Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath

Narrated by: Bev Bevan
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (359 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Iron Man chronicles the story of both pioneering guitarist Tony Iommi and legendary band Black Sabbath, dubbed "The Beatles of heavy metal" by Rolling Stone. Iron Man reveals the man behind the icon yet still captures Iommi's humor, intelligence, and warmth. He speaks honestly and unflinchingly about his rough-and-tumble childhood, the accident that almost ended his career, his failed marriages, personal tragedies, battles with addiction, bandmates, famous friends, newfound daughter, and the ups and downs of his life as an artist.

Everything associated with hard rock happened to Black Sabbath first: the drugs, the debauchery, the drinking, the dungeons, the pressure, the pain, the conquests, the company men, the contracts, the combustible drummer, the critics, the comebacks, the singers, the Stonehenge set, the music, the money, the madness, the metal.

©2011 Tony Iommi (P)2012 Tony Iommi

What listeners say about Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Straightforward chronology

Iron Man is a straightforward account of Tony's life chronologically without a specific structure or point.
I'm a super-fan, so I liked it a lot; but there wouldn't be enough here for someone who wasn't.
There are occasional stories that are either very funny or fascinating.
Bev Bevans's performance is spot on. Casual & engaging. It's like sitting down for an evening with Tony on his couch.

6 people found this helpful

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The story: interesting; The narration-terrible.

I am a HUGE Black Sabbath fan, and this book did deliver some excellent behind the scenes stuff for me, however I found it a tad guarded, compared to some other rock bios. I also think Tony's sense of humour was lacking, perhaps it was just the way the story was written (or the ghost writer's work), so it was a bit dry. Although I've read other Black Sabbath books, this gave me a different take on the rise of the band, also the band members diverse personalities and contributions etc. So I enjoyed that a great deal. The narration was terrible though, I didn't appreciate hearing the narrator swallow and shuffle in his seat constantly. Perhaps it needs to be performed again with a better narrator to make it more enjoyable to listen to?

8 people found this helpful

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This book will melt your ears off!

What did you love best about Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath?

Learning the history of the band, the era, and of Tony.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath?

There is a story in here of the bands early days where Tony drops Ozzy off at a house that looks like his own house, but is not. It is hysterical.
There is a lot of back stories to the albums and songs. Brings a whole new perspective to the Black Sabbath catalog making me appreciate them even more.

What about Bev Bevan’s performance did you like?

He is a personal friend of Tony and even sounds a little like him. His British accent is very pleasant to listen too.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me lolz many times and cringe once or twice.

Any additional comments?

I've read a lot of rock bio's. This one is by far my favorite. I actually still like Tony after reading it. Same cannot be said about other rock performers books I have read.
Tony is a likable guy and of course, he is the driving force behind one of the most iconic heavy metal bands ever.

2 people found this helpful

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outstanding book

Im a huge fan of Mr Iommi. great book. from his youth to triumph over a tragedy. gives inside look into the up and down life of rock n roll. and great book for why not to do drugs for the youth. I have every album ever made by him. See how three other worldly beings brought you the king of heavy metal!

2 people found this helpful

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Good story, but a bit untight

It was enjoyable to hear about Black Sabbath from the inside, and Iommi is playing it out like the polite and dry witted englishman he probably is. But I feel that both the actual book and the reading could have been tighter. Too often it's more like hearing Iommi doing a documentary interview than reading (listening to) an actual book. The reading is mostly good, and the dialect perfect, but sometimes he feels a bit uninspired, and sometimes there's a bit too much paper shuffling and quirky edits. But for a fan it's a must read!

2 people found this helpful

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Likable but very light

As a guitarist and fan of rock I was hoping for a little more detail and grit. I don't care about the reasons Tony got divorced or every drug fueled party but either he has had a quiet life of he denied us the details. It's a hard task to compete with Clapton or Keef's recent books but there must have been more....

Tony is what we all thought him to be, a very decent humble guy.

Narration is a bit home made....which it kinda was.

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely wonderful person Tony Iommi

I absolutely loved the book well-written funny in parts I'm sad that it was over.

1 person found this helpful

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The father of heavy metal!

Where does Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best.

What did you like best about this story?

It's a great insight into the history of Black Sabbath and metal in general, told by a rock legend in his own words.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

It was hard to listen at times. All that swallowing and mouth noises made it sound very busy and distracting. A plus was his native Birmingham accent which made it sound as if it was Tony himself telling the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, for sure.

Any additional comments?

You can tell that Tony is not a professional book writer because the narrative is simple and repetitive, but that's part of the charm, because it feels like one is having a conversation with him.

1 person found this helpful

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A great book from a great artist!

What made the experience of listening to Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath the most enjoyable?

A well written personal story of one of the greates bands of all times.

What did you like best about this story?

Very honest and personal style of writing. Feels like you talk to an old friend. Exiting, entertaining and easy to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Great also for so-so fans or music fans in general.

1 person found this helpful

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Iommi Rules

Face facts, he took all the good riffs. There's no more left so don't even try. Instead, just read this book and enjoy the journey.

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  • R. facer
  • 09-14-17

disappointing overall

As a big fan of Sabbath and Iommi, great guitarist and song writer, i looked forward to this audio book immensely. Sadly it became a bit same old same old after a while. . record af album, tour, drugs, punch ups the aroung and around. . got bored

2 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 08-18-20

Feel like i know Toni

I feel like i know toni as the guy is genuinely down to earth, working class and an all round nice guy from all accounts i thought this from little interviews over the years and this book cemented that image .. his story starts from his childhood , learning guitar, the finger accident into black sabbath and the many reincarnations of the band to solo projects, collaborations and the pain of management swindlings and the heartfelt stress of the break ups and wanting to be more expressive as a musician when being held back by producers, band members, drugs and contract obligations he delves into is personal life, drug and alcohol issues and marriages with an open heart and onward through to around 2013 as the telling of his illness is towards the end of the book .. i do hope there will be an updated version in the future..

1 person found this helpful

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  • trace
  • 09-06-19

Top Class

Not great at writing reviews, so it'll be short. Tony has told his story in a gripping fashion, that the everyday person can understand and feel connected to. If you're considering reading/ listening to this, all I can say is just do it. Bev Bevan narrates it fantastically, and his accent impressions are great. This is very sad in parts, but also very funny too. Thank you Mr iommi, I loved every minute. Fantastic

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Reader 2020
  • 09-06-20

The legend that is Tony Iommi

What a great life full of adventures Tony has had and continues to this day. A legendary figure in music that inspired so many and will for further generations.

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  • Kevin Blake
  • 07-07-20

Interesting read for all Sabbath diehards

Tony Iommi is a rock legend, the godfather of heavy metal, and the undisputed king of the doom-laden riff. There is some interesting stuff here, although Iommi's reputation for being taciturn is borne out in the slightly turgid prose, with which Bev Bevan does his best as narrator. I could've done with some more studio details about the making of the early Sabbath albums, but maybe that's just me. enjoyable overall, but could've been a bit better.

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  • Ossi Seppänen
  • 06-29-20

Good and Interesting

Interesting Life story of 9ne 9f the greats of heavy metal world. I liked how Iommi tells the story and the fact that the reader has English accent and is somebody who is close to the writer

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  • Ferncombe
  • 08-26-19

Awesome story; less so the narration

Really a joined together string of anecdotes, Iron Man gives an accurate account of a rock gods life. It is though made difficult to listen to by Bev Bevan who is clearly uncomfortable during the recording and is not a natural in this regard. From intense annoyance at the outset, to the point I considered giving the book up, it had faded to slight frustration by the end. Tony's story reflects all aspects of the 70s music business and sometimes shows how NOT to deal with band finances. That he is still with us 40+ years later is testimony to his artistry, skill and shear bloody mindedness. A world without Tony Iommi doesn't bear thinking about and my life has certainly been enriched by his musical creations. Black Sabbath indeed.

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  • brian melchers
  • 05-09-19

iron man, tomy iommi biography

loved it, fantastic read. very entertaining, narrator a brummie which is a must for this scenario, well done!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 04-03-19

Sorry

Absolute agony to get through sorry Bev. Great book though. Made me buy some more Sabbath

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  • a c stirrup
  • 03-29-19

my journey with Tony iommi

I've listened to this book in half hour stints on my way to and from work for the last few weeks and it has been a pleasure to listen to,some very funny stories and a few sad but overall a bloody good listen..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-20-19

what a fantastic book any music fan aspirant

having been a long long long time fan and Black Sabbath this is a sensational book I really really good story and fairy fairy fairy will read what a great story have a great man and a legendary band

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-18

A relaxed read full of anecdotes

Enlightening, compelling and humble. It could do with an update; there's more to the story!

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  • Stephan
  • 05-01-18

A great listen

A must for all rock fans. Bev Bevan does a great job narrating and great to know Bev was there through it all.

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  • Paul Rogers
  • 12-14-17

A good story, not sure of the delivery.

I enjoyed reading this book more then listening to it. I’d recommend buying the hard copy.