Special Report By Martin Popoff
HEAVEN AND HELL guitarist Tony Iommi offered BW&BK a glimpse at the three new tracks the band has recorded for the upcoming Ronnie James Dio-era BLACK SABBATH compilation, due out, according to Tony, “February or March” through Rhino Records.
“Well, we've got one for everybody. If somebody goes, ‘Oh, they're all too slow,’ we've got a slow one, a mid-tempo and a fast one. So it should please most of the fans. The slow one is quite a heavy track. It's called ‘Shadow Of The Wind’. And Ronnie presented the first idea for that, and then I just came up with more stuff to go with it, and it's a really good track. Very similar to the old Sabbath style of writing. There's not loads of things on it. It's just really basic with the vocal.”
So it’s quite long as well?
“Probably about six minutes or something like that. And then we've got ‘The Devil Cries’, which is a mid-tempo one, which again is quite a powerful song. And I must say that Ronnie has done a fantastic job on the vocals on all of these. He really has, and the lyrical content and the actual melodies are very good. So that's the mid-tempo one. That's an interesting track. And then we've got a fast one which is called ‘Ear In The Wall’, and that's… a fast one (laughs).”
Lyrically, the band has been working the way this version of the band always had – Dio does ‘em. “You know, they're all Ronnie's,” says Tony. “He came up with them over that period, while he got the ideas. He got the ideas when he heard the initial riffs, and then wrote the lyrics. So no, Geezer (Butler - bass; the lineup is rounded off by drummer Vinny Appice) hasn't done any lyrics. I don't think he really wants to because he knows Ronnie can write lyrics. I don't think he involved himself.”
“Well, she seems to be OK about it,” says Tony, asked what Sharon’s view on this situation is. “In fact, I saw Sharon two nights ago. She came over here for dinner. And she's not been opposed to it at all. And again, we’re not going out as Black Sabbath.”
Will an album with OZZY come some day, as Sharon has floated as a possibility?
“Well, I'm sure at some point we will, yeah. Again it comes down to the time factor and what we're going to be doing. Certainly I’d like to do an album. I always felt, a while back, we should have done an album, but we didn't. It’s almost got to the point where I don't say anything now. We just wait to see what happens.”
Tony also indicated that the band had yet to talk about a set list, but many of the talk thus far had centred around this being a Dio-era only set. As previously reported, Heaven And Hell will be commencing their World Tour in Canada in March. There will be one exclusive US date in New York City, but the official US dates won't begin until August. Watch for a massive Heaven And Hell feature in BW&BK #102 ... out in February 2007!