Before Ozzy Osbourne was a TV Star he was in a band, you might have heard of them. They were called Black Sabbath and they invented Metal. They were quite good too.
It’s hard to picture now just how grim it was in Birmingham in 1969, 3 day weeks, no jobs, strikes, and worst of all, the internet was just a twinkle in the eye of Tim Berners-Lee.
Black Sabbath were a consequence of that environment, their music was the sound of factories, machines, desperation. It was bleak brutal and loud, but most importantly, it was the devils music.
They ‘pinched’ the name from a Boris Karloff movie playing in a cinema across the road, when Geezer Butler realised how many people were queuing up to be scared. So began the bands quest to make a horror movie with music.
‘Paranoid’ is one of those songs, that like ‘Ace of Spades’ by Motorhead just IS. I’ve heard it so many times I can’t hear it objectively anymore. Luckily after track one, Sabbath’s legacy is not quite so publicly domain-ed and the rest of Iron Man: The best of Black Sabbath can be enjoyed without even a slightest movement towards the FF button.
Apart from ‘Changes’ which is beautiful, but could have been written by The Carpenters, pretty much every cut on this 14 track collection is an essential assignment straight from the comprehensive school of Rock.
No self respecting metal covers band would dare overlook ‘War Pigs’ or ‘Iron Man’in their set and ‘Black Sabbath’ still gives me the creeps.
Forty-plus years later and Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler have been playing together again (Bill Ward is still waiting for a contract), and wouldn’t it be brilliant if the band wrote some new songs even close to the (black) magic that is on this record.
If you are a fan, then chances are you have got all of these anyway, but if like me they are scattered all over the place, this collection is a great chance to gather them all back together, and reminisce about the good old ‘bad’ days.
“Iron Man: The Best of Black Sabbath” is released through Sanctuary on the 4th June 2012
Full Tracklisting (including original albums):
1 – Paranoid (Paranoid)
2 – Iron Man (Paranoid)
3 – Changes (Volume 4)
4 – Fairies Wear Boots (Paranoid)
5 – War Pigs (Paranoid)
6 – Never Say Die (Never Say Die)
7 – Children Of the Grave (Master Of Reality)
8 – The Wizard (Black Sabbath)
9 – Snowblind (Volume 4)
10 – Sweet Leaf (Master Of Reality)
11 – Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games) (Black Sabbath)
12 – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath)
13 – Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath)
14 – N.I.B. (Black Sabbath)