together since 1978’s appropriately titled Never Say Die.
Drummer Bill Ward has had some recent health scares and Iommi is concerned that he “hasn’t been 100 percent.” “He [Ward] had an operation a few months ago,” Iommi says, “so we’ll see how he is.”