Black Sabbath started out with four main members: guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. While the latter has become synonymous with the band, all of its members have been important in pioneering heavy metal music. However, there have been many line-up changes over the years which can make it quite confusing to know whose contribution took place when.
Who has been in Black Sabbath?
Black Sabbath has had 27 official members over the years, not including contributors and touring members who have played a vital role in the band’s success.
This is a pretty huge number, more than the likes of Fleetwood Mac, but the band has, despite its line-up switches, been integral to bringing heavy metal music to the fore.
The original foursome, as mentioned, were guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.
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He was replaced for a few months by Dave Walker until Ozzy returned in January the following year.
By April 1979, Ozzy had been fired from the band, and he was replaced again by different singers who came and went for a number of years.
These included Ronnie Dio, Ian Gillan, Ron Keel, David Donato, Tony Martin and Jeff Fenholt.
Despite attempts at reuniting and other members leaving and rejoining the group, the proper reunion came in March 1997 when Ozzy, Tony and Geezer announced their reunion and Ozzfest, a new rock festival.
Here is the list of official Black Sabbath members and their years in the group:
Tony Iommi 1968–2017
Bill Ward 1968–1980, 1983-1985, 1992, 1994, 1997–2006, 2011–2012
Terence “Geezer” Butler 1968–1979, 1979–1985, 1987, 1990–1994, 1997–2017
Ozzy Osbourne 1968–197, 71978–1979, 1985, 1992, 1997–2006, 2011–2017
Dave Walker 1977–1978
Ronnie James Dio 1979–1982, 1991, 1991–1992, 2006–2010 (died 2010)
Geoff Nicholls 1979–2004 (died 2017)
Craig Gruber 1979 (died 2015)
Vinny Appice 1980–1982, 1991–1992, 1998 (touring) 2006–2010
Ian Gillan 1982–1984
Bev Bevan 1983–1984, 1987
Ron Keel 1984
David Donato 1984
Eric Singer 1985–1987
Jeff Fenholt 1985
Gordon Copley 1985
Dave Spitz 1985–1986, 1987
Glenn Hughes 1985–1986, 2010 (touring)
Ray Gillen 1986–1987 (died 1993)
Bob Daisley 1986
Tony Martin 1987–1991, 1991, 1993–1997
Terry Chimes 1987–1988
Jo Burt 1987-1988
Cozy Powell 1988–1991, 1994–1995 (died 1998)
Laurence Cottle 1988
Neil Murray 1989–1990, 1994–1997
Bobby Rondinelli 1993–1994, 1995–1997