Reunion (Black Sabbath album)

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Sabbath Reunion.jpg
Live album by
Released20 October 1998
RecordedBirmingham NEC Arena, 4–5 December 1997
A&M Studios, Hollywood, California, April–May 1998 (studio tracks)
GenreHeavy metal
ProducerThom Panunzio (live tracks), Bob Marlette (studio tracks)
Black Sabbath live albums chronology
Cross Purposes Live
Past Lives
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly(B+)[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[5]

Reunion is a live album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released on 20 October 1998. As implied by the title, the album features a reunion of the original Black Sabbath lineup of vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. The album represents the first new release featuring that version of the group since 1978's Never Say Die! and Osbourne's subsequent firing the following year. Black Sabbath received their first ever Grammy Award in 2000 for the live recording of "Iron Man" taken from Reunion.[6]


Six years after founding member Ozzy Osbourne departed Black Sabbath under less than amicable circumstances, he briefly rejoined his former bandmates for a single performance on 13 July 1985 at the Live Aid benefit concert in Philadelphia, and again in 1992 for the climax of his No More Tours farewell tour.[7] Much to the dismay of fans, neither brief reconciliation had resulted in a full-fledged Black Sabbath reunion resulting in a new album and tour. A serious attempt at a reunion in 1993 proved fruitless as the band members lamented the reappearance of old animus – and, when Osbourne, Iommi and Butler reunited under the Black Sabbath banner for the 1997 Ozzfest shows, Ward was not involved, instead replaced by Faith No More's Mike Bordin. Ward made a brief return to Black Sabbath for a short South American tour in 1994, but it was with Tony Martin fronting the band. Thus, anticipation for a full and meaningful reunion of the Osbourne-era version of the band was high.


By late 1997, all four original members put aside their differences and misgivings and two shows in their hometown at the Birmingham NEC Arena were booked. On 4 and 5 December 1997, the four original members of Black Sabbath performed together with the shows recorded for a highly anticipated live album release. Ward had a heart condition, and concern regarding his health and ability to perform at a high level meant that another former Black Sabbath drummer, Vinny Appice, was on standby for the two homecoming shows. "We hadn't done a show with Bill for 18 years," remarked Iommi. Ward made it through both shows – albeit not without incident:[8]

Bill hit a gong and it fell on him, I creased up. His arm was black and blue in the morning, because those things weigh a ton. When it hit him and fell onto the kit, it sounded like someone was throwing pots and pans around. We were waiting for something like that to happen.

— Tony Iommi

Along with live versions of classics such as "Paranoid", "N.I.B.", "Black Sabbath" and "Iron Man", the double album also included two newly recorded studio tracks: "Selling My Soul" and "Psycho Man". These two new tracks were also released on a CD single in the United States. Music critics applauded the band's decision to surprise fans by including unexpected songs which had not been played live in many years, such as "Spiral Architect" and "Behind the Wall of Sleep".

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward, except where noted.

Disc one
1."War Pigs"8:28
2."Behind the Wall of Sleep"4:07
4."Fairies Wear Boots"6:19
5."Electric Funeral"5:02
6."Sweet Leaf"5:07
7."Spiral Architect"5:40
8."Into The Void"6:32
Disc two
1."Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"4:43
2."Orchid/Lord of This World"7:07
3."Dirty Women"6:29
4."Black Sabbath"7:07
5."Iron Man"8:21
6."Embryo/Children of the Grave"6:30
8."Psycho Man" (Iommi, Osbourne)5:18
9."Selling My Soul" (Iommi, Osbourne)3:10


Band members
* In the credits for the two studio recordings, Bill Ward is only credited for drums on "Psycho Man." "Selling My Soul" features a drum machine.[9]
Additional Personal
  • Thom Panunzio – producer, engineer
  • Bob Marlette – producer and engineer of studio tracks, mixing at Rockfield Studios and A&M Studios
  • Greg Hackett, Barry Clempson – engineers
  • Phil Ault, John Aguto, Phil Hopkins – assistant engineers
  • Andrew Garver – digital editing
  • David Collins – mastering
  • Glen Wexler – cover design and photography



Chart Peak


Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[10] 6
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[11] 40
French Albums (SNEP)[12] 65
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[13] 29
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[14] 11
UK Albums (OCC)[15] 41
US Billboard 200[16] 11

SinglesBillboard (North America)[17]

Year Single Chart Position
1998 "Psycho Man" Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
1999 "Selling My Soul" Mainstream Rock Tracks 17


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[18] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[20] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Black Sabbath Reunion review". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  2. ^ Farber, Jim (27 November 1998). "Black Sabbath Reunion review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  3. ^ Udo, Tommy (20 October 1998). "Black Sabbath Reunion review". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  4. ^ Sandlin, Michael. "Black Sabbath Reunion review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 16 August 2000. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Black Sabbath: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Reunion Grammy Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Elliott, Paul (February 1998). "Paranoid? Who's asking?". Q #137. p. 27.
  9. ^ "Black Sabbath Online: Reunion". Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4741". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  11. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  12. ^ " – Black Sabbath – {{{album}}}". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  13. ^ "Black Sabbath: {{{album}}}" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  14. ^ " – Black Sabbath – {{{album}}}". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "Black Sabbath | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  16. ^ "Black Sabbath Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  17. ^ "Reunion Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Black Sabbath – Reunion". Music Canada.
  19. ^ "British album certifications – Black Sabbath – Reunion". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Reunion in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  20. ^ "American album certifications – AC/DC – Reunion". Recording Industry Association of America.