Technical Ecstasy: Black Sabbath

Rating: 60%

Black-Sabbath-Technical-Ecstasy.jpgIn  1976, the mighty Black Sabbath released “Technical Ecstasy.” From the first listen, it was’t long before I realized that this album is another major experimental record. After that one listen, I pretty much tossed the cassette tape off to the side and finally got rid of it. A few years ago, I purchased the CD and again, the material just didn’t strike me. The main reason is, I’m just not impressed with the quality of the music or the sound on this record.

Don’t get me wrong, this record does have some highlights, but those highlights are not enough to make this a great Black Sabbath record. The main thing that Black Sabbath did was they explored newer style of music and just threw everything into the pot at once.

The song structures have a lot of weak parts to them. Even the killer intro and first verse of “Back Street Kids” which starts off with one hell of a killer riff that is upbeat and fast, turns sour once the chorus begins. Iommi’s solos are killer on this song. There’s some great drumming on here as well, but where’s Butler’s bass?

“You Won’t Change Me” starts off with  great slowed down heavy guitar scale that reminds me of much of Danzig’s music on his first two records. This is followed by a weird keyboard style that makes you think of one word “insane.” Now this song is classic Sabbath from the verse to the chorus to the solos. The instrumentation is killer from Iommi’s riffs and leads to Butler’s bass and Ward’s drums.

Then you have the melodic ballad sung by drummer Bill Ward. I am not a ballad type of guy. I don’t really care for this song at all.  I will say that the music is pretty decent, but again, it’s not a Black Sabbath song.

“Gypsy”, why? This song should have been taken off the record and trashed. I do like the progressiveness of the drums on this song. But the lyrics and Ozzy’s style, not so much. It’s upbeat, and it’s funky, but the final product isn’t that good. To me, this is a filler song that was slapped together to make this an eight track record.

“All Moving Parts (Stand Still)”, now this song kicks ass. It’s heavy riffs make this a great tune. The leads are great throughout the entire song. The bass is funky playing those weird timing signatures. The drums are pretty standard with the timing of the whole song.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor” starts off with a great lead and drumming. I love the added cowbell. To me this is a pure rock n’ roll song. The verse is a bit weak, but I’ll take it. This is a fun song to crank up to and play guitar to.

The strings orientated ballad “She’s Gone” is OK. But did we really need two ballads on a Black Sabbath record? This song does get bogged down with it’s very slow melody. Ozzy’s vocals are not that bad on this song. But, I do find myself fast forwarding through this one each time it comes on.

“Dirty Women” is the last track on the record and this one really does kick ass. It’s full of great guitar work. The rest of the instrumentation is good. If only there was more songs like this one on the record. It’s progressive style makes this song very catchy.

Side one
1. “Back Street Kids” 3:47
2. “You Won’t Change Me” 6:42
3. “It’s Alright” 4:04
4. “Gypsy” 5:14
Side two
5. “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” 5:07
6. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor” 3:30
7. “She’s Gone” 4:58
8. “Dirty Women” 7:13

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