Black Sabbath Photography

Black Sabbath

Widely regarded as the founders of heavy metal, Black Sabbath remained one of the genre’s most prominent players from their formation in 1968 through their 2016 sendoff. Along the way, the line-up has changed many times, but the core consists of frontman Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward.

Though they recorded many classic albums, 1970’s Paranoid remains their crowning achievement—selling more than four million copies in America alone. Between that project and the many that followed, these godfathers of the genre composed iconic metal anthems like “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” “Hole in the Sky,” and “Heaven and Hell.”

Even when drug problems forced Osbourne out of the band (and into an immensely successful solo career), Black Sabbath forged on with Rainbow’s Ronnie James Dio as their most famous replacement frontman. Nonetheless, any combination of the group’s co-founders wound up cleaning up at the concert box office throughout the ’90s and ’00s, culminating with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2006.

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