Black Sabbath

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Band Name Black Sabbath
Album Name Black Sabbath
Type Album
Released date 13 February 1970
Music StyleHeavy Metal
Members owning this album1207


Re-Issue in 2009 by Sanctuary Records with a bonus disc
 Black Sabbath
 The Wizard
 Behind the Wall of Sleep
 Evil Woman (Crow Cover)
 Sleeping Village
 Warning (Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation Cover)

 Wicked World

Total playing time: 42:50

BONUS DISC (Re-Issue 2009 Deluxe Expanded Edition)
 Wicked World (Single B-Side, TF1067)
 Black Sabbath (Studio Outtake)
 Black Sabbath (Instrumental)
 The Wizard (Studio Outtake)
 Behind the Wall of Sleep (Studio Outtake)
 N.I.B. (Instrumental)
 Evil Woman (Alternative Version)
 Sleeping Village (Intro)
 Warning (Part 1)

Review @ hack

02 January 2010
Today is New Years Day, 2010. This new year will mark the 40th anniversary of heavy metal music. So I've decided to honor the genre with a review of the very first heavy metal album, Black Sabbath's self titled debut album. This legendary quartet originated in Birmingham, UK. It's located in central England, approximately 100 miles northwest of London.

This album reached the #23 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, in 1970. It stayed there for over a year. It's been certified platinum in both the USA and the UK. Bassist Geezer Butler came up with the idea for the band's name from an old Boris Karloff horror flick called Black Sabbath. He saw how popular those movies were and proposed the idea of using musical themes about horror and the occult. Ozzy loved the idea and soon began writing the lyrics for the ominous song, Black Sabbath. It was a very innovative idea at the time, because their contemporaries were into the hippie style.

Guitarist Tony Iommi had 2 of his fingertips cut off in an accident, about 4 years earlier. So he downtuned his guitars, to make the strings easier for him to control. This gave it a darker sound, than that of the other guitarists of the time. Iommi's guitar sound was the perfect fit for the doomy style that they were trying to create.

Originally, the European release had 1 different track, than the North American release. The European release had the track Evil Woman and the North American release had the track Wicked World. Both are great songs.

The songs; Warning and Evil Woman, were dark covers of blues songs, that were written by 2 different artists. The song Warning was written by Aynsley Dunbar and the song Evil Woman was written by the band Crow.

The first song is called Black Sabbath. The song opens with a church bell and thunder(you can also hear the noise of a rain shower). Then it goes into a tri-tone song with an ominous mood and slow tempo. The drum playing of Bill Ward adds a somber effect to this song. The tempo picks up the pace in the last 90 seconds of this song. Tony Iommi displays some flashy guitar riffs towards The End of this song. The lyrics are about the terror of being pursued by The End. The lyrics are ambiguous, but very entertaining.

The Wizard starts off with the harmonica playing of Ozzy. Then breaks into a more metallic sound. Then a nice and ugly bass rhythm from Geezer Butler. Geezers's bass playing is really heavy on this song. The lyrics of this song are about how evilness and other aversions cease in the presence of a Wizard.

Behind the wall of sleep starts with a loose and casual rhythm, then the tempo slows down, but the mood isn't very dark. The bass takes up some sharp riffs. The guitar plays a soft solo. Then the song reverts to that easy going and light hearted sound. The lyrics of this song seem to be about the dangers using some sort of a plant. Read the lyrics for yourself, because they're not very clear and to the point. I'm not sure what to make of these lyrics, anyway.

Bassically is the short intro before the song N.I.B. N.I.B. rocks with a heavy bass melody. The guitar playing usually acts as a mere complement to it, though it does break out with some flashy solos. I've read 2 different speculations on what the acronym N.I.B. stands for. Since I can't get a straight answer, I'm not going to sweat that. The lyrics are obvious, it's about being seduced by Lucifer.

Evil Woman is a very heavy song that rocks at less than medium tempo. The lyrics are about the mistrust of a woman. This is the song that us Americans wished that was included on our albums. But now, as I re-listen to it, I think that Wicked World was a much better song. At least it wasn't a cover song, with so much blues influence.

Sleeping village has only 4 lines of lyrics, so it's mostly an instrumental, that plays for about 3 and a half minutes. It really works more like an intro before the song Warning, which is over 10 minutes long.

Warning is a blues cover, the bass rhythm sounds like something that hillbillies would dance to. Then there are a series of guitar solos, that are an improvement to the first 4 minutes of this song, but don't seem to live up to their name or album cover. Then finally, 8 minutes into the song, we get a bad ass solo. Then 9 minutes into the song, it reverts back into the blues cover. The lyrics are about an unhappy marriage.

Wicked World rocks at at a relatively fast tempo, with great drum playing by Bill Ward. Then the song slows down and Ozzy sings. There is a familiar guitar hook in this song, it was recycled in the middle of the song Electric Funeral on their upcoming Paranoid album. This is one of the better songs on this album. The lyrics of this song are about the burdens of life. The song title is deceptive, compared to the lyrical contents.

This was the first heavy metal album, it was hugely influential to a vast array of musicians from many different genres of rock. The whole album doesn't live up to their dark name, but it was all that the naive public could handle, back in those days. It sounded a little bit rough, because they weren't allowed a lot of studio time. They were a young band, with some controversial themes, so they didn't start out with a lot of support. There was a dramatic improvement in their all around quality, on their Paranoid album. The 40th anniversary of this classic album, will be this February. I've probably heard this album a zillion times.


5 Like

darkenergy - 03 January 2010: Amazing...Thank You Sabbath for Starting It all Way Back Then!
emofreak33 - 03 January 2010: black sabbath's first album was not the first heavy metal album, led zeppelin's first two albums were both released in 1979, a year before black sabbath
hack - 03 January 2010: First off, Led Zeppelin were a hard rock band, not a heavy metal band. Secondly, Led Zeppelin's first 2 albums were not released in 1979, they were released in 1969.
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