Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath Black Sabbath will be playing a set at Ozzfest Japan on Nov. 22nd and the band are calling it their “farewell.”

The announcement was made by Sharon Osbourne in the video below.

“Ozzfest will be back in Japan on November 21st and 22nd,” she said. “And this will be Black Sabbath’s farewell. We’re also announcing Korn, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary. Now you can’t miss that.”

Back in September, Ozzy Osbourne said that the next Sabbath album, the follow-up to 2013′s successful 13, and tour was going to be their swan song. “So we’re going to do one more album, and a final tour […] I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again.”

Given the somewhat off-handed manner in which this was broken — a low-quality video from Sharon that gives equal time to the other Ozzfest headliner — Ultimate Classic Rock believes that this may be Black Sabbath’s farewell to Japan as opposed to their final performance anywhere as they feel news of this magnitude, it seems, would require a press conference from the band or, at the very least, a press release with a lot of information.

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13 Responses

  1. I agree that having their last show in Japan is bizarre. England is where it SHOULD end. That said, no one should be surprised this is the end (the song would have been more apt on the next album, no?). The fact is, these guys are all pushing 70 one way or another. It’s really, really strenuous to tour. Hell, look at Glenn Tipton. He can barely play his guitar any more. Tony has gone through two years of cancer treatment. You can only take so much. And don’t forget the damage they did to their bodies earlier on in their careers.

  2. Serious question. I’m in a small Facebook group that talks about hard rock/metal/etc…probably like 99.99% of everyone here. The topic turned to Sabbath and one guy (stone cold serious) believes they are overrated. As I read his comment, my mind flipped to an image of Eddie’s head exploding the guy in the movie “Scanners”. Now some guys are partial to Dio era vs. Ozzy era, but I honestly have never encountered anyone who thought they were overrated. Any one else have an opinion?

    1. Someone thinking Sabbath are overrated has more than likely never sat down and truly listened to them. The Ozzy era band and Dio era band are different enough to have some people choose sides but not me. There’s a difference in approach to the music and the difference is Ronnie wrote all the lyrics and melodies as opposed to Geezer writing the Ozzy album lyrics while Ozzy came up with the melodies. But each version of the band is brilliant in its own way. I love the Ozzy albums, particularly Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage. The first six albums are perfect in my opinion. The progression from the first album in 1970 to the fifth album in 1973 is mind blowing. Someone who thinks Sabbath is overrated needs to sit dow, put on headphones and LISTEN to those albums and take it all in. It’s not just “Thump! Bash! Thump! Bash!” People who don’t know Sabbath’s music probably think that’s all they’re about. It goes so much deeper. I’ll put those albums up against any other beloved classic rock album because they can stand up to anything, both musically and lyrically.

      As for the Dio albums, choosing between Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules is so difficult that I don’t even try any more. I look at them like a double album. They are VERY similar in the way they are set up and the way they flow from song to song. There’s a dark, mystical, fantasy quality to those albums that separate them from the Ozzy albums. That shows the effect Ronnie’s voice and lyrics had on the way Tony and Geezer wrote and played. Tony’s guitar tone has more bite and midrange crunch to it and he plays some of the best solos of his career on those albums. Geezer also changed his tone some. Their playing is super tight. It’s ironic that both of those albums are so much alike even with a different drummer on each of them. I also think Martin Birch as their producer is another key to how those albums sound. Just like the Ozzy albums, I’ll put Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules up against anything else because they are brilliant works of musical art.

    2. I am going to disagree with you somewhat. Nothing to do with Sabs’ greatness, but that you have to sit down and really listen to them. Sabbath really takes a different approach, an album like Master of Reality, for example, it bludgeons you, there is no thinking about it, which is what sets Sabbath apart, they were so visceral. Something about their incredibly sophisticated simplicity, and the constant repetition, it is a force of nature. And I am going to disagree somewhat about Sabotage..the drugs were really taking over at that point, I just hear guys that really have no clue what the hell they are doing. It has some great moments, but it is also a very cloudy, murky, no compass, it’s actually a very depressing album because you hear the pain these guys are in, you hear the drugs…. Ronnie being so clear headed worked beautifully for them.

    3. I find it difficult to call Black Sabbath overrated, and I would only call myself a casual Sabbath fan. It’s like calling Led Zeppelin overrated, you might not like them but their influence and importance is just too big to “overrate”. Black Sabbath are probably the single biggest component of the foundational bands of the genre we call “metal”. I could see perhaps a younger fan that grew up, or is growing up, with today’s “modern metal” scene where things can be a lot more extreme than Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, even Metallica, and might not understand the importance or relevance of the classic bands. I think with Sabbath you have to take into context what the musical landscape was in the late 60’s and 70’s when they emerged, and how “metal” as we know it progressed after they began influencing and inspiring other bands.

      Personally, I’m actually more familiar with the Dio era of Sabbath. Ozzy was already into his solo career when I started getting into rock, and I first became aware of, and a fan of, Dio in his own band. I only started listening to the Dio era Sabbath when I got “Dehumanizer” in the early 90’s and saw them on that tour. I consider the Heaven and Hell(band) “The Devil You Know” album to essentially be the 4th Dio Sabbath album. They’re all excellent. If anything, I’d say I personally underrated them for a long time and will be expanding my collection back into the Ozzy albums. I know that’s kind of backwards from probably most Sabbath fans.

      I was listening to “The Dio Years” compilation just the other night, and it struck me what a monster bass player Geezer Butler is. Never really payed attention to that before.

  3. I remember being taught in the early eighties,that Black Sabbath,acdc,ozzy,priest,etc was the devils music,though I never listened,and even bought my bark at the moon album,on a Christian retreat.boy was I in thirty years later these guys are household names,doing children’s movie soundtracks,and even tons of commercials.i think that’s pretty son who is now ten,knew who ozzy was,acdc,Sabbath,etc,years ago,without me saying a word..Thank you Sabbath,for guys will be missed.

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