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Black Sabbath : Symptom of the Universe - Mick Wall

Black Sabbath

Symptom of the Universe

By: Mick Wall


Published: 14th October 2014
Ships: 10 to 15 business days
10 to 15 business days
RRP $22.99

Way back in the mists of time, in the days when rock giants walked the earth, the name Ozzy Osbourne was synonymous with the subversive and dark. Back then, Ozzy was the singer in Black Sabbath, and they meant business. A four-piece formed from the ashes of two locally well-known groups called The Rare Breed (Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler) and Mythology (guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward), all four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other.

This biography tells the story of how they made that dream come true - and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. How at the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they had been so badly ripped off by their managers they did not even own their own songs. How they looked for salvation from Don Arden - an even more notorious gangster figure, who resurrected their career but still left them indebted to him, financially and personally. And how it finally came to a head when in 1979 they sacked Ozzy: 'For being too out of control - even for us,' as Bill Ward put it.

The next 15 years would see a war break out between the two camps: the post-Ozzy Sabbath and Ozzy himself, whose solo career overshadowed Sabbath to the point where, when he offered them the chance to reform around him again, it was entirely on his terms. Or rather, that of his wife and manager, daughter of Don Arden - Sharon Osbourne.

About the Author

Mick Wall was the founding editor of CLASSIC ROCK magazine. He is the author of numerous music titles, including books on Iron Maiden, Don Arden and Black Sabbath. He ghosted XS ALL AREAS: the autobiography of Status Quo, and is a former DJ on Capital Radio. In the late 1980s he was a regular guest on Andy Kershaw's Radio 1 show - it was then, one night at the BBC, that he first bumped into John Peel. Peel helpfully showed him how to use the coffee machine.


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Blew my mind

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from South Australia


  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Informative
  • Page-Turner
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

      As the headline suggest, if your a Black Sabbath fan this book is certainly for you

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      Wall delivers the book he was born to write - CLASSIC ROCK MAGAZINE

      The book's research was super, getting the balance between fact and fiction spot on, destroying a lot of the myths surrounding the band and also giving great insight into the Bill Ward debacle - WATERSTONES.COM

      Wall has a marvellous turn of phrase ... required reading for all fans, regardless of their preferred era - IRISH NEWS

      ISBN: 9781409118466
      ISBN-10: 1409118460
      Audience: General
      Format: Paperback
      Language: English
      Number Of Pages: 400
      Published: 14th October 2014
      Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
      Country of Publication: GB
      Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 12.7  x 2.4
      Weight (kg): 0.32
      Edition Number: 1