Yo Ho! Nightrider here!
An English rock band from Birmingham released their debut album on Friday the 13, February 1970. The entire album was recorded on 16 October 1969; it was done in about 12 hours that very same day. The rock band’s name: Black Sabbath. The title of their first album: Black Sabbath. Holding the title of the first heavy metal album, Black Sabbath also has the first doom metal song called “Black Sabbath.” Usually overshadowed by their second album Paranoid released in September 1970, Black Sabbath deserves major recognition as the album that introduced the world to what is now heavy metal, doom metal, stoner rock, and the birth of many genres that stemmed afterwards. Let’s take a look at this world-changing album:
Note that the listings below come from the original June 1970 US release pressing.
“Black Sabbath” is considered the first heavy metal song as well as the first doom metal song. Bassist Geezer Butler was obsessed with the occult in those days. Ozzy Osbourne gave Butler a black book decorated with many pictures of Satin and written in Latin. Butler read this book and went to bed. Moments later, he woke up and saw a black figure staring at him before vanishing. As he rushed to the book’s location, Butler saw that the book had disappeared. After telling this to Ozzy, Ozzy them made lyrics out of Butler’s story. As for the famous riff, Butler created it after playing a fragment of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, specifically “Mars.” Guitarist Tony Iommi produced the famous tritone inspired by Butler’s fiddling. This song made perfect use of Satanic connotations in Western music; since then all heavy metal music played with diabolus in musica.
“The Wizard” is a simple story about a wandering wizard that encounters people and encourage them to stand up. Butler stated in a 2005 interview with Metal Sludge that the lyrics were influenced by The Lord of the Rings and the wizard Gandalf. However, it could also be about the band’s drug dealer at the time.
“Wasp / Behind the Wall of Sleep / Bassically / NIB” is a medley of two songs: “Behind the Wall of Sleep” and “NIB” from the original European release. “Behind the Wall of Sleep” is about how sleeping can be a hazard in itself but sunshine destroys this wall. “NIB” is about the devil changing his ways and becoming a good person because he fell in love with a mortal woman. The riff is famous and the line “Your love for me has got to be real” is taken from Buddy Holly’s song “Not Fade Away.”
“Wicked World” tells the evils of the world. People fighting and killing while wishing their friends well, politicians becoming hypocrites for sending man to the moon while man on earth die from diseases, and single mothers are neglected by society while her child is branded a fatherless bastard.
“A Bit of Finger / Sleeping Village / Warning” is another medley. “Warning” is the only song not credited to Black Sabbath as it is a cover from the band The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation.
Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, and Tony Iommi created something that still exists to this day. So when 13 February 2020 shows up in a few months let it be known that before feeling love on Valentine’s Day heavy metal reigns supreme and destroys love.