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Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.24 | 1034 ratings

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The Jester
5 stars Review # 97. Black Sabbath's dark image (that would follow them forever), started here: On Friday the 13th of February 1970 with the release of their first self titled record. On the cover, we see a picture of an old house which seems to be abandoned, and a pale figure dressed in black at the front. The whole cover is like a picture that was taken from a horror movie. (The house on this cover was a windmill, situated somewhere on Thames river). In the original version, the cover had a gatefold with an inverted black cross and a poem written on it.

But let's move on and take a closer look at the songs here: The album opens with the famous Black Sabbath. Rain falls, thunders strike, and the sound of the church bell ringing setting up a dark and gloomy atmosphere, before the heavy sound of guitar and bass hit you in the stomach like iron. Ozzy with his odd voice sings about 'a figure in black' which points at him. (The lyrics of this song are based on a nightmare Geezer Butler had). One of the most "bizarre" songs ever recorded, which became a "must" in all their concerts during their long career. Next, comes the song N.I.B, in which the lyrics are written from the point of view of Lucifer. The song Behind the Wall of Sleep was inspired by the American writer H.P Lovecraft and his story with the same title. As for The Wizard, it was inspired by the wizard Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings books, written by J.R.R Tolkien. The songs Evil Woman and Warning are cover versions of some old Blues songs.

According to Tonny Iommi, the band recorded the album in just one day. They went to the studio, played all the songs live, recorded them and left. The only 'luxury' they had, it was that Ozzy was singing from another booth. Upon its release, the reviews that Black Sabbath received, varied from bad to terrible! My opinion is that the critics and the media of the time were unable to handle such album because it was something they were listening to for the first time and they had no idea how to react to it. Here are a few examples: "It sounds like a very bad version of Cream", or "It is like Vanilla Fudge playing a tribute to Alister Crowley". Despite the bad critics, the album sales were not bad at all! It reached at No. 8 at the U.K charts, and at No. 23 at the USA charts. With the passing years, the critics started giving better and better reviews, until it gained its position as one of the most important and influential albums in the history of Rock music. After all, let's not forget that Heavy Metal has its roots exactly on this record! (And the rest of the Black Sabbath's albums that followed)... But I still don't understand why a site like PA includes bands like Black Sabbath. Not that it bothers me though... I have been listening to them since I was 14 years old, so I literally grew up with their music. Impossible to be objective! 5 stars!

The Jester | 5/5 |


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