Black Sabbath @ 50: The debut album covered!

Rock fans and critics have long debated over what constituted “the birth of heavy metal”. Some will claim its roots stem from Dave Davies’s brilliant power chords on those early Kinks singles. Others suggest that the musical genre began to take shape at the end of 1966 when Jimi Hendrix pushed the boundaries and experimented with the sounds an electric guitar could make. Perhaps metal’s origins lie with Deep Purple, as they took 60s beat group and psychedelic sounds into a much more intense direction…? The speed and power could even derive from ‘Communication Breakdown’ from Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut LP. Although Zeppelin have always been keen to distance themselves from the leather trousered, heavier sounds which came later, there’s an obvious root there.

On February 13th 1970, an album was released that would change the world. Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album was without question one of the heaviest things the world had heard at the start of a new era for rock music.

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The Great 70s Project: 1972

1972 AD.  The year that bored suburban teens attempted to resurrect Dracula, in a much maligned Hammer film that’s actually quite good fun.  The year that Bolan’s musical craft was at its most perfect; the year Ziggy Stardust came to Earth and changed Bowie’s fortunes forever.

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The Great Seventies Project: 1970

In March 2017, we created a playlist of some of our favourite 70s tunes. In an effort to shake up our spare time listening, the playlist included none of the usual stapes. There were no tracks by Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy or Led Zeppelin and yet we still managed to create a golden listening experience spanning several hours.

The experience got us thinking. What if we were to create extensive playlists of music we liked – or maybe brought back fond memories – for each year of the decade? Would one year stand out above all others? With this remit and using only two or three tracks per chosen album (maybe stretching to one extra in the instance of a double platter), we set to work.

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BLACK SABBATH – 13

Black-Sabbath-13As any metal fan knows, the first four Black Sabbath albums defined an entire musical genre.  Four slabs of vinyl with monolithic riffs that inspired future generations; riffs which many emulated, but few matched – especially in terms of superb tone.  From 1973 onward, Sabbath continued to make good music, but it didn’t always match the impact of their earliest work.

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