Never Say Die!

Never Say Die! is an album by heavy metal band Black Sabbath. The band's eighth album, it was released in September 1978.

This was the last Black Sabbath studio album with Ozzy Osbourne. The album shows a departure from the glossy synth-laden period, to a more basic rock approach, though not in the vein of their original doom and gloom style.

Album information

Before this album was recorded, Ozzy Osbourne was fired from the band and was briefly replaced by former Savoy Brown & Fleetwood Mac vocalist Dave Walker. Some songs were written with Walker, and the new group even performed an early version of "Junior's Eyes" with different lyrics on the BBC programme, "Look Hear". Osbourne eventually rejoined the band, refusing to sing any of the songs written with Walker. These particular songs were rewritten, including "Junior's Eyes" (rewritten to be about the then-recent death of Ozzy's father). All four band members sing on "A Hard Road".

The album was recorded at Sounds Interchange Studios in Toronto, as were parts of Technical Ecstasy.

The sleeve was another by Hipgnosis and the US and UK releases differed slightly in the faint images seen in the sky. The inner-bag featured graphics in keeping with the sleeve and credits, but no lyrics.

In the UK the title-track, released well-ahead of the album and the band's first UK picture-sleeve single, reached #21 in the chart and gave the band its first Top Of The Pops appearances since 1970. The band twice appeared live in the studio, miming to the song. One of these appearances was included on the official The Black Sabbath Story Vol. 1 - 1970-1978video release, in a poor b/w transfer from a fan's off-air archive.

In the UK the album reached #12, one place higher than Technical Ecstasy.

In the UK 'Hard Road' was released as the second single from the album and reached the UK Top 40, 25,000 copies being pressed in a limited-edition purple-vinyl. There was no picture-sleeve release.

Video from this period, professionally recorded on the UK tour at the Hammersmith Odeon in June 1978, can be seen on the Sanctuary Visual Entertainment DVD, also entitled, "Never Say Die.

Track listing

All songs by Butler, Iommi, Osbourne, Ward.

Side one

  1. "Never Say Die!" – 3:49
  2. "Johnny Blade" – 6:28
  3. "Junior's Eyes" – 6:42
  4. "A Hard Road" – 6:04

Side two

  1. "Shock Wave" – 5:15
  2. "Air Dance" – 5:17
  3. "Over to You" – 5:22
  4. "Breakout" – 2:35
  5. "Swinging the Chain" – 4:17


Release history

Region Date Label
United States 28 September 1978 Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom 1 October 1978 Vertigo Records
Canada 28/9/78 Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom 2004 Sanctuary Records


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