Fairies Wear Boots

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"Fairies Wear Boots"
Song by Black Sabbath
from the album Paranoid
A-side "After Forever"
Released18 September 1970
Recorded1970
Genre Heavy metal [1]
Length6:14
Label Vertigo
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Rodger Bain

"Fairies Wear Boots" is a song by the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, from their 1970 album Paranoid . It was released in 1971 as the B-side to "After Forever".

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

<i>Paranoid</i> (album) 1970 studio album by Black Sabbath

Paranoid is the second studio album by the English rock band Black Sabbath. Released in September 1970, it was the band's only LP to top the UK Albums Chart until the release of 13 in 2013. Paranoid contains several of the band's signature songs, including "Iron Man", "War Pigs" and the title track, which was the band's only Top 20 hit, reaching number 4 in the UK charts. It is often cited as an influential album in the development of heavy metal music.

Contents

Composition

In the 2010 documentary film Classic Albums: Black Sabbath's Paranoid, the band's bassist Geezer Butler states the music was inspired by the band's encounter with skinheads, who are the "fairies" in the song. [2]

<i>Classic Albums</i> film

Classic Albums is a British documentary series about pop, rock and heavy metal albums that are considered the best or most distinctive of a well-known band or musician or that exemplify a stage in the history of music.

Geezer Butler English musician, bassist and lyricist of Black Sabbath

Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler is an English musician and songwriter. Butler is best known as the bassist and primary lyricist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He has also recorded and performed with Heaven & Hell, GZR, and Ozzy Osbourne. He currently serves as bassist of Deadland Ritual.

Skinhead member of a subculture that originated among working class youths in London

The skinhead subculture originated among working class youths in London, England in the 1960s and soon spread to other parts of the United Kingdom, with a second working class skinhead movement emerging worldwide in the 1980s. Motivated by social alienation and working class solidarity, skinheads are defined by their close-cropped or shaven heads and working-class clothing such as Dr. Martens and steel toe work boots, braces, high rise and varying length straight-leg jeans, and button-down collar shirts, usually slim fitting in check or plain. The movement reached a peak during the 1960s, experienced a revival in the 1980s, and, since then, has endured in multiple contexts worldwide.

However, in the 2004 release of Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970–1978) , Tony Iommi states the title was inspired from an incident when Butler and singer Ozzy Osbourne were smoking cannabis and saw fairies in boots running around a park, [3] and not from an encounter with skinheads. [4] In Ozzy Osbourne's autobiography I Am Ozzy he stated he does not know what the song is about, but everybody told him he wrote the lyrics. Per an interview with the band on AXS TV's show Classic Albums, the song was about skinheads.[ citation needed ]

Tony Iommi British guitarist

Anthony Frank Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. He was lead guitarist and one of the four founding members of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was the band's primary composer and sole continual member for nearly five decades.

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne is an English singer, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, during which he adopted the nickname "The Prince of Darkness". Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and helped record the group’s final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city, Birmingham, England, in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".

<i>I Am Ozzy</i> book

I Am Ozzy is the autobiography of Ozzy Osbourne, vocalist of Black Sabbath and solo singer. It chronicles his life, beginning as a child, followed by his career as a vocalist. The book was widely praised by its readers for its level of detail, and humor. It currently holds a 4.6/5 rating on Amazon.com.

On US copies of the album, the intro to the song was entitled "Jack the Stripper". [5]

Versions

An earlier version of "Fairies Wear Boots", taken from a session for the BBC's John Peel Sunday Show dated April 26, 1970, is on the bonus disc of the Ozzy Osbourne release The Ozzman Cometh .

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

John Peel English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft,, known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004.

<i>The Ozzman Cometh</i> 1997 compilation album by Ozzy Osbourne

The Ozzman Cometh is a compilation album by British heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne released in 1997. It is his third greatest hits collection. Its initial, limited edition 2-CD pressing contained five previously unreleased songs. Versions released in 2002 and later have only one disc, and the song "Shot in the Dark" is replaced by "Miracle Man". This was due to a legal action brought about by the song's co-writer, Phil Soussan, for unpaid royalties.

The song also appears on the band's first compilation album, We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll .

<i>We Sold Our Soul for Rock n Roll</i> 1975 compilation album by Black Sabbath

We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll is a compilation album by Black Sabbath, originally released on 1 December 1975 in the UK and then on 3 February 1976 in the U.S.

Personnel

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References

  1. Chris Nickson (3 August 2002). Ozzy Knows Best: The Amazing Story of Ozzy Osbourne, from Heavy Metal Madness to Father of the Year on MTV's "The Osbournes". St. Martin's Press. p. 102. ISBN   978-1-4299-5452-5.
  2. Classic Albums - Paranoid, by Isis Productions/Eagle Rock Entertainment
  3. Black Sabbath Black Box Original Black Sabbath
  4. Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978)
  5. As noted on the labels of early North American Warner Bros. Records pressings of Paranoid, (catalog no. WS 1887), released January 1971.