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Eddie Van Halen's Favorite Black Sabbath Riff Revealed

Eddie Van Halen’s Favorite Black Sabbath Riff Revealed

Choosing a single favorite Black Sabbath riff can be quite challenging, but for Eddie Van Halen, there was one clear standout by the metal pioneers.

During a 2023 episode of The Power Hour on AXS TV, hosts Matt Pinfield, Caity Babs, and Josh Bernstein were joined by Mammoth WVH’s Wolfgang Van Halen and Sabbath’s Geezer Butler. In a social media clip from the episode, Pinfield prompts Wolfgang to share Eddie’s favorite Black Sabbath riff with Butler. “‘Into the Void’ is one of the best riffs ever. It was always my dad’s favorite riff from you guys. I know he was really close with Tony [Iommi],” Wolfgang says to Butler, who appeared via video chat.

Butler responds warmly, “We used to love your dad. He was a great guy.” He adds, “That tour, when we did it with Van Halen, was one of the best tours ever.” This comment is noteworthy, given that Black Sabbath was famously upstaged by Van Halen during that tour, a time when the British rockers were experiencing a decline.

With a bit of a laugh, Butler recalls a memorable aspect of that tour. “It was fantastic because they were like the first sort of metal band with an image that the girls liked,” he explains. “Bikers used to come and see us and you would look out and it would be like 99 percent blokes in the audience. But then when you toured with Van Halen, it was like 50 percent women!”

In an interview with Loudwire Nights radio host Chuck Armstrong in June, Tony Iommi also confirmed that “Into the Void” was Eddie Van Halen’s favorite Black Sabbath track.

Into the Void is not only a celebrated song but also the title of Butler’s new memoir. In a separate interview with Loudwire Nights, Butler discussed the influence of subsequent generations of metal bands. Commenting on Metallica’s self-titled album, known as ‘The Black Album,’ Butler said, “I thought the riffs were great, great riffs. I always thought, ‘God, I wish I had written that.’ It’s just really good riffs and something I could relate to. I couldn’t really relate to their earlier stuff. I mean, a lot of people think the earlier stuff is the true Metallica, but it didn’t really appeal much to me. But when the ‘Black Album’ came out, it felt more appealing to my taste.”

Butler admitted the record is “one of the few metal albums I could listen to from beginning to end. I really enjoyed listening to it. There are very few albums of any genre that I can listen to from track one to the end. It’s one of those albums that I could listen to the whole thing and I’m really impressed with it.”

Source: Loudwire, AXS TV