What Eddie Van Halen’s Favorite Black Sabbath Riff Was

What Eddie Van Halen’s Favorite Black Sabbath Riff Was
Music

Picking your one favorite Black Sabbath riffs feels like an impossible task, but Eddie Van Halen had one absolute favorite by metal’s founding fathers.

On a 2023 episode of The Power Hour (on AXS TV), hosts Matt Pinfield, Caity Babs and Josh Bernstein were joined by Mammoth WVH‘s Wolfgang Van Halen and Sabbath’s Geezer Butler.

In a social media clip shared this week (seen below) Pinfield encourages Wolfgang to tell Butler what his father Eddie’s favorite Black Sabbath riff was. “‘Into the Void’ is one of the best riffs ever. It was always my dad’s favorite riff from you guys. I know he was really close with Tony [Iommi],” Wolfgang says from the studio desk to Butler, who appeared via video chat.

“We used to love your dad. He was a great guy,” Butler responds. “That tour, when we did it with Van Halen, was one of the best tours ever,” he adds, even though Black Sabbath were famously blown off the stage on that run, Van Halen ascending as the Brits were amid a downward spiral.

With a bit of a laugh, Butler recalls one of the more favorable elements of that tour. “It was fantastic because they were like the first sort of metal band with an image that the girls liked,” the bassist explains, “Bikers used to come and see us and you would look out and it would be like 99 percent blokes in the audience. But then when you toured with Van Halen it was like 50 percent women!” Watch the clip directly below.

READ MORE: Black Sabbath Songs Ranked (Ozzy Osbourne Era)

In an interview with Loudwire Nights radio host Chuck Armstrong in June, Iommi also confirmed that “Into the Void” was the legendary Eddie Van Halen’s favorite by Black Sabbath.

Into the Void also happens to be the title of Butler’s new memoir and, in a separate Loudwire Nights interview, he talked about the following generations of metal bands. Commenting on Metallica‘s self-titled album, also known as ‘The Black Album,’ Butler said, “I thought the riffs were great, great riffs. I always thought, ‘God, I wish I had written that.’ It’s just really good riffs and something I could relate to. I couldn’t really relate to their earlier stuff. I mean, a lot of people think the earlier stuff is the true Metallica, but it didn’t really appeal much to me. But when the “Black Album” came out, it felt more appealing to my taste.”

Butler admitted the record is “one of the few metal albums I could listen to from beginning to end. I really enjoyed listening to it. There are very few albums of any genre that I can listen to from track one to the end. It’s one of those albums that I could listen to the whole thing and I’m really impressed with it.”

Black Sabbath Albums Ranked

All 19 studio albums, from worst to best,

Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita



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