• Studio Day
  • Room 5
  • Room 10
  • Room 1
  • console
  • studio night
  • Arty recording
  • Arty recording
  • Live room
  • Equipment
  • studio live room
  • studio centre
  • control room
  • behind desk
  • Room 7
  • Snug

Monthly archives: July, 2013

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath; The Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman

Made In Monnow…

Black Sabbath Month

Ozzy Osbourne at Monnow in 1979 and ’81 – Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a MadmanBlizzard_of_ozz220px-Ozzy_Osbourne_Diary_of_a_Madman

Monnow Valley wasn’t always known as Monnow Valley – we were once known ‘the house’ down the road from Rockfield studios. We were the residential rehearsal and writing space for many bands recording at Rockfield prior to our full conversion into a studio. Tucked away in fields next to a river, ‘the house’ was the perfect place to write, and Queen, Black Sabbath and then The Blizzard of Oz featuring Ozzy Osbourne are just a few who chose to do so.

After having visited just two years previously with Sabbath for their rehearsal and writing sessions in 1977, in December 1979 – February 1980 Ozzy came to write with his new band, The Blizzard of Oz, for what would become the legendary The Blizzard of Ozz album. Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake made up the band who would write and play with Ozzy. Don Aldridge also played keys and contributed to writing. Tracks such as Crazy Train were written at Monnow.

This postcard from Rhoads back to his native US gives a little glimpse into the writing at Monnow.

postcard1postcard2(Click to enlarge the pictures)

Following the success of Blizzard, they returned to Monnow in 1981 to write Diary of a Madman. Once again the bulk of the album was written at Monnow.

Whilst disputes about writing credits were only settled recently over the albums, they remain classic rock examples and best sellers. Ozzy’s solo career was launched and propelled by these two pieces of work, and Sabbath’s name rose too. The sad and tragic death of Rhoads whilst touring the second album in ’82 – his playing both revolutionary and integral to the albums’ success – put an untimely end to what was a winning combination of the four musicians.

We at Monnow are proud that in a quiet little house in the Welsh country side, such classics were written and concieved – the albums are a testament to the four, but also to our studio.
They really did disturb the peace in style.

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath; The First Visit

Made In Monnow

Black Sabbath

August 1977

Black Sabbath’s first visit came in the late 1970s, just before member Ozzy left. They were using Monnow for rehearsal and writing prior to their tour. Mojo Magazine recently ran an article featuring photos of the band quite literally, frolicking, in our river. It has to be said, they don’t look entirely gothic/evil/heavy metal, but note the gun in the second and third pictures– it gives them a little edge in our decidedly country setting.

--tony-iommi-and-ozzy-osbourne-in-1977-133315622-3905561-Pictures courtesy of Mirror Pix

Here’s a snippet of the Monnow Valley mention in this May’s Mojo Mag.



Mojo Article, May 2013 www.mojo.com

Made In Monnow – Black Sabbath Month

Black Sabbath




Back at the top of the album charts with their new album ‘13’, pioneers of metal Black Sabbath prove that they definitely still have it, and not for a second did they lose it either. Well, perhaps Ozzy lost it a few times but that was all part of the show.

At Monnow we have a special place in our hearts for the Brummy boys and over our 40 year history, each one of our owners has had a visit from them at some point. Now we’re used to frequent visitors, lots of clients recording morethan one album with us coming back again and again over the years. However, perhaps none so much as Black Sabbath; they’ve recorded, resided, rehearsed, reunited and written at Monnow.

We’re dedicating our entire blog this July to Sabbath and their members, from Tony Iommi’s album most recently in 2004, all the way back to their rehearsals at Monnow in 1977. It’s less of a reoccurring visit and more of a residency. We’d like to think of Black Sabbath as most definitely ‘Made In Monnow’.

In honour of their latest album, out now, let’s have a look back at Ozzy and the gang at Monnow Valley over the years! Join us for a series of blog entries and plenty of music over the next few weeks…