Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath Reaction and Review

Black Sabbath : Black Sabbath : 1970

Please watch the video above for the full review.

It was 1973 the year my interest in music exploded. The year before had been about singles, Slade, T-Rex, Sweet etc and 73 was the year I discovered bands that did albums. I had heard Paranoid but when I went to get a copy from Woolworths they did not have it, but they did have this one.

They seemed a scary band singing about scary subjects and this one has this mysterious woman ( a witch at the very least) in front of a haunted barn ( must be haunted!). There was no pictures of the band either, one of them was called Geezer!

I opened the gatefold cover to see an upside down cross and some strange poem about upturned swans and rabbits born dead in traps. It ended with a mention of a young girl ( perhaps the one on the cover?) a rolling bell and the still falling rain.

It seemed only right therefore that the album starts with the still falling rain and a tolling church bell and thunder.

A few moments later that riff appears, a riff that defined a genre, a riff so heavy it appears to be standing still instead of moving forward.
The riff then settles back and that voice appears, ‘what is this that stands before me, figure in black’… jeez …this was all your favourite hammer horror films with their own rock soundtrack.

Black Sabbath from the album Black Sabbath by the band Black Sabbath…inspired by the film Black Sabbath!

By the time Ossie ( that is how it was spelt on this album) sings ‘oh please god help me’ you just knew life was never going to be quite the same again for me or my parents!

The album also had songs about Wizards ( complete with a tinkling bell) A Wall of Sleep, N.I.B which mentioned some dude call lucifer and over on side 2 there were evil women and a warning from Ozzy that his love was a little bit too strong (or the song was in the wrong key!).

The cover was by Keef who’s talent for tinting photos was second to none and the production by Roger Bain defined a movement and sound that bands are still trying to replicate now!

Now Spinning Magazine Subscribers share their memories of this classic album

“When I first encountered this album, it wasn’t my copy. I had a mate George in the next street and we used to visit each other, draw our own alien crime fighting force complete with their vehicles, uniforms, weapons, etc with our dozens of felt-tip pens, and listen to albums. It was probably 73/74. I had albums like “Sweet Fanny Adams” and I recall George had Status Quo’s Dog of Two Head and – more relevantly – the Black Sabbath debut album. I don’t remember much of the former, but I did like the Sabbath.

An abiding memory was when I visited his house and found the house seemingly empty. The album was propped up by the record player, but there was no disc on the revolving turntable – only a single tarot card. George and his cousin (a guy with a Ziggy haircut) were attempting to play a trick on me. I replaced the tarot card with the album and started it playing. The two guys sheepishly entered a few minutes later, and we had a good laugh.

I didn’t buy my copy for a couple of years, but I found a secondhand copy of it and Master of Reality (both good condition) in a junk shop, so bought them. It wasn’t the swirly Vertigo version like George’s (I already had a couple of examples of this hypnotic label, like Fairfield Parlour) but that didn’t matter. I finally had my own copy.

A few years ago I did one of those 12 favourite albums things. The rules were that one could only have one album by a particular artist, but otherwise anything was allowable. Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath would still be on that list. As would Sweet Fanny Adams, incidentally”… Steve Green

“Hallo(ween) Phil ! thank you for your memories and music background of this timeless album ! this is one of my top fave album since I bought it when it was released and it was my very first LP I bought in 1970 ! as I wrote it also on Patron side some weeks ago : I was a 16y. teen when I saw BS end 1970 live on Beat Club I was blown away from this new sound and I could not wait to buy this album, took this record to school, my classmates were surprised and excited, most of us listened to Rockmusic cause nothing else mattered for us ! we had a portable recordplayer in our class, some girls and me sat around it and banged our heads during both sides of the album, I was King and never forget that music lesson ! it was not the first time that we listened to Rockmusic in lessons or in pauses 😊the facts that you bought this LP from Woolworth like me and played it on your father’s hifi like me and also took the LP to school , amazed me, what a coincidence, only that I bought it right after the album came out on German Vertigo, what a great gatefold cover!
Have a good week to all BS fans”- Yogi Schultz

“I first heard paranoid and vol 4 album in 1972 when my older brother had them inspired by his friends in the top year of Senior school. The albums were absolutely fantastic. It went from there, groundhogs, led zep, deep purple. I became hooked at the tender age of 12. I had already got into the faces, the who and atomic rooster inspired by the singles chart of 71 but sabbath etc expanded my appreciation of 70s rock music. Without 70s music I don’t think life would have been as fulfilled.” Rising Star

“I first heard the album in 1985. A friend played to me. I remember loving the riff to N.I.B. and the long bluesier jams. My first Black Sabbath album was Heaven & Hell. Bought that three years later. My major introduction to the music on this album was through a cheap CD copy of We sold our souls…. Back then their CD catalogue were very shoddy. Almost like no one cared. Of course it was because of the legal wrangling. Well my first copy I bought in 1996 when the 1970-1987 albums were properly remastered by Castle/ Sanctuary. Then I have the deluxe edition witch you showed Phil. I have always loved the rawness of it. It has it’s roots in Cream and Hendrix but of course they went further. A fantastic raw debut. With a fantastic cover to sell it” Pontus Norshhammar

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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