Yet another Black Sabbath compilation is coming our way this year when Iron Man: The Best Of Black Sabbath is released June 5.
The 14-track compilation covers the Ozzy Osbourne years and includes what I imagine is a pretty predictable group of songs despite the band's lack of actual "hits" in the radio sense. Sabbath fans know which songs are the classics and while they might disagree on some of the deeper album cuts, the foundation of the band's enduring legacy and popularity is built on songs like "Paranoid," "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," and "War Pigs." All three of those songs are present on this new compilation.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, three of the four founding members of the band are hard at work on a new album. Frontman Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, and bassist Geezer Butler have been working on new material while drummer Bill Ward sits out. Ward has issued at least one statement claiming disatisfaction with the business arrangements between himself and the band and pledged not to participate unless things changed in that regard. There hasn't been any announcement about who might fill in for Ward if the statemate isn't broken.
Sabbath plans to tour, ostensibly to promote the new album, but Ward won't be the only bandmember absent. Iommi is battling lymphoma and is only scheduled to appear at a handful of gigs while is treated and -- we all hope and pray -- recovers. Stay strong, Tony!
So here's a question for all you Sabbath enthusiasts and scholars: where should a casual fan begin? I know several Sabbath songs and like some of them well enbough but own none of their records. If you were going to start a person out, does this compilation look like the place to start? Would you recommend a different compliation or a particular album or order? Help guide me through the Sabbath discography.
- Iron Man
- Fairies Wear Boots
- War Pigs
- Never Say Die
- Children Of The Grave
- The Wizard
- Sweet Leaf
- Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games)
- Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
- Black Sabbath