As Ozzy Osbourne said in a statement, “It’s about fucking time.”
Black Sabbath‘s early catalog, from 1970’s Black Sabbath to 1978’s Never Say Die!, were added to the iTunes store today for the first time. These eight albums represent the group’s entire Seventies output with Ozzy Osbourne as its frontman. Each release has been remastered for iTunes and is available either separately or as part of a bundle, The Complete Studio Albums 1970 – 1978. Along with the studio albums, Black Sabbath is offering its 1976 compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock ‘n’ Roll and the 2006 set Greatest Hits 1970 – 1978, which coincided with their entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on the service.
“Great news, been a long time trying to explain to fans why the music wasn’t available,” guitarist Tony Iommi said. Despite this comment, however, the group did not explain why there had been a holdup in the first place, especially considering they streamed last year’s 13, Sabbath’s first album with Ozzy on vocals since Never Say Die!, on iTunes before its official release.
Regardless, these additions are just one part of what is shaping up to be a busy 2014 for the Birmingham metal band. Beginning in March, the group will embark on a second run of North American tour dates, which will take them from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, by way of Canada. The group has also confirmed another five releases this year, in the form of Sabbath-licensed Converse sneakers. Although the band’s schedule is busy, members haven’t soured on the idea of making another record. “Well, I guess you should never say never,” bassist Geezer Butler said last June. “ could be [our last], though. We’ll see how this album goes, see what happens.”