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Geezer Butler on Black Sabbath’s ‘Never Day Die!:’ “Easily the worst album we did”

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Rhino/Warner Records

Geezer Butler admits that not every Black Sabbath album was great, and for him, that’s particularly true for 1978’s Never Say Die!, which was their last record with Ozzy Osbourne until 2013’s 13.

“I will say that Never Say Die! is easily the worst album we did,” he tells Metal Edge magazine, explaining that the problem was they “wanted to do it on our own, but in truth, not one of us had a single clue about what to do.”

A major issue, Butler says, is that the band and Ozzy didn’t see eye-to-eye on what they were doing.

“The thing is, we were trying to progress too much musically. We completely lost the plot, I think,” he explains. “We stopped doing the things that made Sabbath what it was and began going from more melodic stuff, which was a mistake looking back.”

He notes, “Ozzy always wanted to still sound like the old version of Sabbath, while Tony (Iommi) and I wanted to expand musically. Looking back, Ozzy was probably right because our expansion caused us to lose what Sabbath was supposed to be about.” 

As for his favorite album, Butler praises 1970’s Paranoid. “It was a totally complete album. It wasn’t forced, and the chemistry between the four of us was so fluid,” he says. “It was the most organic record that Sabbath – in any era – ever made. It was completely natural, as it should have been.”

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