Black Sabbath T Shirts & Merch

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Official Black Sabbath T Shirts & Merchandise

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The true originators of heavy metal, Black Sabbath birthed an entire genre of hard rock in the late 1960s, shaping counter-culture on both sides of the Atlantic.

With a career lasting 50 years, from 1968 to 2018, Black Sabbath are one of the most iconic and beloved metal bands of time.

FaceMelter stocks the best designs from throughout the band’s history, so you too can own a piece of heavy metal history.

The History of Black Sabbath

Brought up in the post-war grime of industrial Birmingham, Black Sabbath’s founding members began by playing blues rock under the name “Earth” in the mid to late 1960s.

Comprised of Tony Iommi on guitar, Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums, the band made a name for themselves playing the blues in working men’s clubs around the Midlands.

On the eve of a residency at the same Hamburg club that had shaped The Beatles, disaster struck for guitarist Tony Iommi. During his final shift at a metal pressing plant, he got his fretting hand caught in a machine, losing the tips of four fingers.

The Birth of Heavy Metal

Depressed and despondent after the accident, Tony Iommi assumed his career as a musician was over until his old boss lent him some records by the American jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Like Iommi, Reinhardt had also suffered serious injury to his hands after he was severely burned in a fire.

Inspired by Reinhardt’s technical prowess despite his physical limitations, Tony Iommi once again picked up the guitar.

His hand injury meant that he could no longer play in normal guitar tunings, meaning that he tuned his guitar lower, producing an ever more heavy and ominous sound.

At the same time the rest of the band felt alienated by the hippie movement happening in London & San Francisco. Instead, they wanted to create music that reflected the darker realities of working class life in Birmingham, therefore the band began making ever heavier music.

First Albums

Released on Friday the 13th of February 1970, their self titled debut album was recorded in a single day. Although derided by music critics of the time, the band’s pioneering heavy sound resonated with the youth, making them one of the most popular hard rock bands in England.

“Paranoid”, the band’s sophomore album was recorded and released just a few months later. Containing songs such as “Paranoid”, “War Pigs” and “Iron Man”, the album is one of the most iconic in rock history and is seen by many as ground zero for heavy metal.

“Master of Reality” followed in 1971, setting the template for doom metal and stoner rock which is still heavily inspired by Black Sabbath to this day.

“Volume 4”, released in 1973, saw the band become more progressive, with longer songs, more complicated arrangements and acoustic interludes.

Ozzy Osbourne’s Departure & Ronnie James Dio

By 1976 Ozzy’s drug and alcohol problems had escalated to the point that the other members felt there was no option but to fire him.

Ronnie James Dio, the operatic and technically brilliant singer of Rainbow, was hired to replace him and went on to record classic Sabbath albums such as “Heaven and Hell” and “Mob Rules”.

Final Tour & Retirement

The original members of Black Sabbath, without Bill Ward, underwent their final tour in 2017, playing across North America, Europe, South America and Australia.

After almost 50 years and countless genre shaping releases, Black Sabbath finally officially retired in on the 4th February 2017 in their hometown of Birmingham.