The Real Reason Geezer Butler Quit Black Sabbath

Fans of the genre generally stand in unanimous agreement that Black Sabbath are the reigning kings of metal music. The band's conception in 1968 and the legacy that followed inspired a colossal sub-genre of rock that's often lambasted by mainstream listeners, but devoted metal heads are frequently recognized as the most dedicated music fans in the world (via Blabbermouth).

Like any other group, Sabbath has a story that entails triumph, conflict, departure, and resurgence. In 1979, legendary frontman Ozzy Osbourne left the band to tread the musical waters solo and was replaced by Ronnie James Dio. However, Osbourne wasn't the only Sabbath forefather who had to go his own way.

Around the same time, bassist Geezer Butler also had to call it quits for a stretch of years, returning to England to finalize his divorce. Shortly after he left, the band commenced work on "Heaven and Hell," their first album with the new frontman (per Ultimate Guitar).

Back to England

We all have personal affairs that can be fragile at times, and even rock stars are only human after all. "I had loads of problems with my divorce, and I had to go back to England. I told the guys, 'It's not the music or anything like that — I'm still into it — but I've just got to go and sort myself out,'" Geezer Butler recalled (via Rolling Stone).

Butler had been with his wife since grade school, so it was a tender saga that needed his full attention. Nonetheless, his mind was never far from the group. He kept in touch with guitarist Toni Iommi and drummer Bill Ward throughout the recording process, with a devotional intention to return as soon as his divorce was finalized. "And meanwhile, they'd written the song 'Heaven and Hell' and 'Die Young,' and I came back, and I heard 'Heaven and Hell' and 'Die Young' for the first time as a fan would hear it, and I was absolutely just blown away with it. And the rest is history," he said (via Ultimate Guitar).