"I am writing... and it's sounding really good": Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi looks back on a "fun" 2023, and promises long-awaited box set release plus new music

Tony Iommi
(Image credit: Tony Iommi YouTube)

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has posted a New Year message to fans and promised a long-awaited archive release from the band in spring, while also stating that he's continuing to writing new music for future projects. 

In the three-minute post, recorded at his home and titled A 2024 New Year's Message, Iommi addresses viewers directly, saying, "Hello all, I hope you've had a great Christmas. We certainly have here. It's been good fun. Plenty of food and drink. Marvellous, absolutely marvellous."

Referring back to his New Year 2023 message to fans, the guitarist continues, "last year when I did my message, I did say we'd have a box set [of the Tony Martin-fronted Black Sabbath albums The Eternal Idol, Headless Cross and Tyr] coming out. Well, now I've been informed that it'll be out in May... it's been held up with paperwork and legal stuff. But anyway, it's coming out in May now, if you're interested, and I hope you are.

"But it's been an interesting year again this year, great, great fun," he says. "A lot of different things happening. I was working with the Birmingham Royal Ballet with Carlos Acosta on doing the Black Sabbath ballet, which was absolutely marvellous. I mean, they've done such a brilliant job. And the dancers are fantastic. Just all the people involved in it were just so into it, and it was great fun. And I was making an appearance on the end of some of the shows, not all of them, just some of them. But as soon as they put it on sale, the tickets sold out like that, which was fantastic. We had a lot of Sabbath fans come in, who really enjoyed it. So, hopefully next year - or this year, of course, by the time you get this message - they're talking of taking it to America and Europe. So hopefully that'll happen, and everybody can get to see it. But it's well worth watching. Fantastic.

"And also, I did a documentary for Sky, which was also very interesting. I'd done it at home and done some away. But it was good fun and I had Brian May come up and we worked together and played together and that was great. And if you can't get that on Sky, you can get it on YouTube, so it is on YouTube all around the world.

"Also, what else have I done? Well, I've been working in the studio, of course, and doing things that everybody else do, really. And I did a show with Johnny Depp and The Hollywood Vampires, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, and the rest of the gang. Good fun. Really great. Something different for me. So, that was that, really. Hopefully there'll be more going on in the next year. But also I did a thing with Cesar [Gueikian, Gibson CEO] and Serj [Tankian] from System of a Down. I did a track with them. And that was to raise money for Armenia, which was good. So that's out as well."

Looking ahead to his 2024, Iommi rounds off the message by promising to keep fans informed of his plans, and says, "I am writing and doing plenty of stuff and it's sounding really good. I'm very happy with it. I might use some orchestration, I might not. So we'll see how it goes."

"Anyway, have a great new year and all the best to you all.Thank you. Bye bye."

Watch the message below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.