Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Black Sabbath
Album : Black Sabbath (Debut 1970)
Released : February 13, 1970
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Pioneering Records Of Heavy Metal Music)
It was 47 years ago Today :
You can leave it to the music historians to decide when the official birth of Heavy Metal was. That being said you can’t deny that the genre would now be a genuine force with the release of the first Black Sabbath album. At the time it was released no one knew what to think of it. It’s not even the first album that the term “Heavy Metal” was used. (The band’s Humble Pie, and Sir Lord Baltimore would have the first two albums described with that label.) Over the years though it would become the official introduction. Imagine what the band thought while they were recording the album. Actually, probably nothing. The whole thing was recorded in under twelve hours, for just a few thousand dollars. When they finished recording they were given a few hundred dollars each at the end of the day, which they would spend at the pub. Little did they, or the record company realize what had just happened. That in one day music would change forever, and Ozzy, Tony, Geezer, and Bill would be considered musical pioneers years later.
Think about this for a minute. Imagine what it was like on this day in 1970 to not only see this album in a record shop, but then buy and play it for the first time. To hear the first thirty seconds alone of the first song also titled “Black Sabbath”. Hear the sound of rain, the ringing of a bell, then a very dark, and scary guitar sound. That sound alone would scare the hell out of anyone. It almost seems like fate. After all, the reason the guitar sounded like that was because of Tony missing the tips of his two middle right fingers. He would have to use caps over his fingers to play the strings, but he soon realized that this gave his guitar a much heavier sound than before. That would become the sound of Heavy Metal.
Sabbath would take the sound of British Blues, and make it sound louder, heavier, and darker. That was their intention all along. They hated especially what was going on in America with the whole “Peace And Love” movement. They couldn’t relate to that living in Birmingham England with a future most likely working in the steel mills. They wanted to paint a true picture of where they had come from. And that picture was anything but bright and happy. They loved that everything about them scared everyone, and actually started early on associated them with the occult. Which nothing was further from the truth. As Geezer Butler stated many times since he wrote the lyrics that “most of the subject matter was actually against the occult, or painting it in a negative way.”
When the album was released the critics trashed it, and said they would be forgotten in just a few years. But surprisingly the album made the top 10 in the UK, and actually sold pretty well. This new type of music would go on to influence a whole new generation of musicians. Some of which would soon join Sabbath in the genre. There are very few bands, and albums that can’t boast that the single handedly changed the path of music forever. Sabbath can make that boast, because even though there were other Heavy guitar driven bands at the time, none of them had all of the elements that Sabbath did. It’s shocking when you think of this debut album being 47 years old now (even a year older than me) because you can play it right now, and it would still scare the hell out of most people. That’s what Heavy Metal is all about folks. This record is certainly responsible for bringing it to the masses. From this point onward music was never the same.
All songs credited to Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne, except noted.
“Black Sabbath” – 6:20
“The Wizard” – 4:24
“Behind the Wall of Sleep” – 3:37
“N.I.B.” – 6:08
“Evil Woman” (L.Weigand, R.Weigand , Waggoner) – 3:25
“Sleeping Village” – 3:46
“The Warning” (Dunbar/Hickling/Moreshead/Dmochowski) – 10:28