|Sabbath Bloody Sabbath|
|Studio album by|
|Released||1 December 1973|
|Studio||Morgan Studios (Studio 4), London, England|
|Black Sabbath chronology|
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the fifth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in December 1973. It was produced by the band and recorded at Morgan Studios in London in September 1973.
Following Black Sabbath's 1972–1973 world tour in support of their album, Vol. 4 , the group returned to Los Angeles to begin work on its successor. Pleased with Vol. 4, the band sought to recreate the recording atmosphere, and returned to the Record Plant Studios. The band rented a house in Bel Air and began writing in the summer of 1973 but, due in part to substance abuse and fatigue, were unable to complete any songs. "Ideas weren't coming out the way they were on Vol. 4 and we really got discontent," guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi said. "Everybody was sitting there waiting for me to come up with something. I just couldn't think of anything. And if I didn't come up with anything, nobody would do anything."In 2013, bassist Geezer Butler told Mojo magazine that after the tour in support of Vol. 4 the band was "absolutely, completely exhausted" and by the time they played the Hollywood Bowl, "Tony collapsed. It was really touch-and-go at one point whether he'd survive or not because he was totally depleted. So we had to cancel the rest of the tour and we actually took time off for the first time since the band started. We got away from each other and had a social life. Then we came back together to start on the next album, and couldn't come up with anything." In his autobiography I Am Ozzy , singer Ozzy Osbourne states that in the time leading up to the Hollywood Bowl "Tony had been doing coke literally for days – we all had, but Tony had gone over the edge. I mean, that stuff just twists your whole idea of reality. You start seeing things that aren't there. And Tony was gone. Near the end of the gig he walked off stage and collapsed." Regarding his writer's block, Iommi admitted to Phil Alexander in 2013, "I panicked because I didn't have a single idea about what to write. It might have been the drugs, it could have been the pressure, but either way I felt it was my fault." The band were also disappointed to discover that the room they had used previously at the Record Plant had been replaced with a "giant synthesizer" by Stevie Wonder, who had recently recorded there.
After a month in Los Angeles with no results, the band opted to return to the UK, where they rented Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, in which the likes of Led Zeppelin, Mott the Hoople and Deep Purple wrote and recorded. The medieval surroundings may have revitalised the band musically, but also left a sinister impression; in the liner notes to the 1998 live album Reunion, Iommi recalls, "We rehearsed in the armoury there and one night I was walking down the corridor with Ozzy and we saw this figure in a black cloak ... We followed this figure back into the armoury and there was absolutely no one there. Whoever it was had disappeared into thin air! The people that owned the castle knew all about this ghost and they said, 'Oh yes, that's the ghost of so and so. We were like 'What!?'" Adds Butler: "We rehearsed in the dungeons and it was really creepy but it had some atmosphere, it conjured up things, and stuff started coming out again". While working in the dungeon, Iommi stumbled onto the main riff of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", which set the tone for the new material. In 2001 Butler admitted to Dan Epstein of Guitar World, "We almost thought that we were finished as a band ... Once Tony came out with the initial riff for 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' we went 'We're baaaack!'" The spooky atmosphere at Clearwell Castle perfectly complemented the band's practice of playing practical jokes on one another. In the documentary Black Sabbath, Volume 1: 1970–1978 Iommi recalls, "I've got to be honest, we frightened the life out of each other. We had to leave in the end, everybody terrified of each other because we were playing jokes on each other and nobody knew who was doing it... We used to leave and drive all the way home and drive back the next day. It was really silly." In his autobiography Osbourne cracks, "We weren't so much the Lords of Darkness as the Lords of Chickenshit when it came to that kind of thing ... We wound each other up so much none of us got any sleep. You'd just lie there with your eyes wide open, expecting an empty suit of armour to walk into your bedroom at any second to shove a dagger up your arse." Osbourne also writes that he nearly burned the castle down one night when he fell asleep with his boot in the fire. Osbourne said that when it came to the shenanigans Bill Ward typically "got the worst of it", with the drummer eventually going to bed at night with a dagger.
Although the band's then-manager Patrick Meehan received credit as co-producer, Iommi said years later that Meehan had virtually no actual involvement in the album's production, saying "Meehan's ego got involved, and he stuck his name down as producer".Recording was completed at Morgan Studios in Willesden, North London in 1973. Keyboardist Rick Wakeman of the band Yes (who were recording Tales from Topographic Oceans in the next studio) was brought in as a session player, appearing on "Sabbra Cadabra". Wakeman refused payment from the band and was ultimately compensated with beer for his contribution. Allom used phasing effects at the end of "Sabbra Cadabra" to conceal Osbourne's foul language. The members of Led Zeppelin, close friends of the band from their early days in Birmingham, showed up at the studio during Sabbath Bloody Sabbath's recording. Drummer John Bonham was eager to play on "Sabbra Cadabra" but Sabbath preferred to play material other than their own for the occasion. In the end, the two bands had an improvised jam session which was recorded but never released.
Osbourne has said that Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was "the beginning of the end" for Black Sabbath's original line-up.In 2013, the singer elaborated to Mojo, "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was really the album after which I should have said goodbye because after that I really started unravelling. Then we ended up falling out of favour with each other." Fuelled by rampant drug and alcohol use within the band, tensions began to mount. Iommi began to resent doing the lion's share of songwriting and studio work, thus having no social life. Bassist Butler also began complaining that vocalist Osbourne had become too reliant on him for lyrics.
Building on the stylistic changes introduced on Vol. 4, new songs incorporated synthesizers, strings, keyboards and more complex arrangements. Iommi experimented with sitar and bagpipes in the studio but was not able to master the instruments to his satisfaction.The lyrics also delved into new areas, with Mojo opining in 2013, "The title track led into an expansive set as Butler's lyrics contemplated the mysteries of birth and DNA in 'A National Acrobat' and "Spiral Architect', respectively." "'A National Acrobat' was just me thinking about who selects what sperm gets through to the egg", Butler explained in the liner notes to Reunion in 1998. "'Spiral Architect' was about life's experiences being added to a person's DNA to create a unique individual. I used to get very contemplative on certain substances. I still do, but without those substances." In his autobiography Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, Iommi reveals that the initial riff for "A National Acrobat" was written by Butler, to which the guitarist "added bits to it. Geezer can write some great stuff." According to the book How Black Was Our Sabbath, the band invited an orchestra to play on 'Spiral Architect' "but couldn't cram all of the musicians and their instruments into Morgan Studios. They ended up at the nearby Pye Studio along the road, with Ozzy trying to explain what he wanted them to play like some sort of mad conductor. He had no written music to give the orchestra, he just hummed the part and they picked it up."
Osbourne purchased a Moog synthesizer; though he "didn't know how to use it" according to Iommi, he was still able to compose the song "Who Are You?" with it.In his memoir Osbourne states, "I'd written it one night at Bulrush Cottage while I was loaded and fiddling around with a Revox tape machine and my ARP 2600." The singer also writes that Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was "Our last truly great album, I think... And with the music we'd managed to strike just the right balance between our old heaviness and our new, 'experimental' side." "Killing Yourself to Live" was a Butler composition written while he was in hospital for kidney problems caused by heavy drinking. Ward was also drinking heavily, and the song reflects the problems caused by their "extreme" lifestyles. An early incarnation of the song can be heard on the live albums Live at Last and Past Lives . The instrumental "Fluff" was composed by Iommi and named after BBC radio disc jockey Alan "Fluff" Freeman. Freeman was one of the few radio personalities in Britain to play Sabbath's music on-air.
Drew Struzan (who would later create the cover to Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare LP) was the artist requested to do the cover painting, under the direction of Pacific Eye & Ear's Ernie Cefalu. The idea behind the artwork was to depict a man dying a horrible death on the front cover, and on the back cover the same man dying a "good" death. It depicts a man on a bed, seemingly having a nightmare or a vision of being attacked by demons in human form. At the top of the bed is a large skull with long, outstretched arms and 666 (the Number of the Beast) written below it. The other side of the album features the opposite of the front cover, as shown here. Inside the gatefold sleeve there is a photo of the band members shown over a photo of a bedroom. In his autobiography Osbourne enthuses, "I fucking loved that cover." The Sabbath Bloody Sabbath artwork continued the Sabbath tradition of offering provocative covers; in a 1992 Guitar World interview Metallica singer and guitarist James Hetfield recalled, "I discovered Black Sabbath by digging through my older brother's record collection. Their album covers really drew me in. I immediately thought, 'I gotta put this on.' And when I did, I couldn't believe it. It was like, 'Whoa! Heavy as shit.' Sabbath was everything that the Sixties weren't. Their music was so cool because it was completely anti-hippie. I hated the Beatles, Jethro Tull, Love and all that other happy shit."
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||4/10|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
Black Sabbath released Sabbath Bloody Sabbath on 1 December 1973. For the first time in their career, the band began to receive favourable reviews in the mainstream press, with Rolling Stone calling the album "an extraordinarily gripping affair", and "nothing less than a complete success".Later reviewers such as AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia cite the album as "a masterpiece, essential to any heavy metal collection", while also displaying "a newfound sense of finesse and maturity". The album marked the band's fifth consecutive platinum selling album in the United States. It reached number four on the UK charts, and number eleven in the US. In the UK, it was the first Black Sabbath album to attain Silver certification (60,000 units sold) by the British Phonographic Industry, achieving this in February 1975. The album would go on to be regarded in high esteem by the band members themselves; when asked by Guitar for the Practicing Musician in 1994 which songs he would like to see on the upcoming Black Sabbath box set, Butler replied, "Probably anything off of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The song "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" itself. It was a whole new era for us. We felt really open on that album. It was a great atmosphere, good time, great coke! Just like a new birth for me. We had done the first four albums and done it that way. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was like Part Two of your life. It was a weird feeling; a good feeling." In his memoir, Iommi calls the album "the pinnacle."
The song "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" has been singled out for praise by many hard rock and heavy metal guitar players, with Slash from Guns N' Roses stating to Guitar World in 2008, "The outro to 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' is the heaviest shit I have ever heard in my life. To this day, I haven't heard anything as heavy that has as much soul." Brent Hinds of Mastodon agrees, telling Nick Bowcott in 2008, "The 'dreams turn to nightmares, Heaven turns to Hell' riff at the end of that song is unbeatable." Kirk Hammett of Metallica cites "Killing Yourself to Live" as his favourite Black Sabbath song, revealing in the Holiday 2008 issue of Guitar World that "A lot of people gravitate toward the album's title track, 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath', but for me this is the stand out cut on the album."
All songs by Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.
|1.||"Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"||5:45|
|2.||"A National Acrobat"||6:16|
|5.||"Killing Yourself to Live"||5:41|
|6.||"Who Are You?"||4:11|
|7.||"Looking for Today"||5:06|
The initial Castle Communications CD release from 1986 (NELCD 6017) also featured a live version of "Cornucopia" from Live at Last as a bonus track. The subsequent Castle CD release (CLACD 201) returned to the original track list.
|Chart (1974)||Peak |
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||49|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||6|
|UK Albums (OCC)||4|
|US Billboard 200||11|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Black Sabbath were an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. They 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 following Osbourne's departure in 1979, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.
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.
Never Say Die! is the eighth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in September 1978. It was the last studio album with the band's original lineup and the last studio album to feature original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne until the 2013 album 13. It was certified Gold in the U.S on 7 November 1997 and as of November 2011 sold 133,000 copies in the United States since the SoundScan era. The album received mixed reviews, with critics calling it "unbalanced" and insisting its energy was scattered in too many directions.
Master of Reality is the third studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on 21 July 1971. It is regarded by some critics as the foundation of doom metal, stoner rock, and sludge metal. It was certified double platinum after having sold over 2 million copies.
Black Sabbath is the debut studio album by the English rock band Black Sabbath. Released on 13 February 1970 in the United Kingdom and on 1 June 1970 in the United States, the album reached number eight on the UK Albums Charts and number 23 on the Billboard charts. Black Sabbath is widely considered the first heavy metal album. Additionally, the opening track of the album, "Black Sabbath", has been referred to as the first doom metal song.
Sabotage is the sixth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in July 1975. It was recorded in the midst of litigation with their former manager Patrick Meehan and the stress that resulted from the band's ongoing legal woes infiltrated the recording process, inspiring the album's title. It was co-produced by guitarist Tony Iommi and Mike Butcher.
Vol. 4 is the fourth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in September 1972. It was the first album by Black Sabbath not produced by Rodger Bain; guitarist Tony Iommi assumed production duties. Patrick Meehan, the band's then-manager, was listed as co-producer, though his actual involvement in the album's production was minimal.
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.
Mob Rules is the tenth studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in November 1981. It followed 1980's Heaven and Hell, and it was the second and last Black Sabbath studio album to feature lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio until the 1992 album Dehumanizer.
Live Evil is the first official live album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. The previously released Live at Last (1980) was not sanctioned by the band. Live Evil peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.
William Thomas Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer of the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He also performed lead vocals on two Black Sabbath songs: "It's Alright" from the album Technical Ecstasy and "Swinging the Chain" from the album Never Say Die!.
Technical Ecstasy is the seventh studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, produced by guitarist Tony Iommi and released in September 1976. The album was certified Gold on 19 June 1997 and peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200 Album chart.
Reunion is a live album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released on 20 October 1998. As implied by the title, the album features a reunion of the original Black Sabbath lineup of vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. The album represents the first new release featuring that version of the group since 1978's Never Say Die! and Osbourne's subsequent firing the following year. Black Sabbath received their first ever Grammy Award in 2000 for the live recording of "Iron Man" taken from Reunion.
Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970–1978 is a collection of the first eight albums by the heavy metal band and a DVD of 4 videos. The set contains the albums recorded with original singer Ozzy Osbourne, who was fired in 1979 after completion of the band's Never Say Die! tour. This marked the end of the group's original line-up that featured Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. All eight albums are digitally remastered and repackaged in mock vinyl LP packaging, including an 80-page booklet with liner notes written by Henry Rollins, Chris Welch, and Brian Ives. The discs included in the set are as follows:
The Best of Black Sabbath is a double CD compilation album by Black Sabbath released in 2000 on the Sanctuary Records label. Its 32 songs are presented chronologically from the band's first 11 albums, spanning the years 1970 to 1983. Black Sabbath's classic six-album run, from 1970s debut Black Sabbath through 1975's Sabotage is celebrated with three to six songs from each album. Original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne's subsequent final two albums with the band, 1976's Technical Ecstasy and 1978's Never Say Die!, are represented by one and two songs, respectively. Replacement Ronnie James Dio's early 80's stint fronting the band on two albums is acknowledged with the title track of 1980's Heaven and Hell and a track from 1981's The Mob Rules. The compilation closes with a song from 1983's attempted rebirth, Born Again, former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's sole album with the band. The Best of Black Sabbath does not include any later material with vocalists Glenn Hughes, Tony Martin (1986–96) or the returning Dio.
This box set includes all songs from Black Sabbath's first six albums, excluding the songs without vocals.
"Symptom of the Universe" is a song by the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, from their 1975 album Sabotage. The song was an early influence on the development of thrash metal.
"After Forever" is a song by English rock band Black Sabbath. The song was released on their third studio album Master of Reality in 1971, and later the same year it had been released as the first single from the album, but failed to chart anywhere. The lyrics were written by Geezer Butler while the music was written by Tony Iommi.
The Collection is a compilation album released by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath in 1992. The album was released on the label Castle, who released two CD versions of this album in the UK, both with the same cover art and songs. The album includes greatest songs of Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne prior to his dismissal in 1979, from the eponymous album to Never Say Die!. The album has 15 tracks, two from Black Sabbath, two from Paranoid, one from Master of Reality, two from Black Sabbath Vol. 4, two from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, two from Sabotage, two from Technical Ecstasy and two from Never Say Die!.
The End is an extended play by English rock band Black Sabbath, and is their final release as a band. It was released on 20 January 2016. The exclusive, limited-edition CD was only available for purchase at tour dates for their final tour The End Tour. The first half of the album is leftover tracks from the 13 sessions, and the second half is live tracks recorded on tour between 2013 and 2014.