The song, titled Slapback, was uploaded to YouTube by the estate of the late Sabbath keyboardist, Geoff Nicholls. His stepson and executor of his estate, Gary Rees, uploaded the track after finding it on a cassette tape that contained other material recorded during Black Sabbath’s songwriting sessions for Heaven And Hell. Rees wrote:
“This latest upload from the Geoff Nicholls estate I believe is called Slapback from the scrawling on the cassette and the chorus. This is from the same cassette as the Heaven & Hell upload on this channel. It doesn’t sound like a typical Sabbath song, if it is them, but it does sound like Ronnie James Dio.
“It must be a cover, any clues? I have no idea about anything I wasn’t there. Everything is speculation. Great tune by the way.”
Geezer Butler confirmed in an interview with SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk that the track is indeed a Black Sabbath song, and that he played on it.
“Yeah, that was one of the songs that we did before I left. [Geezer briefly left the band in 1979.] It’s probably the reason I did leave! [Laughs] It was just one of those songs that didn’t make the grade.
“It was just a one-off thing. We just jammed it and didn’t think anything more of it. It didn’t really work.”
Listen to Slapback below.