How Black Sabbath Ended Up Playing Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ During Band’s Weird Period

Earlier this month, we here at Ultimate Guitar marked the 40th anniversary of Black Sabbath’s “Born Again” album. The record featured Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan joining the three original members after a wild night of drinking. Sure, the combination was shockingly outrageous, but it was still incredible to see them do something together. The album, which is also the last official studio recording with Bill Ward on drums, was panned by some fans and critics for its odd mix. However, as years go by, we can’t help but notice how great some (if not all) songs on this album are.

The tour that came after it was pretty wild as well. Although Gillan singing Sabbath songs may not be for everyone’s taste, the band was incredibly tight. And, most importantly, they even added Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” to the setlist. In an old unearthed interview from early 1984, while the Sabbath was still on tour, featuring Bev Bevan on drums replacing Ward, Tony Iommi was asked about their decision to do this classic song live.

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