Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi Was "Incredibly Disappointed" with Rick Rubin's Production

The making of 2013's '13' didn't go smoothly

BY Alex HudsonPublished Jun 24, 2024

Rick Rubin is often hailed a production genius by collaborators — but, nearly as frequently, he's the subject of criticism from those who haven't connected with his un-technical methods. Former RHCP member Josh Klinghoffer called him "way more a hindrance than a help," while Slipknot's Corey Taylor called him "overrated and overpaid." Now, Black Sabbath can be added to his list of detractors.

Bassist Geezer Butler appeared on Brave Words [via Ultimate Guitar], where he discussed the 2013 farewell album 13, which was produced by Rubin. Butler said that guitarist Tony Iommi particularly disliked working with Rubin.

"He certainly wouldn't work with me ever again," Butler said of Rubin. "Or Tony. Tony was incredibly disappointed with him. In fact, Tony took some of the master tapes and redid them."

He offered some criticism of the album. "But when we did the 13 album, that took forever. And some of it was great doing it, and some of it not so good," Butler said. "It just didn't have the same feeling like the old '70s album, or even Heaven and Hell album. I loved doing Heaven and Hell. But yeah, I think the longer you take over something, it becomes forced in the end, and you sort of lose the initial rawness and the feeling of the music."

In Exclaim!'s 2013 review of 13, reviewer Greg Pratt wrote, "The production of the mysterious Rick Rubin [is] bashing and crashing, although playing it a bit safe and controlled. It's a small issue considering it sounds like Rubin helped the band find their mojo again, finally."

Hopefully, at least, Rick Rubin was a better collaborator than Black Sabbath's former saxophone player who only knew how to play "Take Five."

Latest Coverage