5 Best Black Sabbath Songs According to Rival Sons

Rival Sons' share their fave Sabbath songs before their tour with Ozzy and the heavy metal pioneers.
Rival Sons © Ross Halfin
By Elliott Sharp

How insane would it be to be the opening band for the last Black Sabbath tour ever? Well, Rival Sons are about to find out.

Black Sabbath's "The End" Tour kicks off tonight in Omaha and will make its way around the world over the next eight months — and California rockers Rival Sons will be warming up the stage each night for Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.

Rival Sons — whose fourth album, "Great Western Valkyrie," came out in 2014 — have shared stages with many legendary rockers, including Deep Purple, AC/DC, Aerosmith, KISS and Slash. But joining heavy metal pioneers Sabbath on their farewell tour — that's the stuff of rock'n'roll dreams.

Ozzy, of course, is a big fan. He had this to say about them: “I saw Rival Sons perform, and was very, very impressed. They are one of the best of the up and coming bands in their genre, which is why we chose to take them on Black Sabbath’s final tour.”

To get amped for the tour, we asked Rival Sons guitarist Scott Holiday to share with us his five favorite Black Sabbath songs. There are a lot of classics to choose from, so it wasn't easy. Check out Holiday's picks below. Also, take a look at the tour dates and buy tickets over at the Rival Sons website.

1. "Black Sabbath"

"Appropriately, my list begins at the very beginning. First record, first song. This song basically marks the beginning of scary metal. The darkside. But it's just immense — the vibe they create right outta the gate. One of the all time scary album covers, too. If you look at the cover for a while, then continue to look while this song starts, you'll scare the pants off yourself. It did this for me, anyway. As a kid, this just seemed like the records 'THEY' didn't want you to listen to, and that was enthralling. Hello slow doomy scary theatric metal! Something new, something fresh, exciting and really radical."

2. "Iron Man"

"It's really just one of, if not THE, defining metal riffs of all time. The whole song is just rammed with guitar riffs and vocal riffs. A doomy masterpiece that almost STILL defines the heavy metal genre. If you listen to this song on a full moon, your jean jacket sleeves cut themselves off, you immediately grow a baby mustache and smoke magically starts rolling out of your mouth."

3. "Sweet Leaf"

"That riff! That amazing sped up bridge and guitar solo/drum freak out! And how it then drops back into that beautiful heavy metal swing! It's badass. I loved this tune the first time I heard it, and I I love it today. And c'mon, the song starts with 'the cough' — the heavy metal fail-safe."

LISTEN: Black Sabbath, "Sweet Leaf"

4. "Planet Caravan"

"This track is probably not on everyone's list. But it was always one of my favorites on 'Paranoid.' It reminded us that Sabbath didn't have to always rely on the riff, and even the darkest of metal had a lighter groovier side. I also liked that it was a moment of release from the onslaught of riffage. Tony sounds great in all his sparce yet very stylish licks, and I love the Leslie speaker vocal."

5. "Electric Funeral"

"I have to pick this song because it wasn't only the first Sabbath tune I learned to play, it was one of the first songs I ever learned to play! So this one will forever hold a special place in my heavy metal heart. You can play the whole damn thing (besides the bridge) on one string! (The lowest one, of course). Definitive riff, definitive solo, and thematically and melodically it's totally indicative of the Oz man's jive. The simplicity of this song is genius and has forever ingrained itself into my brain."

Black Sabbath/Rival Sons Tour Dates

1/20 Omaha, NE CenturyLink Center
**1/21 Sioux Falls, SD Badlands
1/22 Chicago, IL United Center
**1/23 Madison, WI The Sett (University of Wisconsin)
1/25 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
1/27 Winnipeg MN MTS Centre
**1/28 Saskatoon, SK O’Brians Events Centre
1/30 Edmonton, AB Rexall Centre
2/1 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
2/3 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
**2/4 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
**2/5 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory Concert House
2/6 Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome
2/9 San Jose, CA SAP Pavilion
2/11 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
2/13 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center
2/15 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
2/17 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
**2/18 Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom
2/19 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills
2/21 Hamilton, ON FirstOntario Centre
2/23 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
**2/24 Portland, ME Asylum
2/25 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
2/27 New York, NY Madison Square Garden


4/15 Perth, AU Perth Arena
4/17 Adelaide, AU Entertainment Centre
4/19 Melbourne, AU Rod Laver Arena
4/23 Sydney, AU Allphones Arena
4/25 Brisbane, AU Entertainment Centre
4/28 Auckland, NZ Vector Arena
4/30 Dunedin, NZ Forsyth Barr Stadium
6/1 Budapest, Hungary Groupama Arena
6/8 Berlin, Germany Waldebuhne
6/13 Verona, Italy Arena Di Verona
6/15 Zurich, Switzerland Hallenstadon
6/19 Clisson, France Hellfest
6/25 Copenhagen, DE Copenhell
6/28 Vienna, Austria Stadthalle
6/30 Prague, Czech Rep. 02 Arena
7/2 Krakow, Poland Tauron Arena
7/5 Riga, Latvia Riga Arena
7/9 Stockholm, Sweden Monsters of Rock
7/12 Moscow, Russia Olympisky Arena

8/17 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
8/19 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
8/21 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
8/23 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
8/25 Boston, MA Xfinity Center
8/27 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
8/29 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
8/31 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theater
**9/1 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
9/2 Indianapolis, IN Klipsch Music Center
9/4 Chicago, IL Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
9/7 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
9/9 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater
9/11 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheater
9/13 Ridgefield, WA Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
9/15 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
9/17 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
9/19 Hollywood, CA Hollywood Bowl
9/21 Phoenix, AZ AK-Chin Pavilion

**indicates Rival Sons headlining shows

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