Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
This album was recorded in a day. A day! Riffs have never been the same since.
Honestly, Tony Iommi is one of very few electric guitars players that I can straight up call a super influence. But man, is he an influence …
It’s a shame that Black Sabbath’s long history is actually so bloody messy, and so fraught with so many ghastly and horrible missteps … I’m not one to begrudge the lads their success, so more power to them for whatever, but it’s hard sometimes to remember just how fucking incredible this band was when they were on, especially in their early days.
Black Sabbath was one of those bands that just emerged fully formed. Similar to The Doors, whose debut was released just 3 years earlier, this album is somehow a masterwork; fully-realized upon arrival.
Can you actually count how many perfect riffs there are on this album? Take any one song and cut it up, and you could make another 50 legendary sludge-rock tunes out of the pieces. Iommi is a machine. Relentless. And Geezer. Jesus. They’re giant-killers.
This is also the album Ozzy’s voice was meant for. Ozzy had a range of about 4 notes, and they’re all on this album, and they work perfectly.
Recommended track to start with: The Wizard
What a jam this is. Yes, the N.I.B riff is crazy. Yes, the song Black Sabbath is the alpha and omega of their 5-decade career. But The Wizard is just perfect. It’s thick, and sludge-y, and funky, and blues-y, and riffy, and it’s smart, and it’s stupid, and it’s ambitious, and it’s mindless, and it’s genius, AND IT’S SUCH A JAM! The drum thing. Jesus. It’s crazy.
Misty morning, clouds in the sky
Without warning, a wizard walks by
Be warned. Black Sabbath is walking by.