Tag: Black Sabbath

Heaven and Hell


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Happy Halloween! Today’s theme: Salvation.

In April 1979, Ozzy Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath by the band’s guitarist, songwriter and de facto leader, Tony Iommi. The singer’s drug and alcohol use had spiraled out of control, and he lacked Iommi’s vision for a revitalised Black Sabbath to tackle to new decade. The band had already started recording sessions for a new album, their ninth, and they needed not just a replacement lead vocalist, but someone who would be able to fill the shoes of Heavy Metal’s biggest icon. (more…)

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Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

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Happy Solstice! This week, for the first time since 1970, Black Sabbath are #1 in the UK album charts. The new album, by the way, is awesome, with a sound rooted in the band’s early 70s material. The main difference is that now there is a whole generation who regard Ozzy Osbourne as a reality star rather than a rock star. Anyway, to celebrate this remarkable achievement, today we revisit Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the band’s fifth studio album, which was released in December 1973. (more…)

Black Sabbath

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On Friday 13 February 1970, Heavy Metal was born in the UK.

The streets of Birmingham, England were probably wet with rain on that day. The sky may well have been overcast. It was certainly cold. But amid the industrial greyness of the West Midlands, a newborn creature was stirring, its scaly black limbs unfolding, eyes flickering open to behold the sodden English landscape, its mind already set on one goal: world domination. (more…)

Louder Than Love

Soundgarden-LouderThanLove

This is where it ends.

The syncopated drum beat that opens ‘Ugly Truth’, the first track on Soundgarden’s 1989 album Louder Than Love, immediately places it squarely within the frame of Classic Rock. In fact, it echoes the start of  ‘When The Levee Breaks’, the final track on Led Zeppelin’s masterpiece fourth album. But seconds after that opening beat hits, we know we’re into new territory, as distorted guitars explode with a sound more like My Bloody Valentine than Deep Purple. Soundgarden go on to show their debt to the likes of Zeppelin and Black Sabbath throughout the album with monster riffs, screeching vocals and booming drums. However, as much as Louder Than Love is rooted in the rock monsters of the preceding 20 years, it’s far from a tired re-hash of tried as tested formulae. Instead it seems almost like the final incarnation of Classic Rock as a living genre before being swamped by its own hybrid offspring – led by Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and Soundgarden themselves – in the 1990s. By taking a foundation of riffs and beats straight from the early 70s and adding the very modern guitar sounds of contemporary bands such as Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr, Louder Than Love is almost like an inflection point in musical styles. We can do Classic Rock, the band seem to be saying. Now let’s use it to start something new. (more…)