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Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath CD (album) cover

SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH

Black Sabbath

 

Prog Related

4.12 | 773 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Who are you? Well, Rick Wakeman actually!

Recorded in 1973, "Sabbath bloody Sabbath" represents a minor turning point for Black Sabbath. Here, they begin a two album drift taking them as close as they would come to prog, with the following "Sabotage" for me being a genuine prog album.

Back to "SbS" though, and although we have an unchanged line up, the presence of Rick Wakeman guesting on keyboards gives us an immediate indication that we can expect an element of refinement in the band's style. That expectation is confirmed loudest and clearest on "Who are you", where Wakeman's heavy synth tones dominate the song. The sound he creates here was still relatively novel at the time this album was released, and it's appearance on a track by a band who up until this point had been as predictable as Status Quo, raised many an eyebrow.

The album overall is not as radically different as "Who are you" might imply though, the distinctive riffs of Tony Iommi still dictating the overall mood. There is an emphasis on melody and a slightly softer edge to the album as a whole here which will make it more appealing to those who perceive the Sabs only as the band who made "Paranoid". The opening title track for example will surprise many with its more intricate structure and thoughtful arrangement. Later we have the fine balance of the acoustic instrumental "Fluff", named if I remember correctly after legendary DJ Alan "Fluff" Freeman, a man who did so much to promote prog and good music in general.

Like Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath have tended through the years to me misunderstood and conveniently labelled as simply being a band of heavy riffs and little else. Those with such a perception of the Sabs should try "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", they may be pleasantly surprised.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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