Ozzy Osbourne’s Black Sabbath are set to top the charts for the first time in 43 years with a new album that reunites the heavy metal pioneers’ classic line-up.
13, the first studio album featuring Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler in 35 years, currently holds the top spot in the UK midweek charts.
Produced by Rick Rubin, 13 has been hailed as a return to the heavy riffs and doom-laden vocals of Paranoid, the Birmingham group’s seminal album, which became their sole UK number one in September 1970.
13 is currently around 4,500 copies ahead of BE, the new album by Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye, in a chart battle of the hell-raisers. Scottish electronica duo Boards of Canada are at number 3, with Tomorrow’s Harvest.
“I can’t believe Black Sabbath may have its first number one album in 43 years,” said Osbourne, the Sabbath frontman, 64, who is believed to be sober again after a drink and drugs relapse.
Iommi rejoined the line-up despite on-going treatment to combat lymphoma cancer. Original drummer Bill Ward is not taking part in the reunion tour, which arrives at the O2 Arena in December. Osbourne claimed that Ward could not remember how to play his instrument at a rehearsal.
Paranoid, the band’s second album, contains some of the band’s best-known songs including War Pigs, Iron Man and the title track. It has been described as “one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time”.
The midweek charts also suggests that The Voice contestant Leah McFall is on track to score the first top ten single produced by the BBC reality singing contest. McFall, a 23-year-old fashion student, rises to number 8 with her rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s 1979 classic, "I Will Survive".