“The pictures show a man of great power and presence, as befits a giant riffmeister.” Queen's Brian May pays tribute to his friend Tony Iommi, as Black Sabbath's guitarist unveils career-spanning photo book

Iommi - The Photographs
(Image credit: Rufus Publications)

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has collaborated with renowned English photographer Ross Halfin on a 340-page art book documenting his entire career, from the earliest days of Sabbath through to his acclaimed, ground-breaking work with the Birmingham Royal Ballet on Black Sabbath - The Ballet.

Iommi - The Photographs will be published by Rufus Publications, and will include written contributions from Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi's long-time friend Brian May from Queen, Metallica frontman James Hetfield and Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo. 

“If someone asked me, who was the leader of Black Sabbath, it'd have to be Tony, wouldn't it?” Ozzy writes. “We all contributed, of course, but without Tony's riffs, we wouldn't have had a chance.”

The book will be available in both Standard and Deluxe signed limited editions. Every Deluxe signed edition is personally hand-signed by Iommi. This deluxe edition is numbered from 1 to 500 copies worldwide. The book is priced at £250 plus shipping, but if pre-ordered before July 31, will be discounted to £200.

The Standard edition features the same content as the Deluxe edition with a printed hardback cover and slipcase. This edition sells for £99 and, if ordered before July 31, will be discounted to £80 plus worldwide delivery.

The book is estimated to ship at the end of October.

Iommi says: “I really appreciate all the work Ross has put in, both as a photographer and editor of the book. These photographs represent my career and the memories they conjure up remind me what a fantastic journey we've been on. So often I'd look down from the stage and there in the middle of the moshpit would be Ross fighting his corner to get just the right shot. Cheers, Ross, the book is a testament to our long friendship and the many defining moments in my life you've captured.”

In his introductory text, Brian May says, “Ross Halfin has captured images of Tony in a huge number of settings over the years, as you will see in this book. The pictures show a man of great power and presence, as befits a giant riffmeister.”

Check out a selection of the photographs in the video below:

IOMMI - The Photographs by Ross Halfin and Tony Iommi - YouTube IOMMI - The Photographs by Ross Halfin and Tony Iommi - YouTube
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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.