|Song by Black Sabbath|
|from the album Paranoid|
|Released||18 September 1970|
|Songwriter(s)||Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward|
"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 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.
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 1⁄3 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.
The original title of "War Pigs" was "Walpurgis", dealing with the witches' sabbath."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." Prior to its official release, the band often altered the lyrics significantly when performing it live. 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. 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", vocalist Osbourne has stated that the group "knew nothing about Vietnam. It's just an anti-war song." The song's instrumental outro is entitled "Luke's Wall" on US releases of the album.
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.
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.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. Iommi has said that "War Pigs" originated from one of those jam sessions.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Martin Popoff has called the song an "ugly, antiwar classic now considered one of Sabbath's top two or three most enduring compositions".Guitar World described the song as "the greatest HM song ever." The magazine also included the song on their list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" and ranked it in 56th place. Steve Huey of AllMusic called the song a "standard".
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Born Again is the 11th studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in August 1983. It is the only album the group recorded with lead vocalist Ian Gillan, best known for his work with Deep Purple. It was also the last Black Sabbath album for nine years to feature original bassist Geezer Butler, and the last to feature drummer Bill Ward until he played the studio tracks on their 1998 live album Reunion. The album has received mixed to negative reviews from critics, but it was a commercial success upon its 1983 release, reaching No. 4 in the UK charts. The album also hit the top 40 in the United States.
"Iron Man" is a song by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It is taken from their second studio album, Paranoid, released in 1970. It was later included on their initial greatest hits compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll (1976), as well as all subsequent greatest hits compilations; The single version was included on the Greatest Hits 1970–1978 album.
Reunion is a live album by heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It features the original line-up of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward: the four musicians' first recording together since the firing of Osbourne in 1979.
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:
"Black Sabbath" is a song by the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, written in 1969 and released on their self titled debut album. In 1970, it was released as a four-track 12-inch single, with "The Wizard" also on the A-side and "Evil Woman" and "Sleeping Village" on B-side, on the Philips Records label Vertigo.
"The Wizard" is a song by the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, taken from their 1970 album Black Sabbath. It is the second track on the record. The song was composed by all four members of the group and was produced by Rodger Bain. "The Wizard" was the B-side to the title track of the band's second album Paranoid.
Past Lives is a live album released in 2002 by Black Sabbath. It peaked at number 114 on the Billboard 200. The first disc was previously known as Live at Last, an album not put out by Black Sabbath's record company, and therefore not an official Black Sabbath album. The second consists of recordings made for television and radio, previously only available on bootlegs. It was released as a digipak and later a standard jewel-case.
"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".
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.
The Last Supper is a video/DVD by heavy metal band Black Sabbath in their original line-up. It features the live shows they put on stage on their US tour in 1999. This video has received negative criticism by fans for having interview segments interrupt the live footage. These segments were conducted by Henry Rollins, of Black Flag and the Rollins Band.
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!.
"Hand of Doom" is a song by the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, originally appearing as the sixth song on their second album Paranoid, released in 1970. It has been performed in many of Black Sabbath's live concerts. The lyrics were written by Geezer Butler while the music was written by the four members. "Hand of Doom" is accepted as one of the best songs on the album by many fans of Black Sabbath. It is the second longest song on the album behind "War Pigs". The song was conceived after the band had observed a growing number of US soldiers arriving in England in the late 1960s from the Vietnam War with severe drug addictions. It is about them taking drugs to forget the atrocities of war, only to see it catch up on them and slowly destroy them from the inside.