Geezer Butler & Tony Iommi comment on newly-unearthed 1979 Black Sabbath song “Slapback”
Earlier this week, a rehearsal recording of a previously-unreleased Dio-era Black Sabbath song, "Slapback," was released. It was unearthed by the estate of former Black Sabbath live member/collaborator Geoff Nicholls, and now a surviving/founding Sabbath member has commented on it, bassist Geezer Butler.
In an interview with Sirius XM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk," Geezer said:
That was one of the songs that we did before I left. It's probably the reason I did leave. [Laughs] It was just one of those songs that didn't make the grade. [...] It was just a one-off thing. We just jammed it and didn't think anything more of it. It didn't really work.
Geezer also said that both "Slapback" and the previously released version of "Heaven and Hell" from the same rehearsal tape have "quite good quality" and that it's "incredible" that both recordings have now seen the light of day. We agree! If you haven't heard them yet, listen to both below.
UPDATE: Also speaking to SiriusXM’s "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk," Tony Iommi has shared that he's not as happy as Geezer about this song getting released. There also seems to be some disagreement about who actually played bass on it. Iommi says:
I'm not at all happy with [Nicholls's estate releasing the song] — at all. And it's left a really bad taste in my mouth. 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. That is actually Ronnie playing bass on that… And that was just in the lounge recorded on a cassette.
Iommi also added that the song was never released because "it [wasn't] right for the album, so we didn't put it into shape; we didn't record it [properly] or anything."