Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)

Album no. 179/1001
It’s Ozzy Osbourne’s band before he was on a terrible reality television show! And he could sing!

These guys are recognised as being pioneers of the heavy metal genre – bringing with them a much darker sound than typical rock and roll, combined with fantastical themes and more than a few mentions of the occult.

Despite finding little success at the time, their self-titled debut has gone on to become a cornerstone of the heavy metal scene and consistently appears on ‘best metal album’ lists.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: No, I’ve really only listened to Paranoid in full – which we’ll get to next week. I can’t say that I recognise anything from this album either, so I don’t know. COULD GO EITHER WAY.

NK: I have not! I know some of the songs, but I am also more familiar with Paranoid.

Standout track

CL: OOOOOH. SPOOKY THUNDERSTORM AND CHURCH BELL EFFECTS. They’re all about those horror film vibes aren’t they. ‘Black Sabbath’ actually puts me in mind of a little bit of Shakespeare.

“What is this that stands before me?

Hint: it’s not a dagger. It’s a black figure! A woman!

NK: Funny you should mention a woman, because my standout is ‘Evil Woman’. It’s a real banger! “Evil woman don’t you play your games with me!” You tell her Ozzy.

CL: These are some SOLID riffs. On ‘Sleeping Village’ the guitar sounds like it might just crush the earth with it’s sonic forces. ‘Evil Woman’ is really good. It’s actually a cover! Another band called Crow released it back in 1969.

NK: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Leave it to me to pick an obscure cover. I also liked ‘Wizard’.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: The opener ‘Black Sabbath’ would certainly make an excellent addition to any seance or satanic ritual, were you in the mood for one. There are enough really long songs to keep you occupied for the length of time it takes to summon a demon, I’m sure.

NK: On ‘N.I.B.’ he actually sings “My name is Lucifer, please take my hand”, which gives you a pretty good idea. Definitely a black magic album. It should be raining outside, you need a black cat wandering about and several candles burning, then you draw the pentagram in blue chalk, etc.

CL: Not to be confused with pentangle.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: It’s well-established that Black Sabbath pretty much invented the heavy metal genre – it truly is it’s own sound. They’ve obviously taken parts of rock music, but by adding these dark themes and changing the overall vibe of the music to something almost ugly and murky, it’s been completely reinvented.

NK: This is pretty metal. Doom and gloom, lots of riffs, lyrics about wizards and evil women. I like that there is still singing, some of the more screaming metal really puts me off. In terms of influencing stuff though, this is pretty much a heavy metal statement of intent, no question.

Will you be listening again?

CL: I don’t think I can do the whole thing again – it’s a bit all over the place – but a couple of the tracks are worth more listens.

NK: Possibly not? This went on a little bit. There are some good tracks, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I think this suffered from me subconsciously looking forward to Paranoid next week.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Black Sabbath on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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