Black Sabbath wrote music history without being asked - the guys from Bimringham are considered to be the co-founders of heavy metal, doom metal and hard rock. To this day they are inspiration and icons for metal and rock bands and influence their style, the way instruments are played and of course the associated rock star attitude.
dr Martens Black Sabbath Limited Edition, which was launched this year, combines the cult of the band and the shoes from England, which each shape generations. In keeping with Black Sabbath's 50th anniversary, there's a classic 8-eyelet shoe that's printed all over with the cover of the debut album. The album cover, which was designed by the artist Keith Macmillan and has already gone down in history itself with the depiction of a witch-like figure in a deserted autumn garden - the trendy, happy 60s were officially replaced by the at times mystical to dark 70s. The limited edition 3-eye lace-up shoe also features Macmillan's art for the Paranoid album cover, considered one of the most successful albums of 1970.
But back to the beginning:
The band's founding name 'Earth' was swapped for Black Sabbath. Firstly because there was already another band called Earth, secondly because they were avid horror film fans and the English title of the 1963 classic 'The Three Faces of Fear' was 'Black Sabbath'. Black Sabbath captured the zeitgeist, after all, creepy horror films were becoming increasingly popular. It is said that the cinema, which was opposite her rehearsal room, gave her the idea of making music that would scare listeners as much as they would in front of the screen.
That's how Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Bill Ward started to change their music style from blues and jazz elements to what we now know as metal thanks to them.
In just twelve hours they recorded their eponymous debut album, on which they realized their ideas of dark, melancholic, angry music. The success proved them right: it reached the top 10 in England and stayed in the American charts for more than a year. The boys, who had been making music together since their school days, became rock stars almost overnight!
The second album, 'Paranoid' was originally going to be called 'War Pigs', but the record company rejected the title for fear of provoking trouble. The Vietnam War and the associated anti-war movement and resentment in society as a parallel were too obvious. So now it was named after the very song that was rushed to fill the album at the very end of the album session - and became the band's biggest hit.
Paranoid has sold 4 million copies in the US alone.
The musicians stayed true to their pace, the second album was released just under half a year after the first. From now on their success could not be stopped, they played a number of concerts, released new albums like on a conveyor belt and collected the bill for their rapid lifestyle.
Ozzy left the band in 1977, badly affected by drug and alcohol excesses. A few months later he comes back, but the work on the album is not easy to do in his condition, this time he is released. Bill Ward later said that the day Ozzy left was the day the band imploded.
In the following years there were many changes and quarrels within the band and loyal fans agree that Black Sabbath is only really Black Sabbath with Ozzy and that the first albums are the best to date. In 1996, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne founded Ozzfest, an annual festival featuring well-known rock, alternative and metal bands - each time either Ozzy solo or together with Black Sabbath.
So it's fair to say that Black Sabbath got back together with the original lineup in the 90s and early 2000s, but never saw a definitive reunion. Meanwhile, in 2002, Ozzy got his own reality soap that followed his family as they went about their daily lives - getting up close and personal with the controversial rock star and struggling with his inner demons. Various illnesses of the individual band members repeatedly made planned tours or delayed releases difficult, but in 2013 their live album 'Black Sabbath Live...Gathered in Their Masses' was released, which was so commercially successful that they extended their tour.
Black Sabbath actually played their last concert in 2017 in their hometown of Birmingham. They will never lose their cult status - or to put it in their own words: Never Say Die!