‘Black Sabbath’ by Black Sabbath, an album so introspective they named it twice.
Three times when you include the self-titling first track “Black Sabbath”, one can’t help but imagine it as ‘Look At Me’ by Look At Me with famous track “Look At Me”. Committing Goth blasphemy aside, I’ve always had a soft spot for this band and can remember well the times I would attempt to listen carefully to the dark symmetry of the electric guitar and cryptic poetry. However, if I was honest with myself I concluded nothing from these musings and was deep down just not a fan.
This may be due to the fact that despite constant shifts in band line-up, Black Sabbath always retained and was often overwhelmed by the distinct character stamp of Ozzy Osbourne. Yet this hedonistic and dramatic band helped establish the wonderment of rock and metal music, a necessary moral panic to the mainstream masses. They created an intimidating and exciting authenticity, something which has faded somewhat from the genre now. Ozzy is both Black Sabbath’s sin and it’s saviour (though never tell him I said that), stereotyping the band’s style but generating the greatness that made it a pivotal band in music history. This is never more evident than with tales like the legendary tour of Texas, when he was caught urinating on the Alamo, someone asked how he would feel if an American did the same to Buckingham Palace and he replied “I wouldn’t give a f***, I don’t live there”.
Classic rock and roll.
[ This vignette is part of our 500 words on Black Sabbath series. ]
Credit: Illustration by Derren Toussaint. 2018.