Toni Iommi Explains ‘A Big Challenge’ After Ozzy Osbourne’s Departure From Black Sabbath

In an interview with Loudwire, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi talked about the time the iconic frontman Ozzy Osbourne left the band and mentioned having some difficulties to overcome with Ronnie James Dio.

The iconic heavy metal band Black Sabbath was formed by Ozzy Osbourne, the guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, and the bassist Geezer Butler in 1968. With Tony Iommi’s insistence and the support of the other band members, Ozzy Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath on April 27, 1979, due to excessive substance abuse.

Later in 1979, Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio joined Black Sabbath following Ozzy’s departure. Dio and Tony Iommi ran into each other at a restaurant and realized that they were both looking for the same thing at the moment of their career. They even wrote a song together on their first day of jamming, which was titled ‘Children of the Sea,’ and later added it to Black Sabbath’s ninth studio album, ‘Heaven and Hell.’

Recently, Tony Iommi joined an interview with Loudwire and answered questions about the time Ozzy Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath. As he looked back to Ozzy’s departure, Iommi also recalled the very first days of working with Ronnie James Dio. According to the iconic guitarist, they had a lot of barriers to climb over with Ronnie because they were all accustomed to working only with Ozzy.

Apparently, the band members had to overcome the challenge of having a new frontman. They also had to find a way to make their fans accept Ronnie as the new singer of Black Sabbath. However, Tony mentioned that Dio worked very hard to prove something again. He also stated that Ronnie successful in what he!s trying to do since he is ‘more of a professional singer and Ozzy was more of an entertainer.’

Here is what Tony Iommi stated about Ronnie James Dio and his contribution to Black Sabbath:

“Before Ronnie joined, I was getting despondent about things. I was frustrated and wanted to get to work. I met Ronnie at a party, and we talked about doing a project together. So I was on the verge of doing something with him and when Ozzy left; that’s when I said to the other guys, ‘Why don’t we try Ronnie?‘ We got him over for a rehearsal and it worked.

We had a lot of barriers to climb over with Ronnie. Everybody knew Ozzy and we never worked with another singer, so bringing somebody else was a big challenge.

To expect the fans to take Ronnie on was a big barrier. Don Arden, who was managing us at the time, was against Ronnie singing for us. He said, ‘You can’t have a midget singing for Black Sabbath.’ I said, ‘He’s got a great voice, it’s working with what we’re doing,’ and that’s why we parted ways with Don.”

Iommi continued:

“We just stuck with the Sabbath thing. Bill Ward and I knew we had to carry on. We liked what we were doing when Ronnie came in it made us work harder because we had to prove something again. The name of the band came up, but I don’t remember much about that period. Obviously, we kept the name.

It was hard for Ronnie to step in somebody’s shoes and front Sabbath, especially someone like Ozzy who was a showman. Ronnie was more of a professional singer and Ozzy was more of an entertainer.”

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