By: Gary Graff
Black Sabbath releases its anxiously awaited new album 13 today, marking the group's first full album with Ozzy Osbourne singing lead since Never Say Die! in 1978.
There have been several previous attempts to record new Sabbath music -- two new tracks appeared on the 1998 "Reunion" live album -- and bassist Geezer Butler tells us he had reached a point where he figured another Sabbath album would never happen:
"Yeah, we tried in 2001. We did about six or seven songs, but we didn't feel like they were up to standard, and everybody seemed to be more interested in other things at the time. Ozzy had his TV shows to do and he was doing an Ozzy album at the same time, and it just didn't feel right, so we abandoned it. And then i didn't think we'd ever record together after that, so when we got the opportunity this time, I grabbed it."
Osbourne, meanwhile, adds that with the band members all in their 60s, and guitarist Tony Iommi battling Lymphoma, the group felt an urgency this time to finally make something happen:
"We'd mess around. It was now or never because...I've always wanted to finish. I've said in the press before 'Never Say Die' was my last album, and I wouldn't have rested good in my grave if that had been the last Black Sabbath album. It wasn't a nice time. So if for whatever reason we never do another thing together, I'm really happy with this album 'cause it's rounded it all off real nice, and it's a good album."
Osbourne, Butler, Iommi and others will take part in a Black Sabbath Town Hall at 7 tonight on YouTube and Google+. Black Sabbath begins a North American tour for the album, which is at No. 1 on Amazon and iTunes in both the U.S. and the U.K., on July 25 in Houston.
After it wraps up Sept. 3 in Los Angeles, the group heads to South America during October for dates with Megadeth, then starts a European run on Nov. 20 in Finland that finishes with a pair of shows Dec. 20 and 22 in the group's home town of Birmingham, England.
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