Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi also known as the father of Heavy Metal music created some of the heaviest guitar riffs of all time. But when he is not playing the guitar he likes to listen to bands that many fans of the British group could never imagine he likes.
In an interview with BBC Radio WM show “The Other Side Of…” back in 2018 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), Iommi explains that he doesn’t like to listen to heavy Rock because he prefers to relax when he is not working and revealed some of his favorites songs, explaning why he likes them so much.
7 songs that Tony Iommi listed as some of his favorites of all time
Chicago “25 or 6 to 4”
“I still love a number of bands from that era, from the 70s and Chicago, I thought ’25 0r 6 to 4′ was a great track. The guitar playing in particular, very, very good. I think that attracted a lot of people to Chicago, that particular song,” Tony Iommi said.
“25 or 6 to 4” was released on the group’s second album called “Chicago” (1970).
Chicago was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame back in 2016 by Matchbox 20’s singer Rob Thomas, who said in his speech that “these songs are the sound of a city”.
Doris Day “Move Over, Darling”
“I like Doris Day, if I’m in the shower I play the Doris Day album, you know. Because I do what I do (Play Heavy Metal) 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 the created in them days and it was all innocent,” Tony Iommi said.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio back in 1922, Doris Day was an actress, singer and animal welfare activist. Her career started as a big bnd singer in 1939 and achieved succes in 1945 with the two number 1 recordings: “Sentimental Journey” and “My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time” with the group Les Brown & His Band OF Renown. She recorded more than 650 songs on her solo career.
Django Reinhardt “Stardust”
When explaining why he chose this song, Iommi told the story of loosing the tips of the middle and ring fingers of his right hand in an industrial accident on his last day of work in a sheet metal factory.
This accident made Iommi create homemade thimbles to his injured fingers to extend and protect them and change the guitar tuning so that he could easily play. That combination made his sound heavier and darker, and Black Sabbath went on the create the Heavy Metal genre.
But he only didn’t gave up playing guitar because his old boss gave him a record of Django Reinhardt, a Belgian guitarist who didn’t used the fourth finger (ring finger) and fifth finger (little) to play after they were badly burned in an accident.
The Shadows “Apache”
“The Shadows were a huge influence on me and not only me. A lot of my friends, Brian May, David Gilmour, people like that, all took to The Shadows. I really loved what they do, I love the sound. It was classy and of course, in them days there weren’t many instrumental bands. Nobody sounded like that. It just appealed to me. And I could learn how to play or try to learn to play the tunes,” Tony Iommi said.
Iommi paid tribute to the group playing the song “Wonderful Land” being part of the 1996 album “Twang! A Tribute To Hank Marvin & The Shadows”. Other famous guitarists who were also influenced by the group like Ritchie Blackmore, Brian May, Mark Knopfler, Steve Stevens, Peter Frampton, Randy Bachman, Neil Young, Peter Green and Andy Summers also played on the record.
The Carpenters “We’ve Only Just Begun”
“The Carpenters, for me always takes me back to when we were touring in the 70s. We used to stay in West Palm Beach a lot to try and get there as much as we could in Florida. I used to play The Carpenters on my tape machine. It always takes me back of that time of being there. I love The Carpenters, it takes me into this zone again. It was nice to relax too, because as I said I can’t hear the stuff I play all the time. I like to hear something totally different,” Tony Iommi said.
Formed by the brothers Karen and Richard Carpenter, The Carpenters were one of the most successful duos of the 70s with 10 albums recorded and numerous singles. They have sold more than 90 millions records worldwide.
Jimi Hendrix “All Along The Watchtower”
Tony Iommi didn’t talked about this Hendrix song he chose on the program but in another inteview with BBC Radio segment “My Hendrix Rock” special gathered famous musicians opinions on Jimi Hendrix and their favorite songs of the late guitarist, he gave his opinion on the late guitarist, saying: “Well, I think he came up with something at the time that got so much excitement in it, his style of playing, playing upside down… And just the aggression and the way and he would do stuff behind his neck. Just things that didn’t happen,” Tony Iommi said.
Just like Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi is also a left-handed guitar player. Black Sabbath coincidentally released their second album “Paranoid” right in September 18, 1970, the day that Jimi Hendrix died.
Frank Sinatra “Summer Wind”
Iommi also didn’t explained why he likes Frank Sinatra‘s “Summer Wind” in this interivew with Planet Rock but in a conversation with Birmingham Live back in 2013 he said that one of his biggest regrets was that he didn’t had the chance to work with Sinatra during his career.
“”My regret is that I never had chance to work with Frank Sinatra. But I’ll tell you what – I’d love to record something with Tom Jones. He has a fantastic voice and stage presence, even now,” Tony Iommi said.
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG