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Black Sabbath facts

While investigating facts about Black Sabbath Songs and Black Sabbath Albums, I found out little known, but curios details like:

Black Sabbath's debut album in 1970 began with the sound of rain and a distant church bell. 43 years later, in 2013, their final album ended with the sound of rain and a distant church bell.

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A Black Sabbath tribute band that dresses up in McDonald's character costumes and sing black sabbath songs with the lyrics changed to sing about food. They are called "Mac Sabbath".

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In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering what does black sabbath mean. Here are 50 of the best facts about Black Sabbath Paranoid and Black Sabbath Iron Man I managed to collect.

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  1. There was a rock band called Coven who are often credited as being the first "Satanic" rock band. Their bassist's name was "Oz Osborne" and they wrote a song called "Black Sabbath" on their debut album. Their debut album predates Black Sabbath's debut album with Ozzy Osbourne by one year.

  2. Tony Iommi, founding member of the Black Sabbath, replaced his finger tips with homemade prostheses made out of plastic after losing them on his last day at a steel factory , requiring him to downtune his guitar to play it, creating their signature sound and helping to define modern metal music.

  3. Ozzy Osbourne from Black Sabbath once fell asleep during a driving test, waking up to a note saying 'you have failed'. He passed in 2009, age 60, on his 19th attempt.

  4. Tony Iommi lost the tips of his middle and ring finger in an accident at the age of 17. He ended up tuning his strings to lower pitches so that the thimbles he had fitted could bend the strings more easily. This lead to Black Sabbath's distinctive sound and the invention of heavy metal.

  5. Black Sabbath's Iron Man is about a man who goes to the future and sees the destruction of the world. When returning to his own time to warn people he is turned into iron and thus mocked. He decides to destroy the world bringing about the end he tried to prevent.

  6. Black Sabbath's Cocaine budget in 1972 was $75,000. Roughly $350,000 today.

  7. Heavy metal band Black Sabbath started as a blues band called Earth, but changed their name after seeing the Boris Karloff horror film "Black Sabbath". They liked "that people paid money to be frightened".

  8. Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath fame once got arrested for punching a Nazi in a bar

  9. Sharon Osbourne introduced Black Sabbath to Ronnie James Dio, the man who would go on to replace her husband Ozzy in the band.

  10. For Black Sabbath's best selling album "Paranoid" the band booked two days in the studio but only used one, recording the entire album in just a few hours.

black sabbath facts
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Black Sabbath data charts

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black sabbath fact data chart about Black Sabbath "Greatest Hits" album breakdown to original al
Black Sabbath "Greatest Hits" album breakdown to original albums

Why did black sabbath break up?

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There is a 'Black Sabbath meets fast food'-themed parody band called 'Mac Sabbath'

Paranoid", one of Black Sabbath's most famous songs, was written and recorded in minutes as a filler song. Ozzy Osbourne read the lyrics as he was singing them. - source

Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," title track to one of the most influential rock albums of all time, was written in the studio in 30 minutes as a filler track. It is also the Finnish equivalent of Freebird in terms of getting obnoxiously requested at concerts. - source

Black Sabbath snorted over $75,000 (today's value $426,000) worth of cocaine in 1972 whilst recording Vol. 4.

The Black Sabbath song "Paranoid" was quickly recorded as album filler. However, it ultimately became the album title song after the record company declared "War Pigs" to be too offensive of a title. - source

When did black sabbath start?

Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album Black Sabbath (1970) was recorded in a day and essentially live.

How was black sabbath formed?

Pressed for time and opportunity, Black Sabbath recorded their self-titled debut album live-in-studio, in one day. The album went on to be among the most significant in hard rock history.

Guitarist Tony Iommi has been the only consistent member of Black Sabbath's 20 lineups.

There's a McDonald's themed Black Sabbath cover band called 'Mac Sabbath', which tours nationally doing parodies of Black Sabbath songs like 'Iron Man' and 'Sweet Leaf', with 'Frying Pan' and 'Sweet Beef', respectively.

Heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio, late vocalist of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and Dio, lost the tip of his thumb to a garden gnome. It was then surgically re-attached.

In 1983, Michael Bolton auditioned for the lead vocals in Black Sabbath

When did black sabbath break up?

There's a McDonald's themed Black Sabbath tribute band called Mac Sabbath

When the Eagles were recording Hotel California, Black Sabbath was recording their album Technical Ecstasy in an adjacent studio. The Eagles had to stop several times throughout the recording because Black Sabbath was playing so loud the sound was coming through the walls

Black Sabbath spent more money on cocaine than they spent recording their album "Vol 4" in 1972

Black Sabbath had an ongoing prank in which drummer Bill Wards beard would be set on fire

Like Spinal Tap, Black Sabbath also had problems with an incorrectly-sized Stonehenge prop on stage. In Sabbath's case, the prop was too large as it had been built in meters instead of feet.

How did black sabbath start?

Black Sabbath had a special "cocaine plane" just for drug delivery

Black Sabbath was originally called 'the Polka Tulk Blues Band'

Black Sabbath's manager had an idea to make the stage look like Stonehenge. He wrote the dimensions down in meters but he meant to write it down in feet, so the tour manager couldn't fit it anywhere on the stage so it was just left in the storage room even though it cost a fortune to make.

Michael Bolton tried out for Black Sabbath

The Black Sabbath song "Paranoid" was added at the last minute and quickly made and recorded in 3 days because the record company insisted that the album needed to be longer.

Storm Thorgerson, a childhood friend of Pink Floyd founders Syd Barrett and Roger Waters (and best man at guitarist David Gilmour's wedding) who later designed the covers of nearly all Floyd's albums, as well as worked for Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath and countless others.

Black Sabbath used to have cocaine flown in on a private plane for them to use.

Black sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi lost his fingertips in a warehouse accident forcing him to create a new method of playing guitar. Ultimately creating Heavy Metal.

Black Sabbath played a "kids school dance" for £70, honoring a commitment they made before there first LP/name change.

There's a McDonald's-themed Black Sabbath cover band called Mac Sabbath

A recording exists of the Osbourne-era Black Sabbath lineup and the members of Led Zeppelin having an in-studio jam session.

Bill Ward, drummer for Black Sabbath, almost died from blocked pores after his bandmates spraypainted his entire body gold upon finding him passed out, drunk and naked. They also set him on fire twice.

The inspiration of the song Fairies Wear Boots by Black Sabbath is disputed. Geezer Butler states it is about Skinheads, but the guitarist Tony Iommi believes it originated with a hallucination. The original lyricist Ozzy Osbourne does not even remember personally writing the lyrics.

There is a McDonald's themed Black Sabbath parody band. Ladies and gentlemen, Mac Sabbath.

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