Iconic heavy metal band Black Sabbath were crowned the most important British hard rock act of all time in a major poll unveiled today by record industry trade body the BPI.
The Birmingham-born pioneers of heavy metal, who have sold more than 70 million records worldwide - including the 1970 classic Paranoid - bagged almost half of the votes (45%) in a poll of more than 3,600 hard rock / metal fans. Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin completed the trio of the most respected British hard rock legends, each taking one fifth of the votes.
Commenting on the poll-topping news, Black Sabbath said,
We are honoured and flattered to be acknowledged in a poll like this which is voted for by the fans. We thank you.
The survey carried out partly in conjunction with leading publications Kerrang! and Metal Hammer found that aficionados of hard rock and metal get bitten by the bug early, with over 40% discovering it before their teenage years.