We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll is a compilation album by Black Sabbath, originally released on 1 December 1975 in the UK and then on 3 February 1976 in the U.S.
When Black Sabbath signed with NEMS, the label which would release their 1975 album Sabotage in the UK and Europe, NEMS acquired the band's back catalogue and wasted little time compiling this release. Authorized without the band's awareness by their previous manager, Patrick Meehan, the band would make no money whatsoever from the release. Although the band had six studio albums to its name at this point, this compilation drew heavily on the first four albums: this would also be a feature of most of the Osbourne-era compilations later released.
The original UK gatefold album, with a matte finish, had centre pages featuring shots of the band but this was omitted on reissues, which came in a glossy-finish sleeve. Additionally, the original record retained Geezer Butler's bass solo before "N.I.B.", but this would be edited from later issues. Some U.S. copies of the LP do not actually include "Wicked World" on the label or on the record itself, though it does appear on the cover. In the UK, "Wicked World" had been only a B-side and was relatively obscure.
Despite the album being an official release, Iommi has been quoted as saying that the first time the band knew of it was when asked to autograph copies which fans presented after concerts.
It was certified Silver in the UK by the BPI on 1 October 1976. In the US the RIAA certified the album as Gold on 7 February 1980, Platinum on 13 May 1986 and 2x Multi-Platinum (generally known as 'Double Platinum' outside the offices of the RIAA) on 16 March 2000.
Black Sabbath are an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968 by Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (electric bass), and Bill Ward (drums). The band has since experienced multiple lineup changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years. A total of twenty-two musicians have at one time been members of Black Sabbath. Originally formed as a heavy blues-rock band named Earth, the band began incorporating occult- and horror-inspired lyrics with tuned-down guitars, changing their name to Black Sabbath and achieving multiple platinum records in the 1970s. Despite an association with occult and horror themes, Black Sabbath also composed songs dealing with social and political issues such as drugs and war.
As one of the first and most influential heavy metal bands of all time, Black Sabbath helped define the genre with releases such as quadruple-platinum Paranoid, released in 1970. They were ranked by MTV as the "Greatest Metal Band" of all time, and placed second in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" list, behind Led Zeppelin. They have sold over 15 million records in the United States alone. Rolling Stone has posited the band as 'the heavy-metal kings of the '70s'. They have sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
Vocalist Ozzy Osbourne's drinking led to his firing from the band in 1979. He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio. After a few albums with Dio's vocals and his songwriting collaborations, Black Sabbath endured a revolving lineup in the 1980s and 1990s that included vocalists Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin. In 1992, Iommi and Butler rejoined Dio and drummer Vinny Appice to record Dehumanizer. The original lineup reunited with Osbourne in 1997 and released a live album, Reunion. The 1979-1982 and 1991-1992 line-up featuring Iommi, Butler, Dio, and Appice reformed in 2006 under the title, Heaven & Hell, until Dio's death on May 16, 2010.
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