“It’s left a really bad taste in my mouth,” Iommi revealed during an interview on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk (as reported by BlabberMouth). The rocker expressed frustration with Gary Rees, the stepson and executor of the estate of Black Sabbath’s longtime keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, who shared the track on YouTube after discovering it on an old cassette.
“At that point, when we did [‘Slapback’], Geoff wasn’t even involved in the band; I hadn’t even got Geoff over at that time,” Iommi noted. “That is actually Ronnie [Dio] playing bass on that… And that was just in the lounge recorded on a cassette.”
The guitarist went on to explain that “Slapback” was something the group would routinely jam on, “but it [wasn’t] right for the album, so we didn’t put it into shape; we didn’t record it [properly] or anything.”
Earlier in the week, Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler was also a guest on Trunk Nation. He too decried the quality of “Slapback,” calling it “one of those songs that didn’t make the grade.” Still, his recollection of the track differed from Iommi’s. Where the guitarist recalled Dio delivering bass on the track, Butler insisted he was the one playing. “That was one of the songs that we did before I left,” the rocker explained, alluding to a brief period during the Heaven and Hell recordings in which he departed the band. “It’s probably the reason I did leave.”