There is a no bigger name, arguably in the world of heavy metal artistry and the heavy metal landscape than Black Sabbath. From their debut album in 1970, the group would truly hit the mark with their landmark sophomore effort, ‘Paranoid’ and the band’s title track. Fronted by a very young Ozzy Osbourne, who just listed his expensive home in Los Angeles. The album would go on to be named ‘One of the Greatest Albums of All Time’ during a retrospective Rolling Stone magazine ranking.
Osbourne’s original run with Black Sabbath would last from 1968 to 1977. By 1979, at the suggestion of Sharon Osbourne herself, Ronnie James Dio, the former vocalist of Rainbow would join the group for a series of successful years and records. During a recent interview, the wife of the late Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell frontman, Wendy Dio discussed the hardships that the former ‘Children of the Grave’ singer would face as he went to replace them just as iconic Ozzy Osbourne – including getting spat on.
“[Ozzy’s shoes were] very hard shoes to fill. Ozzy, when Ozzy was on top form, was one of the best frontmen ever, along with David Lee Roth. He wasn’t a great singer — Ronnie was a great singer — so the band, when [Ronnie] went into the band, the music changed a little; it was more melodic and completely different.”
She continued: “I’ve always said: there’s Black Sabbath [with Ozzy] and there’s Black Sabbath [with Ronnie], and they’re both as good. One is not better than the other; it’s just they’re different — they’re totally different. I mean, Ozzy was an innovator, and that’s music that was the innovations of the start of heavy metal, and I would never put that down. But Ronnie made a difference; he was different. He was more melodic, his songs were different, his stage performance was different.”
She concluded: “But it was very hard. He got spat on and he got booed and a lot of things in the beginning, but Ronnie, carried on and did his thing. And then I think the kids started to accept him. And, in fact, some kids I talk to don’t even know about Black Sabbath before ‘Heaven And Hell’, but that’s the younger generation.”