Black Sabbath guitarist and sole mainstay Tony Iommi deserves your respect.
As charmingly befuddled as that bat-chewing reprobate Ozzy Osbourne may be, just imagine trying to run a band with him in it. A Herculean task you can be sure, yet Iommi did it for nigh on a decade. Add thirty years of revolving door lineups and ‘Sabbath was only good when Ozzy was in it’ being thrown at you, and you’d forgive him for giving it up at some point. Not Tony Iommi. He just kept grinding out the riffs, for better or worse.
And that’s exactly what Iron Man is about – Iommi staking his rightful claim over the history and legacy of Black Sabbath (who – I shit you not – started life as ‘The Polka Tulk Blues Band’). As you’d expect, Iron Man has plenty of inebriant-fuelled ‘this one time, at bandcamp’ moments to keep you interested if you’re into tales of mountainous cocaine consumption and that sort of thing. If you aren’t, Iommi’s self-deprecating and unexpectedly homely turn of phrase makes that stuff less obnoxious than it usually is. The real value in Iron Man isn’t the throwaway sensationalist fodder anyway – it’s hearing the story of one of history’s most influential bands from the one guy who was there every step of the way.