Mr Tony Iommi is a true pioneer when it comes to the ‘heavy riff’. His amazing guitar sound influenced millions and in fact he (and Page) really were the innovators of the heavy metal and hard rock sound we all take for granted nowadays. But I often wonder what is my favorite solo which he’s laid down ? I’ll probably cop some flak for this but Mr Rockbrat maintains his best ever guitar work was done during what are now called ‘The Dio Years’. Yes I agree that songs like The Wizard, NIB, Symptom of the Universe, Rat Salad, Fairies Wear Boots etc are all classic Sabbath tunes – no doubt about that. It’s just that his talented fret work was still being developed during those first couple of Sabs albums. Whilst we’re at it, I actually have trouble listening to a song like Paranoid or War Pigs nowadays. They have not aged terribly well with the very basic Paranoid sounding tired and tedious. If I never hear that song (and Purple’s Black Night’) again I’ll die a happy man. Come to think of it, I very rarely listen to Sabbath with Ozzy at all these days – and if I want to play some Ozzy it’s only the Daisley/Rhoads period from his solo career anyway. Fast forward to 79/80/81 and Iommi’s guitar work is alive, innovative and very loud. Not gonna do a list here – as all of his solo’s and riffing on both Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules are very very classy – but it’s his solo in ‘Mob Rules’ which is possibly my all time favourite. Every time I hear it I shudder like I’ve been punched in the gut. It’s pure, stripped down heavy metal at its absolute best. If you missed the recent Heaven and Hell shows you missed something legendary. An evening where rock legends walked the stage and showed all and sundry how it was done. They were kicking off that tour with ‘Mob Rules’ and man, what a buzz to see Iommi saunter out from behind the curtains – draped in a black leather jacket whilst cranking out that opening riff on his Signature SG. It does not get any better. What’s your favorite Iommi solo ?