Any record collector worth their salt would be happy to rant endlessly about the disappointing amount of great albums that came out in the '00s. If you're a strict start-to-finish album listening aficionado or are physically unable to sit through all of Kid A, it's safe to say you'd be hard pressed to choose 10 worthwhile albums from last decade. For those of you in the UK, that list gets even shorter after media-overdosing on perfectly fine albums by The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand and especially Amy Winehouse. If however you're a Coldplay fan, then none of the above will be making any sense.
Which brings us to the legend that is Rick Rubin. You could take every single album he produced in the '00s, force a record-collector to listen to them and you probably wouldn't be hearing a lot of complaining. It helps that two of those albums (and seminal pieces of Rubin's work) would already be sitting on said record-collector's shelf. Those would be Johnny Cash's: American III & IV.
Rubin pretty much invented the mainstream Rap/Rock fusion producing Run DMC's 'Raising Hell' and the Beastie Boy's ' Licensed to Ill'. The latter was the first Rap/Rock LP to top the Billboard album chart and was preceded by Bon Jovi's 'Slippery When Wet' and succeeded by U2's 'Joshua Tree'. That last sentence should be proof enough that record companies are looking in the wrong direction when complaining of album sales these days.
Time will tell if Rubin and Sabbath coupled with Ozzy's return after 35 years can produce a classic, but Toni Iomi's statement proves there may be hope, "I think he's looking for a raw Sabbath and I think we're looking for that as well."