In 1970, Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut record. Just like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath would be the other piece of the puzzle in creation of Heavy Metal music. I first heard the opening track of this record “Black Sabbath” when I was 11-12 years old. It was the most frightening thing that I ever heard. The music just sounded so evil. The eeriness of the vocals and the darkness of the lyrics made it seem as if Hell had come to Earth. Oddly enough, this record was one of the first Black Sabbath records that I learned how to play on the guitar when I was just entering the stage as a teenager.
This record had a certain rawness to it that I really come to respect and love. The darkness of the lyrics and the heaviness of the music is what made Black Sabbath as one of the creators or Godfathers of Heavy Metal music. The song structures are beautifully done. The musicianship is very sight. I love the improvised feeling to the music and long drawn out leads. The bass working with the guitar riffs and the drumming on this record is what makes the music sound deep.
One of the unique features is the drop down tuning of Tony Iommi’s guitar. This gives the guitar riffs and leads a very heavy sound. Iommi’s playing style is great. He just produces riff after riff on this record. I loved trying to imitate the same sounds as Iommi. Then add Geezer Butler’s bass work to the music. His bass has a sort of doominess to it. He is in the center of the spotlight on the song “Basically” which is a bass guitar solo. Then you throw in the Jazz orientated Bill Ward on drums. His Jazz style really sets this record off. The way he plays the drums with the quick chops, rolls, fills and off beats is amazing. Then you Ozzy Osbourne on vocals. His vocals are raw and unique.
Black Sabbath brings the Blues, Jazz and Rock n’ Roll together in creating the new sound that would set off a culture. Although today, this record is more or less considered Classic Rock, but in it’s day it was one of the heaviest records that was released. This record is proof that musicians in a band can and will compliment each other in order to tie up any loose ends in the music. Really, this record needs no review as it has been one of the biggest influential records of all time. Just listen to it and you’ll find out why.
1. “Black Sabbath” 6:20
2. “The Wizard” 4:22
3. “Wasp/Behind the Wall of Sleep/Bassically/N.I.B.” 9:44
4. “Wicked World” 4:47
5. “A Bit of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning” 14:15