Friday, February 13, 2015

black sabbath

Black Sabbath spread their dark magic with this chilling blues sludge brew cooked up in their heavy metal cauldron.   The band arose from the ashes of Mythology and Rare Breed when the former's Tony Iommi and Bill Ward joined with the latter's Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne.  The new outfit was originally called Polka Tulk Blues Band and then Earth until they came up with a song called "Black Sabbath" inspired by a visitation from a dark shadowy figure that Butler had experienced after dabbling in the occult and the film 'Black Sabbath' featuring Boris Karloff.  

Iommi insists:  “That’s when it all started to happen.  The name sounded mysterious, it gave people something to think about, and it gave us a direction to follow...We arrived at the height of the Vietnam War and on the other side of the hippie era, so there was a mood of doom and aggression."  

Butler considers:   “All my brothers were in the army, and we all thought we were gonna get called up as well, to go and fight there ... It’s a satanic world.  The devil’s more in control now. People can’t come together, there’s no equality. It’s a sin to put yourself above other people, and yet that’s what people do.” 

Osbourne opines:   “We did a complete 180 on flower power:  peace, love, and look at all my bells. We grew up in Aston, and there were still a lot of bombed-out buildings from World War Two ... My philosophy was always that I’d rather be a live cow than a dead hero."

They signed to Philips Records and recorded their eponymous debut on October 16, 1969 at Regent Sound Studios in London with producer Rodger Bain and engineers Tom Allom and Barry Sheffield.   The session featured Ozzy Osbourne on vocals and harmonica;   Tony Iommi on guitar;   Geezer Butler on bass;  and Bill Ward on drums.  Rodger Bain also played Jew's harp on "Sleeping Village".  

Iommi:    "We just went in the studio and did it in a day, we played our live set and that was it. We actually thought a whole day was quite a long time, then off we went the next day to play for £20 in Switzerland...We thought, 'We have two days to do it and one of the days is mixing.' So we played live. Ozzy was singing at the same time, we just put him in a separate booth and off we went. We never had a second run of most of the stuff...I'd play a load of chords and I'd have to play fifths because I couldn't play fourths because of my fingers...That helped me develop my style of playing, bending the strings and hitting the open string at the same time just to make the sound wilder." 

Butler:  "Back then the bass player was supposed to do all these melodic runs, but I didn't know how to do that because I'd been a guitarist, so all I did was follow Tony's riff. That made the sound heavier."

Osbourne:   "Once we'd finished, we spent a couple hours double-tracking some of the guitar and vocals, and that was that. Done. We were in the pub in time for last orders. It can't have taken any longer than twelve hours in total. That's how albums should be made, in my opinion."

Ward:  "I think the first album is just absolutely incredible. It's naïve, and there's an absolute sense of unity - it's not contrived in any way, shape or form. We weren't old enough to be clever. I love it all, including the mistakes!" 

Released on Friday, the thirteeth of February in 1970, 'Black Sabbath' reached number twenty three in the US and number eight in the UK.  It sold over a million copies and cast the mold for heavy metal music.

"Black Sabbath"

 'Black Sabbath' 
full album:

All songs credited to Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne, except where noted.

Side one
"Black Sabbath"   6:20
"The Wizard"   4:24
"Behind the Wall of Sleep"   3:37
"N.I.B."   6:08

Side two
"Evil Woman" (Crow cover) Larry Weigand, Dick Weigand, David Wagner 3:25
"Sleeping Village"     3:46
"Warning" (The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation cover) Aynsley Dunbar, Alex Dmochowski, Victor Hickling, John Moorshead  10:28

 bonus track
38:15 "Wicked World"   4:47

live in Paris, 1970

0:00 Funny Intro
1:53 Paranoid
5:16 Hand of Doom
13:18 Iron Man
19:50 Black Sabbath
31:15 N.I.B.
37:15 Behind the Wall of Sleep
42:45 War Pigs
51:00 Fairies Wear Boots

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