In 1979, Ozzy Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath for being slightly more of a mess than his bandmates. He went on to have a lucrative solo career, and the band found continued success with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Over the years, they got back together twice, first for an appearance at Live Aid and later for a tour and album recorded live, but fans and music historians have always wanted more. Now they’ll finally get their chance.

Ozzy Osbourne is rejoining forces with Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi to record an album of new material and tour the world in 2012. No doubt the string of concerts will greatly please younger fans who always wanted to see the heavy metal gods live, but the real prize here is the LP. Ordinarily, when older musicians head into the studio after being gone for awhile, the results are disjointed and disappointing, but according to MSNBC, the band has hired legendary producer Rick Rubin. He almost single-handedly revived Johnny Cash’s career through the American Recordings series, and if his results with Black Sabbath are even half as effective, we should get a dozen or so great new tracks.

Life is too short for brilliant and historically relevant bands to part company forever. Sometimes a few years or even a decade is needed to mend the fences, but it’s always better for everyone to go out as friends and partners. Ozzy is better with the other members of Black Sabbath, and they’re better with him as their frontman. Plus, neither could make as much money on their own. It’s smart for some many reasons.

We’ll let you know when tour dates become available.

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