For the first time, eight of Black Sabbath’s early studio albums, and three compilations will be available exclusively on iTunes. According to the New York Times, the window of exclusivity will be short, however, with the band’s music arriving on streaming services very soon.
It’s worth noting that some of Black Sabbath’s later music was already available on iTunes, but many of their early tracks are first making their digital debut today. The list of holdouts from iTunes continues to shrink, with AC/DC arriving in 2012, and The Beatles in 2010.
Commenting on the move to iTunes, Ozzy Osbourne said it was “about f*cking time”, and Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath’s guitarist noted that it had “been a long time trying to explain to fans why the music wasn’t available.” Though the exact details of the delay aren’t known, it is believed that feuds between Warner Music and the band led to the holdout.
Today’s announcement is somewhat ironic, with digital music sales dropping for the first time ever this past year.