Black Sabbath reform with all original members?

Black Sabbath in 1970: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler. It's the same line-up you'll be seeing very soon. © Tony Frank/Sygma/Corbis

UPDATE:

Tony Iommi has released an official statement in response to the Birmingham Mail story and the resulting speculation.

UPDATE:

In an interview with the Birmingham Mail, Tony Iommi confirmed that he and Ozzy Osbourne began writing songs for a new Black Sabbath album in June (2011). The band have also begun rehearsing for a forthcoming tour, with the new album set for a 2012 release.

Iommi commented: "We're really looking forward to it and I think the stuff we've been writing is really good. It's more back to the old original stuff."

Read the full Birmingham Mail interview with Tony Iommi here.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The classic line-up of Black Sabbath - singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward - has officially reformed and has started rehearsals for a tour and a possible new studio album.

"The stuff we've been writing is really good. It's more back to the old original stuff" Tony Iommi

Often cited as the most influential band in heavy metal history, the classic line-up of Black Sabbath hasn't performed together since 2006. Much talk of a reunion has circulated in recent years (Osbourne stated recently that he wouldn't rule out getting back together on one condition: if "Geezer will stop moaning"), but nothing concrete has happened... until now.

According to MetalTalk.net, Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward came to a decision 14 days ago to go ahead with the reunion, and this morning (Monday 15 August) the group convened in a secret rehearsal studio to begin to begin working on a live set - and what will hopefully be a new album.

More news as it develops.

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Black Sabbath's career in pictures

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