Overview[edit source | edit]Edit
Children of the Sea was the first song written by the band following the departure of original lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. The song's melody and lyrics were composed by new vocalist Ronnie James Dio while the music was written largely by guitarist Tony Iommi.
After first meeting Iommi in 1979, Dio arrived at the guitarist's Los Angeles house for a relaxed, getting-to-know-you jam session. On that first day the duo wrote the song. "Tony had this great riff he played me but nothing to go with it," recalled Ronnie. "I said, 'Gimme a minute' and went into the corner and started writing down the words." Iommi recalled the moment as a turning point in Black Sabbath's career, saying "It was exciting and challenging because we were doing things that quite frankly would have been beyond us with Ozzy. He wasn't that sort of singer." Iommi claims to still possess a demo recording of the song with Osbourne on vocals, though with a different melody and lyrics.
The band's original demo recording of the song featured Geoff Nicholls on bass, as the band's longtime bassist Geezer Butler was going through a divorce and wasn't able to commit to the band. "In the end though, Geezer sorted himself out and Geoff stayed with us to play keyboards", said Iommi.
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden said on his BBC 6 Music radio show, in an interview with Dio, that the Iron Maiden song "Children of the Damned", from The Number of the Beast album, was inspired by "Children of the Sea". Frontman Jeff Waters of Canadian thrash metal band Annihilator said of Children of the Sea in 2010 that he "ripped that song off" when writing the song "Crystal Ann".