I was 15 years old when this album came out in 1970. Unless you were present in 1970, it’s probably hard to fully comprehend the significance of this album, as well as Paranoid, released in the same year, in relation to what was happening cultural wise.
Let me try to put things in context by describing the music scene in 1970. I lived on the outskirts of Chicago. AM Radio (WLS) ruled the day. Bubblegum music (cruel jokes like the Archies passed off as music) had stubbornly carried over from the Sixties like a pesky virus. The Beatles had broken up, and very little airtime was being given to groups like Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd.
I was taking refuge in my bedroom in the basement one evening, painted black, replete with blacklight, strobelight, and various rock posters, listening to an underground FM station, called Triad, when suddenly Black Sabbath’s Paranoid burst over the speakers. It was as if aliens from another planet had landed. I was totally mesmerized, while at the same time deeply disturbed. NO MUSIC….I repeat….NO MUSIC….up to this point had ever sounded this HEAVY and EVIL. And that included hard rockers like Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Hendrix.
The next day I ran out and bought this album and the Paranoid album, pestered my parents into buying a fuzz box for my Teisco Del Ray electric guitar, and have been hooked on metal ever since.
If you are into metal, and want to know it’s history, you MUST start here, in order to understand where it all began. The first five Black Sabbath albums serve as the foundation from which the heavy metal genre, and subsequent subgenres, evolved.
Ozzy, unfortunately, is a mere shadow of his former self, but his memory, as well as Geezer, Iommi, and Ward are forever frozen on these early discs. LONG LIVE SABBATH!