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Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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2.78 | 370 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
3 stars Let's talk about "It's Alright".

An important cornerstone of the band's existence, it clearly marks the point where Black Sabbath's members were so completely immersed in cocaine, booze and anything else they could get their hands on, they actually thought that they were in Ambrosia. With Bill Ward finding himself in front of the mike ready to pour his heart out to a passed out groupie (or a passed out Ozzy whom Bill mistook for a groupie), the band gives it their all, channeling ELO's Strange Magic to give them the magic to show the world they were ready for soft rock glory. The band name would have to go sounded a bit frightening next to The Little River Band or Pilot. Maybe they should have changed their name to Black Sabre...friendlier, but with a slight edge. At least they had the album cover and title right, who in their right mind would even think this album was filled with doom and gloom?

To be honest, there is a bit of doom & gloom left in the band here, particularly "You Won't Change Me", which has some haunted castle organ playing and a good 'Sabbathy" aura, it's a pretty heavy track. But that's after "Back Street Kids", which displays the band in 'ruff & tuff' mode while trying and failing to sound rough and tough. "Dirty Women" is another good track, rather seedy and creepy actually with a stoned and confused Ozzy yearning to do nasty things to hookers. Then there's "Rock 'N' Roll Doctor". It's all about that 'N'. This band aint just playing 'round no mo...they givin' us the ROCK N ROLL BABY! In keeping to their sworn accordance to the Hippopotamus Oath, they are giving us the prescription to rock N roll, injecting us with the fuel to keep the rock N rollin' spirit alive. There's a barroom piano in the song too...drug inspired creativity.

"She's Gone" is like the demented twin of Volume 4's "Changes". Ozzy was never much of a crooner, nor a particularly great singer in general, but his sinister delivery works for the heavier doomy tracks. Not so much the ballads and straight rockers though. The song is pretty funny actually.

What makes the album fascinating is it's like an aural depiction of a successful band spiraling out of control like almost no other before. No one had any idea what they were doing in the studio, how they should sound, what the hell they were playing or who they even were. It's actually enjoyable in that sense. Is it good? Not really. In fact it's fairly awful at times. I find myself enjoy this mess looking at the aftermath footage of a tornado strike.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |


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