13 – Black Sabbath

How to make a hit album, First take the best of your early albums, mix in some modern recording techniques (is it me or is this just loud) and bring to the boil. I am not knocking it though, it is a great album. It’s like a comfortable pair of shoes that you have owned for 10 years, when you put them on they feel so familiar and comforting. A couple of bands have tried this approach, re-creating the classic sound on contemporary releases, it is tricky though, as the Dave Gilmour led Pink Floyd would testify.
This does sound amazing, and really loud. Favourites on first listen are End of the Beginning, Age of Reason and the simply amazing Damaged Soul
Micro review; Post-apocalyptic dystonia in a Brummie accent.
Hidden gem; Damaged Soul

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Paranoid – Black Sabbath

Ozzy Osbourne once told me (well he was on TV at the time) that the only way for a band to be great is if they have a good rhythm section. Sabbath certainly did have a very good rhythm section in Ward and Butler (especially evident on Rat Salad). I would say they were the Sly and Robbie of metal, no the Black and Burnel of metal, or maybe the Scabies and Sensible of metal, actually I have it, they were the Czukay and Liebezeit of metal.
War Pigs, Iron Man and the wonderful Fairies Wear Boots (I think this is the song that is playing in Charlie Sheen’s head), are all great tracks and actually sound really ahead of their time.
It is amazing to think that the first three Sabbath albums were released within 18 months of each other, most bands these days take two years to make an album. If I take one thing away from this album, it would be to change my name to Geezer.
Hidden gem; Planet Caravan, Could this be Psychedelic Metal?
Standout track; The first 30 seconds of the title track are amazing, you can still hear that riff reverberating in guitar shops up and down the land.