If you are going to Download this summer and, for some inexplicable reason, you are utterly unfamiliar with the work of the original Black Sabbath line-up, then those shrewd marketeers at Sanctuary are riding to your rescue.

Cunningly released six days before Sabbath close the 2012 Castle Donington festival, Iron Man: The Best Of Black Sabbath pulls together 14 of the band’s classics culled from their first eight albums.

Featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, these tunes will already take pride of place in any self-respecting metal fan’s collections. But if you are late to the Sabbath party then this is a bloody good place to start. 

With only Ward missing from this summer’s comeback shows in Birmingham and at Download (Iommi’s health permitting) there’s never been a better time to immerse yourself in one of the greatest British bands in history. And despite the recent deluxe reissue series of classic Sabbath albums there’s ever chance Iron Man: The Best Of Black Sabbath will form the soundtrack to the summer for a new generation of metal heads.

Anything boasting Osbourne and Iommi in tandem has a market and one glance at the tracklisting proves just how powerful the original Sabbath line up really was:

1 – Paranoid (Paranoid)

2 – Iron Man (Paranoid)

3 – Changes (Volume 4)

4 – Fairies Wear Boots (Paranoid)

5 – War Pigs (Paranoid)

6 – Never Say Die (Never Say Die)

7 – Children Of the Grave (Master Of Reality)

8 – The Wizard (Black Sabbath)

9 – Snowblind (Volume 4)

10 – Sweet Leaf (Master Of Reality)

11 – Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games) (Black Sabbath)

12 – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath)

13 – Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath)

14 – N.I.B. (Black Sabbath)

From humble beginnings, the Birmingham quartet enslaved the minds and souls of millions of rock fans around the world and continue to do so into the new millennium.

The musical genre they created inspired countless musicians and spawned countless bands. Such has been their influence; they have been inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006 and were included among Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Iron Man: The Best Of Black Sabbath will be released on June 4. The band headline Download on Sunday June 10 and play a sold-out warm-up show in Birmingham on May 19. Look out for a full review of the latest Sabbath compilation right here very soon.