Things you didn’t know about Black Sabbath’s former members


Most Heavy Metal fans would probably agree with the statement, “Black Sabbath are the pioneers of heavy metal.” Despite having swapped quite a few members of the band and with the current lineup of Tony Iommi, Geeze Butler and OzzyOsburne, die-hard fans would likely most, if not all, the names below who graced the stage with this legendary band.

Bill Ward


 Active sporadically between 1969 to 2012, Bill was on percussions, drums and back-up vocals. His love for drugs and alcohol was the reason for his numerous disappearing acts with the band. He worked a number of albums with the band during his time.

Geoff Nicholls

 On bass and keyboards from 1979 to 2004, Geoff was both an official and non-official member of the band throughout his time. Another veteran of the group who was on keyboards and bass for a handful of albums.

Ronnie James Dio

 The late Ronnie was popular for making the metal horns popular and sent chills down people’s spines with his voice being able to sing both rock songs and ballads. His voice was featured on six of the band’s albums.

Vinny Appice

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-AUGUST 10: Vinny Appice performs on stage with Heaven and Hell during their Heaven and Hell 2007 tour at Rod Laver Arena on August 10, 2007 in Melbourne, Australia. Heaven and Hell is a musical collaboration featuring Black Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler along with former members Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Vinny Appice

 The younger brother of Carmine Appice, Vinnie was another member who left and came back over the years to lend his drummer skills to Black Sabbath. He played the drums for the band for six albums.

Ian Gillan

 Asked to join the band in 1983, Ian was to replace Ronnie James Dio. He publicly criticized the album cover of the one album he had worked on. He was with the band for two years from 1982 to 1984.

Bev Bevan

 As a touring drummer from 1983 to 1984 and returned again to work on ‘The Eternal Idol’ album in 1987 as a percussionist.

Eric Singer


 Eric was another drummer with the band from 1985 to 1987, having worked on two albums, ‘Seventh Star’ and ‘The Eternal Idol’.

Dave Spitz

 Dave had a short stint on bass with the group, lasting from 1985 to 1986 during which he helped with the ‘Seventh Star’ album.

Glenn Hughes

Glenn followed in Dave Spitz’s footsteps: they were with the band during the same time however, Glenn was on vocals.

Ray Gillen

 ‘The Eternal Idol’ reissued version would feature Ray on vocals, only playing with the band from 1986 – 1987.

Bob Daisley

 Bob was only around in 1986, when he played bass on ‘The Eternal Idol’ album.

Tony Martin

 On vocals, Tony was with the band from 1987 to 1991 then again from 1993 to 1997, contributing to six albums.

Cozy Powell

 Over the span of four years with the band (1988 to 1991 and then 1994 to 1995), Cozy was on drums and helped with three albums.

Laurence Cottle

 Joining the club of one-year tenures, Laurence played bass for the album, ‘Headless Cross’.

Neil Murray

 Another bass player, Neil had three years with the band from 1989 to 1991 and then again from 1994 to 1995), he helped produce two albums.

Bobby Rondinelli

Bobby spent about three years with the band playing drums and has been featured on two albums.

Despite the changing faces, Black Sabbath’s efforts and musicality has earned them multiple awards, high ratings on music charts around the world and inductees into both the UK Music Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They introduced and defined their genre and have been influencers to other big name bands.

Do any of the names above ring any bells? Either for their work with Black Sabbath or other bands?

This blog dives into the world of heavy metal music. The type that young, angry teenagers love to put on full blast or any self-respecting adult may opt in for if they’re having a bad day.

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