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Black Sabbath and unusual time signatures

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KingCrInuYasha View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 13 2014 at 17:46
I've read that Black Sabbath started out as a blues and jazz band and those elements kind of leaked into some of their songs. I've been trying out figure out the time signature for three of their songs - "The Wizard", "Cornucopia" and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". Any idea what they are?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ludjak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2014 at 18:47
As far as I can remember, all three tunes are in 4/4 (although "Cornucopia" is mostly a shuffle, and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" goes into a shuffle-like groove towards the end as well). There are a couple of syncopated beats here and there, possibly hinting at the blues/jazz connection you mentioned.

"Planet Caravan" is probably the closest thing to "jazz" that Sabbath ever recorded, though. They did make humble, but honest efforts to experiment in their early years.
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KingCrInuYasha View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KingCrInuYasha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 13 2014 at 19:19
I drummed along to the songs in my head and your explanation makes sense.  Thanks. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2014 at 19:02
Always thought Cornucopia had some strange rhythm.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2014 at 19:16
13/16, 7/8, 11/16. What was the question again? Tongue

Edited by SteveG - October 18 2014 at 19:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2014 at 21:40
Sabbath never really did odd-times sigs, though the intro to Computer God has some 7/8 riff at the start.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2014 at 23:52
^^^  Yup.  That, and also the intro to Master of Insanity is kind of jazzy.  But that's it.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prog_Traveller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 19 2014 at 22:38
Not sure about odd time signatures but they did some pretty prog sounding stuff imo including some things from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2014 at 09:57
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

13/16, 7/8, 11/16. What was the question again? Tongue
Seriously, BS never had truly odd time signatures but their change in time signatures was always abrupt without feeling awkward. No mean feat.


Edited by SteveG - October 21 2014 at 15:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2014 at 03:20
Moved to the prog related part of the forum.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2014 at 04:02
You don't have to read about the blues & jazz influence, you can hear it all through their music, heavy metal is essentially blues-based.   As for odd times, I think if they had imposed odd sigs the music would'nt have had the appeal or impact that it did. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2014 at 10:41
^Agreed. Good point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Svetonio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2014 at 21:38
Don't know so much about those unusual time signatures regarding a hard rock band as Black Sabbath as well. Imho, the most proggy songs by them are A National Acrobat, Gipsy, Johnny Blade, Juniors Eyes, Air Dance  & The Sign Of Southern Cross.

Edited by Svetonio - October 23 2014 at 21:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2014 at 11:25
"The Wizard" swings and there are many times when Bill Ward will be accenting significant hits during his rolls or what drummer used to call back then..."Roundhouses". This is a drum technique applied during the "Swing era" Ringo Starr used to play like this in 64' and 65' where it's clearly demonstrated on early recordings of The Beatles..that he has the ability to play "Big Band Jazz". I like the harp playing. It's a very interesting "dark" kind of Rock song and not just some fly by night attempt to sound heavy and dark with copy cat elements.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2014 at 06:29
^ You mention 'The Wizard'.
Yes, Bill did put in some clever playing for this tune, and he was definitely a fine drummer throughout his tenure with the band.
Funny info here, just yesterday, I took my afternoon smoko, and this big tough bald guy hopped in his 4-wheel drive and I heard Lonely Is The Word.
Yeah, Dio Sabbath.......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2014 at 08:46
Don't know anything about odd time sigs but the Wizard reminds me of a 'blues rave up' and something that The Yardbirds with Beck and Page might have done.
The first Sabbath album is still my favorite.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2014 at 11:20
^Same for me. Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath is an absolute classic!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2014 at 14:55
I love the dramatic tempo change halfway through "Megalomania" from the Sabotage album. Almost 40 years later, I still headbang to that epic monster of a song.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2014 at 16:18
Soundgarden were often called "what Black Sabbath would have sounded like, if they Incorporated odd-time signatures"
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