Rock legend Tony Iommi pens Cathedral song - The Solihull Observer

Rock legend Tony Iommi pens Cathedral song

Solihull Editorial 13th Jan, 2017   0

BLACK Sabbath legend Tony Iommi has departed from his metal roots to pen a song for Birmingham Cathedral.

The Birmingham rock legend, widely credited with inventing heavy metal music, has written a moving acoustic arrangement for the Cathedral after he wanted to ‘give something back’ to his home city.

Tony worked with his friend the Dean of Birmingham, the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, on the five-minute arrangement, which celebrates peace, harmony and the Cathedral’s role in the heart of the city.

Called How Good It Is, the song features the Black Sabbath star on acoustic guitar with lyrics inspired by Psalm 133 performed by men and boys from the Cathedral Choir.

It is available on iTunes and can be found by visiting

Sixty-eight-year-old Tony is currently on ‘The End’ world tour with Black Sabbath, and will be performing two last-ever gigs at Birmingham’s Genting Arena on February 2 and 4.

He described writing the music for the Cathedral as ‘a nice thing to do’ for his hometown.

“It’s great to be involved with the Cathedral and doing something for it,” he said.

“When Catherine mentioned it, it felt like a nice thing to do, to be able to give something to the city.”

Black Sabbath rose to fame in the late 1960s with an entirely new sound shaped by industrial Birmingham and the city’s factories and steel works.

How Good It Is will be seen by fans as a considerable departure from the raw, uncompromising music that made the band global icons.

“It’s just a little bit different to Sabbath!” added Tony.

“We’ve done instrumental work before with orchestras and it’s something I enjoy doing.

“This is a completely new piece of music and I’m really pleased with it.”

Dean Ogle will soon be leaving Birmingham to become Dean at Winchester Cathedral.

She played a pivotal role during the Cathedral’s recent 300th anniversary celebrations with community, art and heritage projects to tell the story of ‘the church that became a cathedral in the town that became a city’.

“Tony and I were introduced by a mutual friend and we discussed a possible music collaboration sometime in the future,” said Dean Ogle.

“Then, when Tony was unwell, we got to know one another better when I began to pray for him and kept in touch with him and his wife about his health.

“This is a most wonderful gift Tony offered to the Cathedral.

“It’s wonderful when a son of this city, who has had tremendous success, wants to give something back.

“That he wanted to do that through the Cathedral is very touching.”

Tony takes enormous pride in his Birmingham roots and the recognition he receives in the city.

“Fifty years ago we never would have thought that one day we would be honoured with things like the Broad Street stars and Ozzy’s Metro tram, it’s really great and makes us proud,” he added.


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