Tony Iommi: How Black Sabbath Created Setlist for the Final Tour

"It really depends on what Ozzy is capable of being able to maintain."

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Tony Iommi: How Black Sabbath Created Setlist for the Final Tour

Tony Iommi was asked by Metal Talk on who had the final say in determining the setlist for Black Sabbath's final tour, to which he replied (transcribed by UG):

"It really depends on what Ozzy is capable of being able to maintain. Because he can sing one note, but the next note - he struggles with it.

"We have to be sensible about it. We needed a set list that [we would be able to do] every time.

"Because you if you start putting songs out on stage, which is what we did a few tours ago, it messes everybody up, including our sound people, and my guitar tech, Geezer's guitar tech...

"Because they're handing you a deferent guitar and you go, 'Oh, it's not that one!' So you need to settle on a proper setlist.

"It would have been nice to do more obscure stuff. We did try it on rehearsals, and say Ozzy can do it once, but it's not gonna be a continuous thing.

"He wouldn't be able to do it [every time]. Because it was so high when we recorded them. You know, 'Symptom of the Universe' and songs like that are so high, even when he done them then.

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"And to try to do them now, forget it. Which is nothing bad against him, most singers of our age would be the same. They have to drop the key, or tune down, or something.

Asked on why the setlist featured classic songs and not the more recent "13" stuff, Tony replied:

"It would have been nice [to play more '13' tracks], but we didn't play initially on the tour, we played three or four songs from '13.' But they got pulled out more because it was gonna be a classic sort of set list."

Asked on how he feels about the end of Black Sabbath, Iommi replied:

"Well it still didn't sink in that it was the end.

"Because most tours are finished like that. And you will go home and you think, 'We're back in six weeks.' Of course it [didn't go like that] on this one. [Laughs]

"But it was the same sort of vibe for a bit. And it still hasn't sunk in yet, because I've been involved with quite a lot of stuff since we finished. Doing the film stuff, and the DVD, and the 'The Ten Years War' [box set] and the stuff like that.

"We had no time to really even think about that. 'Oh, we've stopped!' Because I haven't stopped, I'm still as busy as ever, really. Apart from when I'm flying. [Laughs] This is great."

You can check out the setlist from Sabbath's final show ever below.

Black Sabbath's final setlist:

1. Black Sabbath
2. Fairies Wear Boots
3. Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes
4. After Forever
5. Into the Void
6. Snowblind
7. War Pigs
8. Behind the Wall of Sleep
9. N.I.B.
10. Hand of Doom
11. Supernaut / Sabbath Bloody Sabbath / Megalomania (Instrumental medley)
12. Rat Salad (followed by drum solo)
13. Iron Man
14. Dirty Women
15. Children of the Grave
16. Paranoid

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I was at the Birmingham show on 2nd Feb (my birthday), and Ozzy sang his heart out! It was clear he was struggling with timing and pitch, but the emotional value of the show was intense, and you could see it in his body language. Bless him and Geezer and Tony. They all played their hearts out, including Tommy (fair play to the guy). Incredible set and show  
    Saw Ozzy at Monsters of Rock, Donington in 1996 (Robert Trujillo on bass and Mike Bordin on drums!) At times it looked like he was miming to tapes. And on footage shown on Headbangers Ball that year, it was clear that he wasn't singing because his mouth was nowhere near the mic and his lips weren't moving yet we could still hear him. He was almot 50 yrs old then. It must be much more challenging for him now.
    Much more challenging for him to lip sync? Yeah. After they played in Phoenix I was listening to my local radio station and the main guy in the morning was talking about how he met the guy who sings for Ozzy during shows off stage. He got to talk with him a bit and said Ozzy has a special mic where he has a button that his presses and it drops his voice out and lets the other guy singing come over the speakers. From what I understood, the guy...can't remember his name sorry... sings live backstage or whatever. So Ozzy sings parts, but can drop his voice out at a moments notice. I honestly believe that. It'd be an amazing feat if Ozzy could do an entire show at his age night after night on his own power. I'm certain he has help. But of course, believe what you may.
    I doubt that. Besides that radio DJs are often full of shit, it would be pretty obvious somebody else was singing if it's going back and forth between them, even if they somehow managed to find somebody who sounds a lot like Ozzy.
    There was a singer doing background vocals offstage for Ozzy during the Ozzmosis tour. It was Robert Mason, Warrant's recent singer. They just talked about it on Eddie Trunk's show when he interviewed Robert recently. Robert Mason even asked Sharon if it was okay to talk about it now.
    Years ago, I was working with a band who was supporting Warrant for a show in South Dakota. They were telling us about Robert doing Ozzy's vocals back then, but I took it to still be pretty hush-hush at the time.
    I'd like to agree, but given Ozzy's business record *cough* Sharon.. I wouldn't rule it out. I don't think it would be that hard. But as someone said about the mtv incident, it's documented he's used some sort of assistance live. I'm not trying to bash him or his legacy at all, I love the guy and know there's only one Ozzy Osbourne, I just think it's a likely scenario for him. I made a mistake about when i heard it though. It was actually after GNR played Phoenix. When the topic of Axl possibly doing something similar came up.
    Axl as well; nobody could replicate such unique voices convincingly enough to go side by side with the real deal. I know you're not bashing him; in fact I'm always annoyed by how people are so defensive about artists they like. Ozzy can't sing like he used to and neither can most singers after 50 or so. But I would only be suspicious of something like that if he sounded just like the record, or unusually good at one point and then bad at another. From what I saw of the 13 tour, he sounded like I'd imagine Ozzy to sound in his 60s.
    I agree. I remember seeing a guy singing off to the side of the stage, when Black Sabbath played Riverbend, in Cincinnati in August 1999. Incidentally, they didnt hide him either. I could see him singing plain as day, I was down front.
    Is "deferent" a typo for "different"? I didn't even know such word existed.
    "Deferent" is a short form of "deferential", but yes, in this case it was a typo.
    Axl Rose: "How GNR created setlist for the Not In This Lifetime Tour" Well, we just played the same Setlist since 1991, just a couple of Chinese Democracy songs and that's all! 
    It's actually an extremely different setlist. For example, "Coma" was only played like 5 times. Now, it's played every show. Not to mention the number of songs we never hear on the NITL tour, and the fact that the UYI tour setlist contained a lot of variety. 
    At least he's being honest. Even the stuff Ozzy can "sing" they lower 2-3 full steps.