Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Aston, Birmingham in 1968 by Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass guitar), and Bill Ward (drums). The band was named after a 1963 horror film. The sound has been categorized as a kind of heavy metal or hard rock. Black Sabbath was signed to Philips Records in November 1969, and released their first single, "Evil Woman" in January 1970. Black Sabbath was released on Friday the 13th, February 1970. The album reach #8 on the charts. Though the album was widely popular, critics as usual, had a different view. Lester Bangs viewed it as "discordant jams with bass and guitar reeling like velocitised speed freaks all over each other's musical perimeters, yet never quite finding synch". But the band still broke into the mainstream. 4 months after the release of the album, Black Sabbath came out with “Paranoid” named after the last minute smash hit. The single was released in September 1970. the band to tour the US for the first time in December 1970, which spawned the release of the album's second single "Iron Man". In February 1971, Black Sabbath returned to the studio to begin work on their third album. By now the band was getting into the coke (not the soda) epidemic. Production completed in April 1971, and in July the band released Master of Reality, just six months after the US release of Paranoid. The album went platinum. Following the Master of Reality world tour in 1972, Black Sabbath took its first break in three years. When they went back to work, there were problems due to substance abuse. Then there were disagreements between band members. In November 1977, while in rehearsal for their next album, and just days before the band was set to enter the studio, Ozzy Osbourne quit the band. "The last Sabbath albums were just very depressing for me", Osbourne said. "I was doing it for the sake of what we could get out of the record company, just to get fat on beer and put a record out." Then later on, Osbourne had a change of heart and rejoined Black Sabbath. The band spent five months at Sounds Interchange Studios in Toronto, Canada, writing and recording what would become Never Say Die!. "It took quite a long time," Iommi said. "We were getting really drugged out, doing a lot of dope.” The recording studio was basically a chill room where here and there the guys would record. Tony made the decision to fire Ozzy Osbourne in 1979. Sharon Arden (later Sharon Osbourne), daughter of Black Sabbath manager Don Arden, suggested former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio to replace Ozzy Osbourne in 1979. What was good about this was that Black Sabbath did not try to find an Ozzy look alike. It was a whole new band, but still as good. The band played to sold out audiences on tour and released a live album. The album reached number five on the British charts. On 18 August 1980, after a show in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bill Ward was fired from Black Sabbath due to his drinking. The band completed the Heaven and Hell world tour in February 1981. The album Live Evil is when it all fell apart. Ronnie wanted to do more of his own thing, and the engineer we were using at the time in the studio didn't know what to do, because Ronnie was telling him one thing and we were telling him another. At the end of the day, we just said, 'That's it, the band is over'" The two original members left, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, began auditioning new singers for the band's next release. They settled on former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan. Following the completion of the Born Again tour in March 1984, vocalist Ian Gillan left Black Sabbath to re-join Deep Purple, which was reforming after a long hiatus. Then Geezer butler left. The band spent the remainder of the year in the studio, recording what would become Seventh Star. Warner Bros. refused to release the album as a Tony Iommi solo release, instead insisting on using the name Black Sabbath. Then from about 1986 to about 1991 the band just sunk. Ronnie James Dio and Geezer Butler joined Tony Iommi and Cozy Powell in the fall of 1990 to begin working on the next Black Sabbath release. While rehearsing in November, Powell suffered a broken hip when his horse died, falling on the drummer's legs (ouch). Powell was replaced by former drummer Vinny Appice. The resulting album, Dehumanizer was released on 22 June 1992. In the US, the album was released on 30 June 1992 by Reprise Records, as Ronnie James Dio and his namesake band were still under contract with the label at the time. It was the bands biggest commercial success of the decade. Dio quit Black Sabbath following a show in Oakland, California on 13 November 1992, one night before the band were set to appear at Osbourne's retirement show. Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford stepped in at the last minute, performing two nights with the band Iommi and Butler also joined Osbourne and former drummer Bill Ward on stage for the first time since 1985's Live Aid concert, performing a brief set of Black Sabbath songs. Vinny left the band following the reunion show to join Ronnie James Dio's solo band. In the summer of 1997, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Ozzy Osbourne officially reunited to co-headline the Ozzfest festival tour alongside Osbourne's solo band. The line-up featured Osbourne's drummer Mike Bordin filling in for Bill Ward, who was unable to participate because of previous commitments with his solo project, The Bill Ward Band. Shortly before the band embarked on a European tour in the summer of 1998, drummer Bill Ward suffered a heart attack and was temporarily replaced by former drummer Vinny Appice.