Profile of Tony Iommi
Name at birth: Frank Anthony Iommi
Tony Iommi played guitar for Black Sabbath, the hard-grinding band that was an early influence on heavy metal rock. (Said MTV: "The group took the blues-rock sound... to its logical conclusion, slowing the tempo, accentuating the bass, and emphasizing screaming guitar solos and howled vocals full of lyrics expressing mental anguish and macabre fantasies.") The band's self-titled first album was released in 1970, and they followed up with albums including Paranoid (also 1970), Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) and Never Say Die! (1978). Iommi's distinctive guitar riffs formed the basis for such classic hits as "Paranoid" and "Sweet Leaf." Black Sabbath was never a darling of the critics, but their albums sold millions and they were one of the biggest bands of the early 1970s. The original band broke up in 1979, but Iommi continued playing as Black Sabbath with a variety of band members. The original members (including singer Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward) reunited for several concerts in 1997, and Iommi has continued to work on solo projects into his sixties.
Before Black Sabbath was successful, Iommi played briefly with the band Jethro Tull.
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