(Full disclosure, Black Sabbath is my favorite band ever. I will fight to the death for them.But I will also find all of their flaws… and there are several)
What can I say about Black Sabbath that hasn’t already been said?
A WHOLE LOT
So, here we go…
BLACK SABBATH (S/T)
Who would’ve thought that the first metal riff of all time, “Black Sabbath,” would be the heaviest shit to this day?
Apparently, some dudes named Terrence, John, Anthony and William did.
Terrence changed his name to Geezer, John to Ozzy, Anthony to Tony, William to Bill but I really like referencing their old lame names.
The self-titled is in my Top 10 Greatest Albums Ever. This is the album that made me pick up a bass. The first song I ever played live in front of people was “Bassically/NIB” at the Dighton Middle School Talent Show in eighth grade.
Look, MAYBE I didn’t win the contest, but I straight up KILLED it.
This album turned 50 this year and, even though it might go a little slow at times, it absolutely should be a staple for anyone who likes music’s collection.
This is where I’d like to say that I am not going to go through every single album, although I did listen to all of them. I’m going to go through eras of the band. I just had to do the first album because of it’s importance to me.
A friend of mine, Jordan Olds (who is the host of the Two Minutes To Late Night Youtube show) made a very accurate critique of the Ozzy Era of Sabbath. Ozzy sings the guitar riffs. He doesn’t do his own thing too often until he leaves to do his own solo thing after eight albums with Sabbath.
Here’s the thing though, Tony Iommi writes the best riffs ever, so it’s okay that Ozzy just follows him.
I feel like Ozzy gets all the credit for early Sabbath, and that’s just real friggin’ silly. Geezer Butler wrote just about all of the good lyrics early on and Tony and Geezer wrote all of the music.
Is Ozzy an amazing Frontman who brought those songs to life?
Sure, but saying, “Sabbath isn’t Sabbath without Ozzy” is ignorant and just flat out wrong.
The first five albums are untouchable.
The sixth is dynamite.
Seven and Eight aren’t great.
I’m sorry for keeping this section short, but honestly, we’ve all heard everything about Ozzy era Sabbath and I’m here to educate ya’ll on the rest.
After Ozzy let to do crazy train things, Dio came into the fold.
Dio did two AMAZING albums with Sabbath, the first of which (Heaven and Hell) is considered a heavy metal classic now.
He left the band and came back a decade later to do Dehumanizer, which admittedly doesn’t live up to the first two, but is still pretty ding dang decent.
The album The Devil You Know is an underrated Dio gem that he did when the band changed its name to Heaven and Hell. Unfortunately, he died of stomach cancer before getting to truly see out the album’s reception.
IAN GILLAN ERA
Born Again is better than people give it credit for, but I still wouldn’t say it’s up to par with any other Sabbath album.
It needs to be remixed and mastered and maybe it’ll be an okay Sabbath release.
TONY MARTIN ERA
OKAY, EVERYONE. Be honest. How many of you don’t even know who Tony Martin is?
The Tony Martin era is SO FUCKING GOOD!
Tyr, Headless Cross, and The Eternal Idol are albums that will blow metal fans away as long as you don’t tell them that it’s Black Sabbath.
Here’s the thing, everyone wants Sabbath to be the doomy bluesy Satan jams of the early 70s when in reality they haven’t been that since halfway through the Ozzy era!
So the elephant in the room… the album Forbidden is notoriou slytrash. Yes, true, fine, ignore that one. Really. I listened to it and it hurt my heart.
OZZY ERA: PART DEUX
13 came out when Ozzy joined the band again after Dio died.
It is surprisingly a welcome return to Ozzy form. I will never understand how that man can’t speak a lick of English, yet his singing voice hasn’t changed since 1969.
Is it better than most Sabbath albums? Nah. But it’s still enjoyable as heck!
I was lucky enough to see Sabbath at The Hollywood Bowl on their last tour ever with my dad. He wanted to give me a birthday present, so he surprised me with two tickets to that show. His favorite band ever is Sabbath (which is where I get it from), so I surprised him with a plane ticket from Boston to San Diego so that we could watch the show together.
It was a long night of overpriced Heinekens, lots of hugs, and a ton of screaming the lyrics together. We were legitimately the last people in the arena, as the two of us drunkenly sang Dio lyrics until the stage crew was damn near finished.
That night was legitimately one of the best nights of my life.
And it wouldn’t have been possible without the greatest band of all time, Black Sabbath.