Black Sabbath: “The Eagles were recording next door, but we were too loud for them”

Album by album with the Midlands metal pioneers

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Vertigo, 1978
Winter is coming. Ozzy returns, to a freezing reception.

GEEZER: It should have been called Say Die. Ozzy quit, we got in this other singer, Dave Walker, who wasn’t the right choice for the band. We’d booked this studio in Toronto, The Stones had just done their album there and were saying it was the best place in the world, so we thought maybe that would inspire us.
TONY: Ozzy came back but wouldn’t sing any of the songs we’d done with Dave Walker. So we had to go to Toronto with no songs. We had to hire a cinema, freezing cold in the winter, to write songs to record that night.
OZZY: We wrote the songs up where the screen was. Yeah, you really want to get into some heavy metal at nine in the morning.
GEEZER: The label had given up on us. The first night in Toronto we went into this restaurant and no-one had any cash. I’d brought $20, and paid for the food. We had one cent left and left it for the waiter. He chased us down the street.
TONY: I’m amazed we managed to pull anything out of the hat. With “Never Say Die” we ended up on Top Of The Pops, something we never thought we’d do again. But the writing was on the wall for the band. Ozzy just lost interest.
OZZY: When I was sacked, I thought I’m gonna go back to the hotel room and have the biggest party for as long as I got the dough, and go back to the real world. Then along the way Sharon comes along and says, “We want to manage you.” I said, “You want to manage me?” And she said, “We believe in you.”


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