Song of the Week: Black Sabbath

fondo_blacksabbath_1024Today, Feb. 13, marks the 43rd birthday of quite possibly the most important album in all of metal’s history.  To call Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut anything less than pioneering, innovating, genre defining, and all those other adjectives saved for use when describing something of the highest order would be considered a grave crime.  If not for Ozzy, Tony, Geezer, and Bill making throughout use of the diminished 5th, dark blues sound, and menacing lyrics, the music that we all love so much today would not be here.

One of my favorite moments of the hallmark album is right on the first song of the record and simply sums up what I thought the first time I heard Sabbath’s debut.  After the sounds of a storm rolling in and the dirge bells ringing the dark and oppressive atmosphere of the song takes a turn for evil as Tony Iommi plays what may be the most recognizable intro riffs ever in music.  The sheer darkness and evil that exudes those notes is undeniable and then Bill Ward’s drums echo in to add a sacrificial ritual feel and Geezer’s bass calls in the thunder.  But the part that really gets me is Ozzy’s first line, which pretty says what we were all thinking.  “What is this that stands before me?”

I can only imagine what it was like for people first hearing this back in 1970 and how this new and crazy style of music must have effected them.  How it must have terrified them and made them run for safety, lol.  Actually, some people did take the evil sound of the music in the wrong direction and label Sabbath as Satanists, when in fact, the song “Black Sabbath” was more a warning against turning to the dark side.  Oh, well, that’s people for ya.  Anywho, a huge happy birthday to Black Sabbath and one of the best metal songs ever written.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!

About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on February 13, 2013, in Song of the Week and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great song, just timeless: Sabbath deserve to be up there with The Beatles, The Stones, Zeppelin, The Who etc in terms of their influence on rock music. Without them; no doom, no stoner, no grunge: I’ve heard them cited by some really unlikely bands: The Cardigans (covered Iron Man), The Wonder Stuff,.. Are you a Cream fan, Matt? Another band who deserve credit for pushing Blues rock into darker, dirtier more psychedelic realms, as do Iron Butterfly. Here are some songs that owe a bit of something to Sabbath (kinda like a mix of the best of the Ozz and Dio eras)

    and a couple covers

    • Cream is an awesome band! I bought a cheap Best of two years ago without knowing anything about the band.

    • I definitely dig me some Cream. Actually, almost anything with Clapton in it. Have you ever checked out Ginger Baker’s other band Masters of Reality? Some really great music worthy of attention.

      That Cardigans cover was really neat and unexpected! Thanks for that!

  2. Great and significant song. And time were thunder and rain as intro weren’t a cliché 😉

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