List of Black Sabbath members

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The original lineup of Black Sabbath featured Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne.

Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band from Aston, Birmingham. Formed in 1969, the group originally featured vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward.[1] The initial lineup of the band lasted until 1977, during which time they released seven successful studio albums, including UK Albums Chart top-five releases Paranoid, Master of Reality and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.[2] Osbourne left the group in 1977 and was replaced briefly by Dave Walker, although the founding frontman returned the following year.[3] His return was short-lived, however, and he was replaced in 1979 by Ronnie James Dio at the suggestion of Sharon Arden, who would later marry Osbourne.[4] Butler also briefly left in 1979, although after hearing sessions recorded by replacement Craig Gruber he returned.[5]

The new lineup of Black Sabbath, complete with the addition of keyboardist Geoff Nicholls,[6] released the critically acclaimed album Heaven and Hell in 1980, before drummer Ward was fired from the band due to a drinking problem.[7] With Vinny Appice replacing Ward, the band released Mob Rules in 1981 and live album Live Evil in 1982, before Dio and Appice left to form the band Dio together.[8] Former Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan was brought in (and original drummer Ward returned) for 1983's Born Again.[9] Throughout the mid-1980s, the lineup of Black Sabbath changed numerous times, with members including David Donato, Jo Burt and Terry Chimes not contributing to any releases.[10][11][12]

After a brief hiatus, guitarist and only constant member Iommi rebuilt Black Sabbath in 1985 with vocalist Glenn Hughes, bassist Dave Spitz and drummer Eric Singer,[13][14][15] all of whom contributed to Seventh Star, which was initially intended to be Iommi's debut solo album.[13] In 1987 the band hired their third long-term singer in Tony Martin, who replaced vocals previously recorded by Ray Gillen for The Eternal Idol, released in 1987.[16] Martin remained for 1989's Headless Cross and 1990's Tyr, both of which featured drummer Cozy Powell following the departure of Singer; bass on the albums was performed by Laurence Cottle and Neil Murray, respectively.[17] Martin was later replaced by Dio, with Butler and Appice also returning to record new album Dehumanizer for release in 1992, before the vocalist and drummer departed again.[17] Martin returned for the Cross Purposes (1994) and Forbidden (1995) albums, which would be the band's final studio albums for almost 20 years.[1]

In 1997, Black Sabbath returned to their original lineup of Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward for the live album Reunion.[1] The group completed a number of tour dates, but remained inactive for a number of years while Iommi and Butler formed Heaven & Hell with Dio and Appice.[18] It was later announced on 11 November 2011 that the band would reform to record their first album in 33 years for release in 2012, as well as a worldwide tour.[19] However, in 2012 Ward pulled out of the reunion due to "a failure to agree" with his bandmates.[20] Brad Wilk performed drums on the resulting album, 13,[21] while Tommy Clufetos took over as the group's touring drummer.[22]

Official members[edit]

Current[edit]

Image Name Years active Instruments Release contributions
Tony Iommi Tony Iommi 1969–present all Black Sabbath releases
Geezer Butler Geezer Butler
  • 1969–1979
  • 1979–1985
  • 1990–1994
  • 1997–present
Ozzy Osbourne Ozzy Osbourne
  • 1969–1977
  • 1978–1979
  • 1997–2006
  • 2011–present
  • all Black Sabbath releases from Black Sabbath (1970) to Never Say Die! (1978)
  • Reunion (1998)
  • Past Lives (2002)
  • 13 (2013)
  • Live... Gathered in Their Masses (2013)

Former[edit]

Image Name Years active Instruments Release contributions
Bill Ward Bill Ward
  • 1969–80
  • 1982–83
  • 1984–85
  • 1994
  • 1995–98
  • 1998–2006
  • 2011–12
  • all Black Sabbath releases from Black Sabbath (1970) to Heaven and Hell (1980)
  • Born Again (1983)
  • Reunion (1998)
  • Past Lives (2002)
Dave Walker Dave Walker 1977–1978 vocals none
Geoff Nicholls 1979–2004
  • keyboards
  • bass
all Black Sabbath releases from Heaven and Hell (1980) to Live at the Hammersmith Odeon (2007)
Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio
  • 1979–1982
  • 1991–1992
vocals
  • Heaven and Hell (1980)
  • Mob Rules (1981)
  • Live Evil (1982)
  • Dehumanizer (1992)
  • The Dio Years (2007)
  • Live at Hammersmith Odeon (2007)
Craig Gruber 1979 bass none
Vinny Appice Vinny Appice
  • 1980–82
  • 1991–93
  • 1998
drums
  • Mob Rules (1981)
  • Live Evil (1982)
  • Dehumanizer (1992)
  • The Dio Years (2007)
  • Live at Hammersmith Odeon (2007)
Ian Gillan Ian Gillan 1982–1984 vocals Born Again (1983)
Bev Bevan Bev Bevan
  • 1983–1984
  • 1987
  • drums
  • percussion
The Eternal Idol (1987) – "Scarlet Pimpernel" and "Eternal Idol" only
Ron Keel 1984 vocals none
David Donato 1984–1985 vocals none
Eric Singer Eric Singer 1985–1987 drums
Dave Spitz 1985–1986 bass Seventh Star (1986)
Glenn Hughes Glenn Hughes 1985–1986 vocals Seventh Star (1986)
Ray Gillen 1986–1987 vocals The Eternal Idol reissue (2010)
Bob Daisley 1986 bass The Eternal Idol (1987)
Tony Martin Tony Martin
  • 1987–1991
  • 1993–1997
vocals
Terry Chimes 1987 drums none
Jo Burt 1987 bass none
Cozy Powell Cozy Powell
  • 1988–1991
  • 1994–1995
drums
  • Headless Cross (1989)
  • Tyr (1990)
  • Forbidden (1995)
Laurence Cottle 1988–1989 bass Headless Cross (1989)
Neil Murray
  • 1989–1991
  • 1994–1995
bass
  • Tyr (1990)
  • Forbidden (1995)
Bobby Rondinelli
  • 1993–1994
  • 1995
drums
  • Cross Purposes (1994)
  • Cross Purposes Live (1995)

Other contributors[edit]

Touring[edit]

Image Name Years active Instruments Release contributions
Mike Bordin Mike Bordin 1997 drums none
Adam Wakeman Adam Wakeman
  • 2004–2006
  • 2011–present
keyboards Live... Gathered in Their Masses (2013)
Tommy Clufetos Tommy Clufetos 2012–present drums Live... Gathered in Their Masses (2013)

Session[edit]

Image Name Years active Instruments Release contributions
Rick Wakeman Rick Wakeman 1973
  • piano
  • synthesizers
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) – "Sabbra Cadabra" only
Gerald Woodroffe 1976 keyboards Technical Ecstasy (1976)
Don Airey Don Airey 1978 keyboards Never Say Die! (1978)
John Elstar 1978 harmonica Never Say Die! (1978) – "Swinging the Chain" only
Gordon Copley 1985 bass Seventh Star (1986) – "No Stranger to Love" only
Brian May Brian May 1988 guitar Headless Cross – "When Death Calls" only
Brad Wilk Brad Wilk 2012–2013
  • drums
  • percussion
13 (2013)

Timeline[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ruhlmann, William. "Black Sabbath: Biography & History". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Black Sabbath". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Greene, Andy (15 November 2011). "Video Timeline: Forty Years of Black Sabbath: 2. The Ludicrously Brief Dave Walker Era (1978)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Sweeting, Adam (17 May 2010). "Ronnie James Dio obituary". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Original Rainbow Bassist Craig Gruber Dies After Battle With Prostate Cancer". Blabbermouth.net. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  6. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Geoff Nicholls: Biography & History". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  7. ^ Brown, Harley (5 August 2013). "Ozzy Osbourne Calls Sabbath Drummer Bill Ward 'Overweight'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Exclusive: Heaven And Hell Recruits Vinny Appice For Upcoming Tour, Sabbath Collection". Blabbermouth.net. 23 November 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo (7 August 2015). "32 Years Ago: Black Sabbath Release Their Only Album With Ian Gillan, 'Born Again'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Diffuser Network. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  10. ^ "Ex-Black Sabbath Singer David Donato Auctioning 1985 Harley Davidson". Blabbermouth.net. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  11. ^ "Jo Burt former Black Sabbath bassist will play gig in Sherborne in Dorset with Somerset 4 Talent 2014 winner Benjamin Tubridy". Western Gazette. Local World. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  12. ^ Coughlan, Sean (20 October 2006). "Should I stay or should I go now?". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  13. ^ a b DeRiso, Nick (11 October 2015). "Glenn Hughes Is Still Embarrassed About That Black Sabbath Tour". Ultimate Classic Rock. Diffuser Network. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Former Black Sabbath, Great White Bassist Dave 'The Beast' Spitz Interviewed". Blabbermouth.net. 26 June 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "Drummer Eric Singer Talks About Recording With Black Sabbath". Blabbermouth.net. 6 January 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  16. ^ Prato, Greg. "Tony Martin: Biography & History". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Giles, Geff. "Black Sabbath Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide". Ultimate Classic Rock. Diffuser Network. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  18. ^ McPadden, Mike (25 April 2015). "35 Things You Didn't Know About Black Sabbath's Heaven & Hell". VH1. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  19. ^ Woolf, Beatrice (11 November 2011). "Black Sabbath reunite to release new album and tour". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  20. ^ Greene, Andy (15 May 2012). "Black Sabbath's Bill Ward Officially Pulls Out of Reunion Gigs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  21. ^ Graff, Gary (17 June 2013). "Black Sabbath Drummer Drama Left Ozzy Osbourne 'Pissed Off'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  22. ^ Kaufman, Spencer (19 May 2012). "Black Sabbath Officially Tap Drummer Tommy Clufetos To Replace Bill Ward". Loudwire. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 

External links[edit]