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The unexpected 80s pop hit Sabbath’s Tony Iommi said he liked

Ozzy Osbourne


The unexpected 80s pop hit Sabbath’s Tony Iommi said he liked

Born in Birmingham, England in 1948, Tony Iommi helped to form Black Sabbath in 1968, the band that would create Heavy Metal music. The only member of the group who was part of all their releases, Iommi has always been the most fundamental part of the band, since without his powerful guitar riffs, they wouldn’t have been the same. Also known as the “Riffmaster”, the guitarist is one of the most influential of all time and his work with Sabbath certainly changed the Heavy Rock landscape forever.


But Iommi is not that kind of person that only listens to the kind of music he makes, he actually has a really broad musical taste and likes to listen to things that are totally different from what he composes. Not everyone liked the music that was made during the 80s, but in 1984, in an interview when he was promoting Sabbath’s album “Born Again”, the only one with Ian Gillan on vocals, the guitarist mentioned an unexpected 80s pop hit that he liked.

The unexpected 80s pop hit song that the Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi said he liked

When you are not working, usually the last thing you want to think about is work, right? That’s more or less what Iommi always tried to do during his spare time. Because the last thing that he always wants to hear is Heavy Metal music, so he loves to listen to other kinds of music.

Back in 1984, in an interview with Steve Newton (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), he revealed that one of his favorite songs at the time was the pop hit “Maniac”. Released in 1983 by the American singer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Sembello, the song was featured on the successful movie “Flashdance” and became a worldwide hit.

“(I like to listen to) a lot of different sorts of stuff. I don’t listen to New Wave stuff. (But) I listen to, I like Jazz and I like of course, you know, some heavy bands around. But I don’t listen to a lot of heavy stuff, because obviously we’re doing that sort of thing. So you don’t like to (listen to all the time).”

He continued:

“I hear what’s around, but I don’t play. And I don’t really sort of put my mind to sitting down and listening to for hours. I listen to like, even stuff like ‘Flashdance’ and stuff like that. Yeah, I do (like that record). (The song ‘Maniac’), I like, that’s great,” Tony Iommi said.

At the time, the song peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and in Canada. The song originally would tell the story of a serial killer. However, after the track became part of the movie Flashdance, Sembello changed the lyrics. So it was transformed into someone who was a “manic” on the dance floor. Directed by Adrian Lyne, the movie Flashdance was a huge success. It cost around 7 million dollars and made an estimated amount of more than 200 million dollars at the box-office.

In 1983 he included the song on his debut album “Bossa Nova Hotel”. In the following years, he continued with his solo career releasing four more studio albums.

Iommi really has a broad musical taste and he showed that a few times. For example, in an interview with BBC back 2018, he listed some of his favorite songs of all time. The tracks were from artists like Frank Sinatra, The Carpenters, Chicago and Doris Day.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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