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Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.12 | 771 ratings

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4 stars "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" is often considered Black Sabbath at their most progressive. It's not an opinion that I'm on board with. Black Sabbath were innovative from the beginning. Their eponymous 1st album definitely did not sound like most popular music at the time! For the sake of comparison, I checked the Billboard magazine website. The top 3 "Hot Singles" of 1970 were by Simon & Garfunkel, The Carpenters, and The Guess Who. None of the top 10 were by hard rock bands. "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" shows the band at close to their best, so I will give this album 4 stars.

Let's talk about the good stuff, which incorporates most of the album. I love "Looking for Today", which seems to be about life in the spotlight. "Killing Yourself to Live", which seems to be about fame, or drug use (or both?), is also excellent. One of the strong points of early Black Sabbath is the lyrics. Ozzy Osbourne can write, besides being one of the best rock singers on the planet! "Fluff" is a lovely instrumental. "Sabbra Cadabra" is a fine blues-inspired track; the lyrics are mediocre love song material. I also don't care for the synths on "Who Are You?", and they produce most of the musical material in the song.

The inclusion of Rick Wakeman, as talented as he obviously is, doesn't make an album progressive. I do enjoy the use of mellotron on this album. However, being musically progressive has to do with innovation, not with whatever instruments a band is using. "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" includes some of the band's best songs IMO. I don't think this album quite competes with Black Sabbath's earlier records, so I can't give it the final star. It's still top drawer material, by one of the most important bands in hard rock and progressive music history.

thwok | 4/5 |


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