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Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi names his favourite songs

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Without Tony Iommi, there would never have been Black Sabbath, and while Ozzy Osbourne was the figure who stole the headlines, none of their success would have happened if it wasn’t down to Iommi architecting their every move.

Even Osbourne agrees with the aforementioned opinion. When the frontman appeared on Rick Rubin’s Broken Record podcast, he admitted to the producer: “He was the band, really,” Osbourne said about Iommi. “We were all part of the band, but he was the most irreplaceable one.”

He added: “Geezer’s (Butler, bass) a great, great lyricist. Nobody can touch him. Bill (Ward, drummer), in his day, was a great drummer. Tony (Iommi, guitar), he’s always gonna be the greatest; no one can touch him. And actually, to this day, I still don’t understand how he plays guitar, ’cause he’s got no fingertips; he plays with plastic fingers.”

Tony Iommi’s favourite guitarists of all time

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Considering his expert knowledge in the realm of heavy metal, you’d presume this would make up a considerable amount of his favourite songs of all time — but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Iommi associates heavy metal with work, and sometimes he needs respite.

He includes many surprising names, but none more so than Doris Day, who is the polar opposite of Black Sabbath in every sense. Explaining his decision to name her song, ‘Move Over, Darling’, he told BBC West Midlands: “I like Doris Day, if I’m in the shower I play the Doris Day album, you know because I do what I do, I like to listen to other stuff. I don’t listen to heavy rock and stuff like that much. I like to listen to something that’s different. Doris Day, I love that sound created in them days when it was all innocent.”

Another eye-popping artist who Iommi secretly enjoys is Frank Sinatra, with the guitarist citing ‘Summer Wind’ as a personal highlight. Although he didn’t explain the reason why he loved the crooner, Iommi has previously said he severely regrets never having the opportunity to work with the singer.

Iommi also gave ‘Apache’ by The Shadows and said the British group “were a huge influence on me and not only me. A lot of my friends, Brian May, David Gilmour, people like that”. He also heaped praise on their unique sound, which the guitarist used to spend his days playing along to in his bedroom.

Listen to a playlist of Iommi’s selections below.

Tony Iommi’s favourite songs of all time

  • The Carpenters – ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’
  • The Shadows – ‘Apache’
  • Django Reinhardt – ‘Stardust’
  • Doris Day – ‘Move Over, Darling’
  • Chicago – ’25 or 6 to 4′
  • Jimi Hendrix – ‘All Along The Watchtower’
  • Frank Sinatra – ‘Summer Wind’

Additionally, Iommi heaped praise on legendary guitarists Jimi Hendrix and Django Reinhardt, who featured on his curated playlist. This ingredient is what the Sabbath founder primarily looks for and why he included ’25 or 6 to 4′ by Chicago. Meanwhile, his final selection comes courtesy of The Carpenters and their heartfelt hit, ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’.

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