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Sabbath Bloody Sabbath: The Battle for Black Sabbath front cover

Title: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Subtitle: The Battle for Black Sabbath
By: Garry Sharpe–Young
Cover: Paperback
Language: English
Publisher: Zonda Books

1st Edition: Mar 2006, ISBN 0-9582684-1-X, 442 pages (12 point font), 7.75 x 10.5 x 1.1 inches (197 x 267 x 28 millimetres), 136 B&W images, 2.5 lb (1.1 kg).

2nd Edition: Aug 2006, ISBN 0-9582684-2-8, 327 pages (10 point font), 8.25 x 11.0 x 0.7 inches (210 x 279 x 18 millimetres), 146 B&W images, 1.7 lb (0.8 kg).

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For over a full decade Black Sabbath had dominated Heavy Metal. As much as Led Zeppelin scorned the term Black Sabbath embraced it. In an age of bona fide supergroups Sabbath were unquestionably the heaviest thing stalking the planet and quite remarkably had remained a solid unit where others around them suffered ongoing membership fall outs and line-up reincarnations. Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward had weathered internal storms just as ferocious as every other band out on the circuit but had remained resolute. They had conquered the globe, sold close to 50 million albums and without concession had not pulled back one iota from delivering absolute, pure Heavy Metal.

In 1977 the unthinkable happened. Ozzy Osbourne decamped. He would be lured back for one last album 'Never Say Die' before flying solo, rapidly building a band unit that would equal the repute of the mother-ship.

Between 1979 and 1997 Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne were pitched against each other in a titanic struggle unprecedented in Rock n' Roll. Both stars would employ the very finest players of the genre in the conflict and produce some of the finest Heavy Metal of the generation in the process. Tony Iommi, the man who without question invented Heavy Metal, fronted up Sabbath with vocal legends such as Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes and Tony Martin against Ozzy's awesome arsenal of guitar innovators Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde.

Both Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne reinvented their bands time and time again. The huge array of elite players that travelled through the ranks is now a constant source of fascination and rumours for Sabbath fanatics.

'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath: The Battle for Black Sabbath' reforges the author's two previous landmark tomes 'Ozzy Osbourne: The Story of the Ozzy Osbourne band' & 'Black Sabbath: Never Say Die!' along with additional material into this one definitive Metal milestone. Complete with over 100 photographs, many never seen before, and unique interviews, including with the late Ray Gillen and Cozy Powell as well as the highly controversial figure of Jeff Fenholt and mysterious Dave Donato, 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' is the definitive account of those years (1979 to 1997) before the reunion.

Exclusive interview content with Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Cozy Powell, Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, Tony Martin, Geoff Nicholls, Rob Halford, Bob Daisley, Lee Kerslake, Carmine Appice, Tommy Aldridge, Neil Murray, Dave Spitz, Eric Singer, David Donato, Jeff Fenholt, Bobby Rondinelli, Rudy Sarzo, Phil Soussan, Randy Castillo, Bernie Torme, Brad Gillis, Jo Burt, Pete Way, Dana Strum, Terry Chimes, Lita Ford, Steve Vai, Don Airey, Lindsey Bridgewater, Terry Nails and many, many more.

Additional details: discography appendix detailing 264 career albums and singles from Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Bill Ward, Geezer and Tony Iommi; plus index with 694 entries; British English spelling is used.

The content of the first edition (published March 2006) is the same as the second edition (published August 2006) except for minor corrections and 10 additional images in the newer book. The first edition has more pages than the second edition because the type is set at a larger 12 point size and a few of the images are larger too. If you prefer a bigger print size then you might be happier buying the first edition which will remain available for sale new at

Reviews in Print

Comments From People Involved In The Story

"A really good read. I'm glad the humourous side of things was remembered as well!" Tony Iommi.

"I'm really pleased that Garry has taken so much interest in the years that I served as a member of Black Sabbath. Largely they have been swept under the carpet and Garry took great interest in those years that most people glossed over. Garry's book is the most comprehensive Sabbath history—Well done!" Tony Martin.

"It was great to read a book with so much information about those years in Black Sabbath and good to read other peoples perception of things that happened. Inquiring minds want to know!" Geoff Nicholls.

"Garry has really been able to compile the most informative and accurate record of these two mega-bands, including the sometimes much misinformed history of the various members over the years. He has gone to great lengths to track down these legendary musicians and provide them with a comfortable forum for the telling of the little known tales and details, never documented but only ever told by word of mouth." Phil Soussan.

"This is the only book that goes into all the behind the scenes detail that Black Sabbath and Ozzy fans have been waiting for so long. It's nice to see Garry concentrated on historical truth in telling the story as well as writing an exciting, dramatic and funny story about two of Rock's greatest bands." Bob Daisley.

"It's too easy to ignore or conveniently forget the true history of Black Sabbath in favour of the myths, so I'm glad that Garry Sharpe–Young has delved into the less well-known periods of Sabbath's existence, which produced some great music and many interesting stories." Neil Murray

Quotes From Reviews

"I cannot say this strong enough. If you are a fan of Black Sabbath … you owe it to yourself to check out this book. … It's an awesome read. … This book should be considered a Sabbath bible …."

"I cannot say how much I enjoyed this book. The detail here is phenomenal … in the Ozzy band story."

"Immensely entertaining and educational this is the definitive account of Black Sabbath …."

"I promise that you'll learn things about Ozzy and his band that you never knew before."

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Bookseller/Library Data

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The book's MARC record can be viewed in National Library's catalogue.

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

  1. Osbourne, Ozzy, 1948–
  2. Black Sabbath (Musical group)
  3. Rock groups—Great Britain—Biography.
  4. Rock musicians—Great Britain—Biography.

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