97XRockClub: Black Sabbath Book Club Style Review
The debut album from Black Sabbath came out 50 years ago!
1970…when Simon & Garfunkel topped the charts. Jackson 5 had a string of hits.
Songs like We’ve Only Just Begun, Green Eyed Lady and Everything is Beautiful…paved the way for music to take a dark turn. A sinister take on music that was neither 25 OR 6 to 4.
From the opening notes of the eponymous 1st track…a musical interval known as Diablos in Musica…which is said to invoke the devil…it is very clear they are drawing a hard line in the sand.
The band recorded this whole album in one day…which listening back it’s not surprising. But you don’t have to have a perfect sounding album for it to be great. There are tons of mistakes and off-key singing but it’s not about all that. It’s about a feeling. And that first track gives me goosebumps to this day.
Reviews in 1970 were not kind.
Rolling Stone said the band is “just like Cream..but worse.”
The Village Voice said the album is “the worst of the counterculture with drug-impaired reaction time and long solos.”
Black Sabbath didn’t realize it at the time…and probably didn’t feel it after they got trashed in the reviews…but this bluey, jazzy, psychedelic album was the 1st of it’s genre. The first ever heavy metal album. With Tony Iommi’s guitar tuned down, Geezer Butler’s fascination with the occult and Ozzy singing like nobody ever had…songs like Black Sabbath, NIB, The Wizard…all helped to shape the world of heavy metal.
Time has been good to this album…because now it’s on every list from “greatest debut” to “best heavy metal” and is hailed as one of the most influential albums of all time. And if you want to hear how Metallica, Alice in Chains, Iron Maiden and 1,000’s of other bands were inspired you should throw on some headphones and learn what the term “stoner rock” means.
Tune in tomorrow to Dwyer & Michaels for next week’s 97XRockClub suggested listening.
If you have any albums you think people should give a listen to. Let me know. Use the chat function on the 97X App.