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Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath kicked loose rock that's still setting off avalanches of creativity across the musical landscape. Their phenomenal first four albums -- Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, and Vol. 4 -- remain the clearest articulations of heavy metal vocabulary to date. Bassist Geezer Butler, the man responsible for the lion's share of Sabbath's early hits, focused his lyrics on social ills, self-destructive behavior, fantasy and the occult, setting forth the primary concerns which continue to preoccupy metal bands from velocity addicts Venom and Napalm Death to sludge fiends such as Monster Magnet. Lead guitarist Tony Iommi's loose tunings revolutionized the craft of electric guitar by uncovering unsuspected fuzzy depths. And, of course, Ozzy Osbourne's manic live performances introduced an element of pure theatricality that remains central to metal's identity. Beginning with '75's Sabotage, Sabbath's credibility has been constantly imperiled by failed experiments in prog-ish rock. With the exception of the Ronnie James Dio albums of the early '80s (Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules), the moments when Sabbath play up to their ability have been few and far between. Perhaps aware ... See More

Black Sabbath Concert Films

  • Classic Albums: Paranoid

    Black Sabbath

    Year: 1969

    Runtime: 55 min

    The second album by Black Sabbath, released in 1970, has long attained classic status. Paranoid not only changed the face of rock music, but also defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history. The result of a magic chemistry which had been discovered between four English musicians, it put Black Sabbath firmly on the road to world domination.

    This programme tells the story behind the writing, recording and success of the album. Despite vilification from the Christian and moral right and all the harsh criticism that the music press could hurl at them, Paranoid catapulted Sabbath into the rock stratosphere.

    Using exclusive interviews, musical demonstration, archive footage and a return to the multi-tracks with engineer Tom Allom, the film reveals how Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward created their frighteningly dark, heavy and ear-shatteringly loud sound.

    Additional comments from Phil Alexander (MOJO & Kerrang! editor), Geoff Barton (Classic Rock editor), Henry Rollins (writer/musician) and Jim Simpson (original manager) add insight to the creation of this all-time classic.
     
     

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