18. Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath is with little debate the greatest metal band of all time. The band set the bar for other metal bands to come and have been an influence to every major metal band that’s followed. Save for lead guitarist Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath has had a revolving door of members with the most memorable being their roster of lead singers that included Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gilian, the late Ronnie James Dio, original lead singer Ozzy Osbourne and a handful of other fill-ins. The band is most popular for its original lineup with Iommi, Osbourne, Bill Ward, and Geezer Butler and has reformed and split up again a handful of times.
Alcohol and drug issues caused Osbourne to get fired from the band in 1979 which lead to his successful solo career. They would go on to reunite as the original unit in 1997. During this reunion period which lasted until the early 2000s the band toured heavily including stints on Ozzy’s Ozzfest festival. They would also work on new material for an album that went unfinished after Ozzy’s solo project took priority. The other members had their own projects as well including Iommi and Ward touring with Dio and drummer Vinny Appice touring as the Black Sabbath lineup of the 80s under the name Heaven & Hell. Since then, members have been asked about a reunion of the original lineup. Osbourne stands by the fact that he will reunite one last time and release one more album with Black Sabbath before he retires. Unfortunately, original bassist Geezer Butler is not as open to the idea denying any possibility of it happening.
At the worst, we may see the original lineup sans Butler reunite for one more go as Black Sabbath, but the presence of Tony Iommi (the only member of Black Sabbath who has stayed in the band without hiatus) and Ozzy Osbourne would be enough to whet the appetite of metal fans everywhere.
It took several years and a handful of albums for Styx to breakthrough and gain popularity. The prog-rock inspired band began to receive radio play in 1975 when the two-year old power ballad “Lady” began to receive radio play. Around the same time original guitarist John Curulewski and Tommy Shaw was on brought on board. Shaw would become one of the most outspoken members of the lineup that included James “JY” Young, Chuck Panozzo, John Panozzo, and lead singer Dennis DeYoung. Many of Styx’s albums were concept albums that encompassed a singular theme or message. This did not manage to alienate the songs individually as Styx would release numerous hit singles. As the band progressed, creative differences began to arise between DeYoung who wanted to do more theatrical inspired material as oppose to Shaw and Young who wanted to go in a harder rock direction. These differences would lead to a split in the band.
Over the years DeYoung would have an on and off relationship with Shaw, Young, getting back together and splitting over the same differences. During splits, DeYoung would tour solo and the rest touring as Styx. At one point the two sides brought matters into the courtroom over the use of the band name. The result let Shaw, Young, and Panozzo continue as Styx. Both sides remain active in music still releasing new material and touring. The band still hasn’t topped the success they had with DeYoung in the fold. At this point the two sides may not even be on the best of terms with the band eliminating mentions of DeYoung in the band’s history on their official site.
If there’s something fans would love, it would be the reunion between DeYoung and the rest of Styx. DeYoung was the voice behind all of Styx’s greatest hits. Reuniting him with his former band mates and working on something new could be the start of another great run for Styx if they managed to balance out their creative differences.