Tribute: Black Sabbath with Ozzy - Wishevoke

Tribute: Black Sabbath with Ozzy

Black Sabbath. Just hearing the name of the top band in the galaxy gives me goosebumps. This year marks 35 years since Sabs began their career with their self-titled debut. It’s no small thing to get up and fill stadiums wherever you go for so many years. This homage to our favorite band is intended to remind us of moments from Black Sabbath’s first and, in our opinion, best period. We’re talking, of course, about the time when the band consisted of John Michael Osbourne, Frank Anthony Iommi, William Ward and Terence Butler (cross yourselves, unbelievers). Amen.

We are somewhere in 1968. Ozzy and Geezer were looking for a drummer, which they found in the person of Bill Ward, who brought Tony Iommi with him. These four young people decide to form a band which they call The Polka Tulk Blues Band. There was poverty in industrial Birmingham at the time and music seemed to be a very good outlet for our four boys. So simply began the story of a band destined to change the musical landscape like few others had managed to do before. They say you can’t escape your fate, and the Sabs guitarist must have felt that in his own skin. Tony was born for greatness and not even the cutting machine at the factory where he worked could stop him, even though he lost his fingertips. But physical disabilities were no obstacle for Tony (nor were they for the great guitarist Dwango Reinhardt).

Proof of this is Ian Anderson’s invitation to play guitar in Tull. Iommi accepted Jethro Tull’s invitation, but soon realized that his artistic concerns did not align with Ian’s and returned to the Sabs, with whom he would become productive.

Ward suggested renaming the band Earth, and that’s what happened. They began playing live everywhere, particularly in the south of England. The jazz trumpeter Jim Simpson organized various live shows for them and took over the leadership of the band. This was also the man who gave Earth the initial push it needed. It also influenced her musically, which is evident in “Evil Woman” and “Wicked World.”

However, in 1969, the band discovered that there was another group with the same name and changed their name to Black Sabbath, in reference to a pre-war Italian horror film preceded by Boris Karloff. The next step is to sign a contract with Vertigo through the independent Tony Hall Enterprises. Well, what was left was simply recording a record. How difficult can such a process be? Just to mention that Black Sabbath’s first album was recorded in three days and cost £600. And to make the comparison, let’s also mention that the scriptures emphasize that God created the world in a week. But God didn’t listen to the blues, so it’s obvious why he falls short in comparison. The Sabs learned the basic principles of blues in the early years of their career, which they built upon to create a new type of music that no one had ever tried before. Deep Purple were rockier, Led Zeppelin were in a class of their own, Cream and Blue Cheer played hard (and very well) but were the first to play so hard, dark and electric and managed to incorporate the dirt of England into their music . it was Black Sabbath, of course.

“Black Sabbath”:

“What is that that stands in front of me, a figure in black pointing at me…”, “Foggy morning, clouds in the sky, without warning a magician passes by…”, “Some people say my love can’t come true “…” How many of you haven’t sung these lyrics? The truth is that when you listen to Black Sabbath’s first album, you enter a whole new world, even though you have no idea what exactly coming towards you. The eerie bells that prepare you for a sound experience that will change your life once and for all rang for the first time on Friday, February 13, 1970. Three such tones for the beginning, lyrics and vocal performance, the draw you in. And after 4 minutes and 34 seconds the revelation comes, the tempo quickens and…it becomes heavy metal. And as you wonder what happened, your harmonica starts the beat before you even Being able to say “The Magician.” Now you stop struggling and just stand there speechless in front of the music. While in “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” one admires the band’s ability to build tracks on riffs and enrich the scene with angelic (or satanic if you prefer) melodies that seem mesmerized by the tempo changes is the intro “NIB” explodes, haunting every man who gets his hands on a bass ever since. Oh yeah! “Evil Woman”, “Sleeping Village”, “Warning” (where Iommi shows he can’t sunbathe… ), “Wicked World” are titles that gave a different meaning to the term hard rock and represent the beginning of a new musical movement.

Sabbath’s second album that same year ended up being titled Paranoid, although it was originally going to be called Walpurgis (also known as The Witches Sabbath). “Walpurgis” became “War Pigs” (with different lyrics), but partly due to the commercial success of the single “Paranoid” (which reached number 4 in the charts) and partly due to Warner’s desire to keep the UM out of the American audience To evoke bad memories of the war, the album was renamed. “Paranoid” was recorded in July and released in September, with a slightly “fuzzy” paranoid soldier on the cover (a cover intended for the original track). Lyrically there are political references to the Vietnam War (“War Pigs”), but also to drugs (“Hand Of Doom”, “Fairies Wear Boots”), which had finally found their way into the lives of the four young people from Aston.

Musically, the record is grounded in the seriousness of Black Sabbath, but the band’s evolution (a key feature of their music) is evident. The monolithic riffs that dominated their debut are here, but with a completely different essence. The structure of the pieces has become more compact, but without this coming at the expense of improvisation and fantasy. And how could that be when “Paranoid,” which legend has it was written in less than 5 minutes, is one of the most famous tracks in music history? If “Planet Caravan” is one of the few songs that doesn’t stop existing even when the sun goes down. Every time you hear “Iron Man,” your heart skips a beat, no matter how many times you’ve heard it. When the distorted beauty of “Electric Funeral” is the ideal soundtrack for the end of the world. Rat Salad is a musical whole made of flesh and bones, led by Bill Ward’s baguettes.

“Masters of Reality”:

1970 was undoubtedly a successful and eventful year for the band. At the beginning of the year, Sabs played a few live shows, which made them both better known on the other side of the Atlantic and more complete as musicians. Everyone was waiting for the band’s next step and quite a few Kassandras viewed Sabbath as a fireworks band. But the band from Birmingham hadn’t really started their musical career yet. “Master Of Reality” was released in July 1971 and is probably the heaviest album in music history. How easy it is to remember records whose riffs are more voluminous than those of “Sweet Leaf”, “Lord Of This World”, “Into The Void”, “Children Of The Grave” and also “After Forever” (in which Iommi’s spiritual concerns are expressed first). However, Sabbath could be anything but one-dimensional and tracks like “Orchid”, “Embryo”, “Solitude” show that creating an atmosphere is just as important as the seriousness of their sound. The production of the CD is unprecedented for the time and Roger Bain is certainly proud. The fact that most of the tracks on the CD were arranged by bands that are among the greats today (see Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Soundgarden, Corrosion Of Conformity, White Zombie) underlines the impact and importance of this special CD even more. In addition, we cannot fail to mention the modest but sufficiently descriptive cover of the CD, which is consistent with the general philosophy of this release.

“Volume 4”:
The band moves to California and rents a mansion in Bel Air (of course they destroyed it) to promote and produce their next album. Fourth album, hopefully for Sabs, titled “Vol.4” instead of “Snowblind” after Warner helped them out, to put it simply. Of course, the band doesn’t seem to be deterred at all, because the following sentence is included in the acceptance speech: “We would like to thank the great Coke-Cola company in Los Angeles.” The tours, the groupies, the consumption of alcohol and (many) drugs , writing new songs and recording them are slowly starting to weigh on the somewhat disoriented quartet. To understand exactly what we are talking about, let’s mention that the plate cost $65,000 and the drugs cost $75,000.

Sonically, the album is a step up from previous releases and marks the beginning of a new, more experimental phase for the group. The sweet melancholy that emerges here will be a central feature of the records that follow. With this album, Sabbath manages to harmoniously combine the heavy aesthetics of their first three albums with a sweeter and warmer approach. Ideal examples include the unimaginable “Under The Sun,” “Tommorows Dream,” and the autobiographical “Wheels Of Confusion,” which opens the album. But how can you not mention tracks like the doom paean “Cornucopia” or the all-time favorite “Snowblind”? How could one not praise the melodic “Laguna Sunrise” (written for the Californian beach of the same name), “Changes” in the tradition of “Planet Caravan” and “Solitude”? How can you not feel small when writing about hymns like “Supernaut” and “St.Vitus Dance”?

– Read it Secondly Part of the homage.

Christos Triantafyllopoulos

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