Never Say Die! is the eighth studio album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in September 1978. It was the most recent Sabbath studio album with Ozzy Osbourne as the band's lead singer released to date until it was announced in November 2011 that the original Sabbath lineup will return to the studio for a new album to be released in 2012.
Before this album was recorded, Ozzy Osbourne quit the band and was briefly replaced by former Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Dave Walker. Some songs were written with Walker, and the new group even performed an early version of "Junior's Eyes" with different lyrics on the BBC programme, Look Hear. Osbourne eventually rejoined the band, refusing to sing any of the songs written with Walker. These particular songs were rewritten, including "Junior's Eyes" (rewritten to be about the then-recent death of Ozzy's father). All four band members sing on "A Hard Road;" this is the only known song on which guitarist Tony Iommi sings.
The album was recorded at Sounds Interchange Studios in Toronto, as were parts of Technical Ecstasy. Osbourne has criticized the album and the decision to record it in Toronto, telling After Hours in a 1981 interview "The last album I did with Sabbath was Never Say Die and it was the worst piece of work that I've ever had anything to do with. I'm ashamed of that album. I think it's digusting." He went on to claim that the band flew to Toronto in January during sub-zero temperature "purely because the Rolling Stones had recorded a live album there..."
The sleeve was another by Hipgnosis and the US and UK releases differed slightly in the faint images of British military pilots seen in the sky. The inner-bag featured graphics in keeping with the sleeve and credits, but no lyrics. The airplane on the cover appears to be a North American T-6 Texan.
In the UK the title-track, released well-ahead of the album and the band's first UK picture-sleeve single, reached #21 in the chart and gave the band its first Top Of The Pops appearances since 1970. The band twice appeared live in the studio, miming to the song. One of these appearances was included on the official The Black Sabbath Story Vol. 1 - 1970-1978 video release, in a poor b/w transfer from a fan's off-air archive, despite the BBC holding both appearances in their archive.
In the UK the album reached #12, one place higher than Technical Ecstasy. In the US it peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Pop Album chart. It was certified Gold on 7 November 1997.
In the UK "A Hard Road" was released as the second single from the album and reached the UK Top 40, 25,000 copies being pressed in a limited-edition purple-vinyl. There was no picture-sleeve release.
Video from this period, professionally recorded on the UK tour at the Hammersmith Odeon in June 1978, can be seen on the Sanctuary Visual Entertainment DVD, also entitled Never Say Die.
- "Never Say Die" - 3:50
- "Johnny Blade" - 6:28
- "Junior's Eyes" - 6:42
- "A Hard Road" - 6:04
- "Shock Wave" - 5:15
- "Air Dance" - 5:17
- "Over to You" - 5:22
- "Breakout" - 2:35
- "Swinging the Chain" - 4:17
- Black Sabbath
- Ozzy Osbourne – lead vocals
- Tony Iommi – guitar, backing vocals on "A Hard Road"
- Geezer Butler – bass guitar, backing vocals on "A Hard Road"
- Bill Ward – drums, lead vocals on "Swinging the Chain", backing vocals on "A Hard Road"
- Additional musicians