AN UNHOLY REUNION
While it was in February this year that Black Sabbath officially wrapped up their latest reunion – and, indeed, their entire career – 20 years ago next month marks a pivotal moment for the godfathers of heavy metal. In December 1997, following a reunited stint on that year’s Ozzfest, the four original members of Black Sabbath convened upon Birmingham’s NEC for two historic nights in their hometown.
Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward – who’d missed the Ozzfest tour due to a prior commitment – played their hometown together for the first time in almost two decades – shows that would be documented in the suitably named Reunion live video. Rising up through a sea of fog and launching straight into War Pigs, the icons kicked off a fascinating if bumpy new era for the band that would see them play and tour together a number of times over the following years – most recently, of course, without Bill.
Still, at that point in time, all the metal world knew was that Sabbath were back and on blinding form once again. “Come on, you fuckers!” bellowed a visibly delighted Ozzy. Birmingham duly obliged.