As Black Sabbath build up towards what Tony Iommi has said might be their last live show, in London’s Hyde Park on July 4, there are contrasting signals about whether that will indeed be that for the mighty rock band, or whether there might be a follow-up to last year’s reunion album ’13.’
Iommi, who’s been fighting cancer since 2012 and is currently in remission, was widely quoted recently from an interview he gave Metal Hammer in which he said: “It could be the last ever Sabbath show. I don’t want it to be, but there’s nothing really planned touring-wise after that show, so for all we know that could be it really. To be honest I don’t want to be touring to this extent too much longer, because it makes me feel so bad.”
But Ozzy Osbourne told Guitar World: “If it’s goodbye, we’re ending it on a high note. But I’m up for another Black Sabbath album and tour. If we can, great. If not, I’ll just carry on doing my own thing. I never say never. I never thought, after 35 years, I’d [be back with Sabbath, have a No. 1 record and a sold out tour.”
Bassist Geezer Butler, meanwhile, was quoted by The Pulse Of Radio as saying of the three-piece Sabbath: “We’ve still got four tracks left over from [’13’], so maybe we’ll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album, if it’s right. We wouldn’t do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe.”
The band’s first show in Abu Dhabi on May 29 was hailed by The National publication as “part event, part musical education.” The Barclaycard British Summer Time show in Hyde Park on July 4 has Sabbath topping a main stage bill that also includes Soundgarden, Faith No More, Motorhead and Soulfly. ’13,’ released on their original home of Universal’s Vertigo label, topped the charts in the UK, US, Canada, Germany and many other countries.