War Pigs

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"War Pigs"
Song by Black Sabbath
from the album Paranoid
Released18 September 1970 (1970-09-18)
Genre Heavy metal [1]
Length7:58
Label Vertigo
Songwriter(s) Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward
Producer(s) Rodger Bain
Audio sample
"War Pigs"

"War Pigs" is a song by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It is the opening track from their 1970 album Paranoid .

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, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, 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.

Album collection of recorded music, words, sounds

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at ​33 13 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.

Contents

Overview

The original title of "War Pigs" was "Walpurgis", dealing with the witches' sabbath. [2] [3] "Walpurgis is sort of like Christmas for Satanists. And to me, war was the big Satan", said bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler. "It wasn’t about politics or government or anything. It was Evil itself. So I was saying 'generals gathered in the masses / just like witches at black masses' to make an analogy. But when we brought it to the record company, they thought 'Walpurgis' sounded too Satanic. And that's when we turned it into 'War Pigs'. But we didn't change the lyrics, because they were already finished." [4] Prior to its official release, the band often altered the lyrics significantly when performing it live. [5] An example of this can be found on Ozzy Osbourne's compilation The Ozzman Cometh , which features an early version recorded by Black Sabbath for BBC Radio 1 on 26 April 1970. [6] While Butler has said that "War Pigs" is "totally against the Vietnam War, about how these rich politicians and rich people start all the wars for their benefit and get all the poor people to die for them", [7] vocalist Osbourne has stated that the group "knew nothing about Vietnam. It's just an anti-war song." [8] The song's instrumental outro is entitled "Luke's Wall" on US releases of the album. [9]

Walpurgis Night Germanic festival celebrating the start of summer

Walpurgis Night, an abbreviation of Saint Walpurgis Night, also known as Saint Walpurga's Eve, is the eve of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Francia, and is celebrated on the night of 30 April and the day of 1 May. This feast commemorates the canonization of Saint Walpurga and the movement of her relics to Eichstätt, both of which occurred on 1 May 870.

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 with Heaven & Hell, GZR, and Ozzy Osbourne.

A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, often a state.

Drummer Bill Ward's first memory of performing the song was at The Beat Club in Switzerland in 1968. [7] The band was required to play multiple sets every night and had little material in their repertoire at that point, so they would perform lengthy jam sessions to fill in the sets. [2] Iommi has said that "War Pigs" originated from one of those jam sessions. [10]

Bill Ward (musician) English musician

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!. Ward is known for his very unorthodox style of playing the drums, often using snare-drills and tempo-drop to match both vocals and riff.

Switzerland federal republic in Western Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.

Jam session

A jam session is a relatively informal musical event, process, or activity where musicians, typically instrumentalists, play improvised solos and vamp on tunes, songs and chord progressions. To "jam" is to improvise music without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements, except for when the group is playing well-known jazz standards or covers of existing popular songs. Original jam sessions, also 'free flow sessions', are often used by musicians to develop new material (music) and find suitable arrangements. Both styles can be used simply as a social gathering and communal practice session. Jam sessions may be based upon existing songs or forms, may be loosely based on an agreed chord progression or chart suggested by one participant, or may be wholly improvisational. Jam sessions can range from very loose gatherings of amateurs to evenings where a jam session coordinator or host acts as a "gatekeeper" to ensure that only appropriate-level performers take the stage, to sophisticated improvised recording sessions by professionals which are intended to be broadcast live on radio or TV or edited and released to the public.

The addition of the air-raid siren and the speeding up of the song's end were done by producer Rodger Bain and engineer Tom Allom. The band had no input in these decisions, though they were pleased with the results. [2]

Civil defense siren siren used to provide emergency population warning

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Rodger Bain is a former British record producer, known for producing heavy metal albums by bands such as Black Sabbath, Budgie and Judas Priest in the 70s.

Thomas James Allom is an English sound engineer and record producer best known for his work in the 1970s and 1980s but enjoying a resurgence in the late 2010s with his work with Judas Priest and a variety of new artists. He is best-known for his work on seminal albums by Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Kix, and Rough Cutt.

Legacy

Martin Popoff has called the song an "ugly, antiwar classic now considered one of Sabbath's top two or three most enduring compositions". [5] Guitar World described the song as "the greatest HM song ever." [8] The magazine also included the song on their list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" and ranked it in 56th place. [11] Steve Huey of AllMusic called the song a "standard". [12]

<i>Guitar World</i> magazine

Guitar World is a monthly music magazine devoted to guitarists, published since July 1980. It contains original interviews, album and gear reviews, and guitar and bass tablature of approximately five songs each month. The magazine is published 13 times per year. Formerly owned by Harris Publications, Future US bought the magazine in 2003. In 2012, NewBay Media bought the Music division of Future US. The latter company also published a spin-off title, Guitar Legends, each issue of which typically combined past articles from Guitar World under a specific theme. The first Guitar Legends was on Eddie Van Halen. In 2018, Future acquired NewBay Media, returning Guitar World to Future US.

AllMusic online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

In music, a standard is a musical composition of established popularity, considered part of the "standard repertoire" of one or several genres. Even though the standard repertoire of a given genre consists of a dynamic and partly subjective set of songs, these can be identified by having been performed or recorded by a variety of musical acts, often with different arrangements. In addition, standards are extensively quoted by other works and commonly serve as the basis for musical improvisation. Standards may "cross over" from one genre's repertoire to another's; for example, many jazz standards have entered the pop repertoire, and many blues standards have entered the rock repertoire.

The song is notable for its publication in the American folk music magazine Broadside , which normally did not feature rock songs. [13]

Broadside magazine was a small mimeographed publication founded in 1962 by Agnes "Sis" Cunningham and her husband, Gordon Friesen. Hugely influential in the folk-revival, it was often controversial. Issues of what is folk music, what is folk rock, and who is folk were roundly discussed and debated. At the same time, Broadside nurtured and promoted important singers of the era.

The song's iconic guitar riff largely inspired that of Arctic Monkeys' 2014 single "Arabella", to the extent that the band often perform an interlude of the song, to enable front man Alex Turner to pick up his guitar in time for his solo. [14]

Personnel

See also

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References

  1. William Irwin (18 September 2012). Black Sabbath and Philosophy: Mastering Reality. John Wiley & Sons. p. 202. ISBN   978-1-118-39761-9.
  2. 1 2 3 Iommi, Tony (2011). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Da Capo Press. ISBN   978-0-30681-9551.
  3. Alexander, Phil (1998). Reunion (Media notes). Black Sabbath. Epic.
  4. Wiederhorn, Jon. "Black Sabbath Bassist Geezer Butler Gets 'Paranoid'". Noisecreep . Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  5. 1 2 Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. p. 32. ISBN   1-55022-731-9.
  6. The Ozzman Cometh liner notes, Epic Records, 11 November 1997.
  7. 1 2 Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. p. 33. ISBN   1-55022-731-9.
  8. 1 2 Clerk, Carol (2002). Diary of a Madman: Ozzy Osbourne: The Stories Behind the Songs. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 25. ISBN   978-1-56025-4720.
  9. As noted on the labels of early North American Warner Bros. Records pressings of Paranoid, (catalog no. WS 1887), released January 1971.
  10. Orshoski, Wes (2 November 2002). "Rhino Bows Sabbath Fete with Two-Disc Anthology". Billboard .
  11. "100 Greatest Guitar Solos: 51-100". Guitar World . Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  12. Huey, Steve. "Allmusic (((Paranoid > Overview)))". AllMusic . Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  13. Kelly, John (11 November 2000). "Delivering a radical broadside". The Irish Times . Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  14. Aldo Vásquez (30 May 2014). "Arctic Monkeys - Arabella & War Pigs (Black Sabbath) @ Austin City Limits 2013" . Retrieved 9 April 2018 via YouTube.