Tony Iommi is “not at all happy” about the leak of unreleased Black Sabbath song ‘Slapback’

"It's left a really bad taste in my mouth"

Tony Iommi has said he’s “not at all happy” about the leak of a previously unheard Black Sabbath song.

The track, titled ‘Slapback’, was uploaded to YouTube earlier this month by Gary Rees, the stepson of longtime Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls and manager of his estate.

‘Slapback’ features Ronnie James Dio on vocals, and reportedly dates from the 1979 sessions for the band’s ‘Heaven And Hell’ LP.


“I’m not at all happy with it at all,” Sabbath guitarist Iommi told SiriusXM’s Eddie Trunk when asked about the track. “And it’s left a really bad taste in my mouth.”


Despite initial reports that Nicholls is playing bass on the track, Iommi said: “At that point, when we did that, Geoff wasn’t even involved in the band; I hadn’t even got Geoff over at that time,” he continued.

“That is actually Ronnie playing bass on that. And that was just in the lounge recorded on a cassette.”

Explaining why the track was not previously released, he said: “We had one or two things that we’d jam around on and play on and stuff, but it wasn’t right for the album, so we didn’t put it into shape; we didn’t record it or anything,” he explained.


It’s not the first material Rees has uploaded from the ‘Heaven And Hell’ era. In January, a recording from a rehearsal session surfaced online.

Earlier this week, meanwhile, Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler recalled how he first showed Ronnie James Dio the ‘devil horns’ hand sign before the late frontman popularised the gesture.