Black Sabbath
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Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 04/26/1988

Some might claim that this 1970 debut is the definitive Black Sabbath record. While the gothic overtones of the opening track, "Black Sabbath" (thunderstorms and foreboding church bells introduce Ozzy Osbourne's howl and Tony Iommi's sludgy guitar), and the raucous defiling of Cream on "N.I.B." were thrilling then (and remain so now), there is too much wanking here to really qualify the collection as the must-have Black Sabbath record. (That prize would have to go to Paranoid.) But the blues-heavy riffs of "The Wizard," the soon-to-be-famous chord-progression stylings on "Wasp," and the grunge-boogie of "Wicked World" allow it to stand as a solid testament to the deep and lasting influence the band has had over the years. --Lorry Fleming

Customer Reviews:

  • Great cover, great music, NOT the beginning of metal
    I was a young high school kid when this came out......I loved it!! Had already been listening to Zeppelin, Hendrix, Cream, Blue Cheer, Humble Pie and Mountain. Was a young long-haired stoner kid who loved hard rock (it wasn't called metal until later in the seventies. Even Sabbath didn't call their music metal in the beginning.) Today I'm much older. A guy in his 50s who still likes this stuff (hey, I'm still much younger than Dio, Lemmy and Ozzy.) But too many metal books written today are changing history. As great as I loved the first Black Sabbath LP/CD, it didn't invent anything. It was just another step toward harder and darker music. I think Blue Cheer took a bigger step than Sabbath did. But ever since the first Cream & Hendrix albums came out, I've been buying about 4 or 5 metal LPS/CDs a year. I'll give you metal kids the best metal records every year since the Cream/Hendrix days:

    1967 - Jimi Hendrix "Are you Experienced?", Cream "Disraeli Gears"
    1968 - Jimi Hendrix "Electric Ladyland", Blue Cheer "Vincebus Eruptum", Cream " Wheels of Fire" Steppenwolf "Steppenwolf"
    1969 - Led Zeppelin, "Led Zeppelin 1", Led Zeppelin "Led Zeppelin 2", Mountain "Climbing"
    1970 - Black Sabbath "Black Sabbath", Deep Purple "In Rock", Black Sabbath "Paranoid"
    1971 - Led Zeppelin "Led Zeppelin IV", Black Sabbath "Master of Reality", Alice Cooper "Killer", Deep Purple "Fireball"
    1972 - Deep Purple "Machine Head", Black Sabbath "Vol 4", Wishbone Ash "Argus", Uriah Heep "Demons and Wizards", Scorpions "Lonesome Crow"
    1973 - Deep Purple "Who do we think we are", Led Zeppelin "Houses of the holy", Black Sabbath "Sabbath bloody sabbath", Queen "Queen"
    1974 - Deep Purple "Burn", Queen "Sheer Heart attack", UFO "Phenomenum", Kiss "Kiss", Rush "Rush"
    1975 - AC/DC "High Voltage", Kiss "Kiss Alive", Rainbow "Ritchie Blackmore's rainbow," Aerosmith "Toys in the attic", UFO "Force it"
    1976 - Judas Priest "Sad Wings of destiny", Rainbow "Rising", Aerosmith "Rocks", Rush "2112", Kiss "Destroyer"
    1977 - Judas Priest "Sin after sin", UFO "Lights out", Queen "News of the world", Motorhead "Motorhead", AC/DC "Let there be Rock"
    1978 - Judas Priest "Stained Class", Van Halen "Van Halen", AC/DC "Powerage", Scorpions "Taken by force"
    1979 - AC/DC "Highway to hell", Motorhead "Overkill", Judas Priest "Hell bent for leather"
    1980 - Judas Priest "British steel", AC/DC "Back in Black", Motorhead "Ace of Spades", Black Sabbath "Heaven and hell"
    1981 - Ozzy Ozbourne "Blizzard of Oz", Motorhead "No sleep till hammersmith", AC/DC "For those about to rock"
    1982 - Iron Maiden "Number of the beast", Judas Priest "Screaming for vengeance", Ozzy Ozbourne "Diary of a Madman", Scorpions "Blackout"
    1983 - Iron Maiden "Piece of mind", Def Leppard "Pyromania", Motley Crue "Shout at the devil", Metallica "Kill em all", Dio "Holy Diver"
    1984 - Iron Maiden "Powerslave", Metallica "Ride the Lightning", Judas Priest "Defenders of the faith", Deep Purple "Perfect Strangers"
    1985 - Anthrax "Spreading the Disease", Megadeth "Killing is my business", Slayer "Hell awaits", Possessed "Seven churchs"
    1986 - Metallica "Master of Puppets", Slayer "Reign in Blood", Megadeth "Peace sells..who's buying"
    1987 - Anthrax "Among the Living", Guns n Roses "Appetite for destruction", Def Leppard "Hysteria"
    1988 - Iron Maiden "Seventh son of seventh son", Metallica "And justice for all", Slayer "South of heaven", Megadeth "So far so goo so what"

    This was about where I got off the "crazy metal train." Didn't like where it was going. The death metal and thrash metal just began to lose me. Mayhem and Possessed and Sepultura and Pantera and Cannibal Corpse was the end for me. I still bought Metallica and Iron Maiden, and of course Judas Priest and Deep Purple and Black Sabbath all through the '90s up to today (when they release something, which is rarer and rarer.) So any metal kids can finish where I left off around '88. But remember, even though Dio & Lemmy & Ozzy & Tony Iommi & Ritchie Blackmore & Jon Lord & Jimmy Page & even Rob Halford are all older than me.....I'm up there myself. So there WAS heavy dark music before Sabbath. Trust me. But they were great, no doubt. Just buy ALL the CDS I just mentioned to get THE WHOLE PICTURE !!
    ...more info
  • What is this that stands before me !..................
    This album is a gem. Other stuff Sabbath did may well be tighter, pushing boundaries more and even faster, but this is where it all began. This Album was recorded quickly with a low budget. It was all ideas and creativity rather than overblown budget nonsense that 'heavy metal' eventually became. This was new and it was dangerous and it was also where heavy metal first started off so this album is highly infleuential, I'm still surprised that an album from 1970 still sounds as fresh today as it did back then and I wasn't even born in the 70's. The rain falling and loud boom and chiming bell which suddenly start off with a terrific mindblowing riff on 'Black Sabbath', is just brilliant.. When I first heard this album a few years ago I was truly blown away by this, I mean sure the production is dated but the music is timeless, you'll find no filler here just all killer tracks. The album starts of with the classic track Black Sabbath and wow what a track, the song is about finding out Satan has picked you as the chosen one and the freaky thing about it is geezer butler wrote this after seeing a black shaped figure at the end of his bed "Oh god!, PLEASE HELP ME!!!", the next track is The Wizard which also happens to be my personal favorite track as it has a harmonica intro playing then it goes into a mindblowing heavy riff which you wouldn't really think it came from the early 70s. My other favorite tracks are N.I.B, kinda more bluesy song mixed with metal a great bass intro to it, Warning is an amazing 10 minute long instrumental with extended solos demonstrating the band's strengths not only did they have conventional riffing, but they also had the ability to create that effect of some unspeakable leviathan splitting the earth open and crawling out of it, it's truly breathtaking. Then there's songs like the apocalyptic title track, N.I.B. and The Wizard which make their obsessions with evil and black magic seem like more than just stereotypical heavy metal posturing because of the dim, suffocating musical atmosphere the band frames them in. This blueprint would be refined and occasionally elaborated upon over the band's next few albums, but there are plenty of metal classics already here. Behind The Wall Of Sleep was great, formed from a simple but inspired guitar riff behind a steady drumbeat with lyrics describing the horrors of drug abuse. Crow cover song Evil Woman is a three-minute single that works well mixing the guitar parts with saxophone harmony and a great chorus hook. Sleeping Village starts a softer slower number with very few lyrics, but demonstrates Tony Iommi's great riffs and solo work (and cemented his statues as guitar god.) The Warning is a Sabbath epic about a jilted lover, it's a catchy chorus more in the blues style than the rest of the songs (BTW Sabbath were originally a blues based band called Earth) However The real bonus on this song is the wacky solo work. Wicked World is another slightly bluesy number about the greed of some and the neglect of others and a fitting ending to an excellent album. stunning album of immense importance and absolute quality, if you enjoy this album I would recommend continuing the Sabbath trail with the excellent Paranoid, Master of Reality, Black Sabbath, Vol.4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage.
    ...more info
  • Black Sabbath's Greatest Work
    The first metal album by the first metal band. One of the most influential albums in rock history, as well as one of Black Sabbath's greatest. Black Sabbath originally played Blues and were called Earth but one day before a gig they saw a horror movie playing called Black Sabbath. Bassist Geezer Butler then made the poin that people pay to see scary movies, so why not make them pay to listen to scary music? This resulted in a name change, as well as the invention of a genre. The original intent of metal was to sound scary, and this album represents that very well. The opening track, Black Sabbath, opens with church bells and a thunderstormuntil Tony Iommi starts in with playing a tritone on his guitar, eventually leading into an interlude, entirely in triplets, and an excellent solo. Very eerie and one of metal's inspiring moments. But that's just the first song. The Wizard is another good track, and NIB has one of the catchiest tunes I have ever heard. Excellent in all areas....more info
  • after all these years, it still rocks (especially the extra song).
    This refers to the import version. This debut cd of the self titled album (made on a low music budget) rocks after 35 years! The guitar of Iommi soars, the bass of Butler thunders, the drums of Ward provide a heavy beat and Osbourne's vocal were in their prime (regardless of what one thinks of his vocal skills now). The import version has a song called "Evil Woman (Don't You Play Your Games With Me) that will blow the b---s off of anything that purports to be "heavy metal" now. Along with Deep Purple, and others, including Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, W.A.S.P., and a few others, very few, Black Sabbath proved that four lads from Birmingham England (originally known as Polka Tulk, later Earth, then (finally) Black Sabbath) could explode and rock (as nobody could). Try to get the import version (as it has remastered and superior sound and the aforementioned extra song [for the U.S., for the U.K. Wicked World was the extra song]. Critics can say what they will for my money nobody rocks/rocked harder than these guys in their prime (which this cd clearly demonstrates) [not that they couldn't now]. It also features lyrics (though not complete on some songs) no matter, Ozzy had clearer vocals then, so it's easy to follow along, and it also has background on the music, in the import version's booklet, and an inverted cross (which was supposed to be in the original album (as a "gatefold" sleeve, in the lp days) but the Warner Brothers in dear old U.S. changed it to a single cover front and back (with no interior). (Unlike the NEMS lp.) Enough said-get this sucker. You won't be disappointed. ...more info
  • One of the first and one of the best metal albums ever.
    This was Black Sabbath's first album, and in my opinion the best.

    The music on this album is heavy with a sort of bluesy sound, but it actually fits in pretty well with the heaviness. Overall, the music is very simple on this album and the mood is dark.

    All of the songs on the album are different, but they are all extremely good. If you are a Black Sabbath fan or a metal fan in general and don't have this album, then this album is for you....more info
  • Not only the FIRST heavy metal album, but the ONLY one of the time!!
    In this endless debate about what band was actually the creators of heavy metal, there's one thing that all of these detractors of Sabbath don't understand. Black Sabbath has to be the first heavy metal band, because up until their debut album, there were NONE in existence. Led Zeppelin weren't and never were metal! Nor were Deep Purple, Cream(laughable!!), Hendrix or any other band of this period. Hard rock, maybe, for a couple of them, but metal? No sir. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of all of these, but Sabbath is the only one really deserving the title METAL. Nearly every metal band since Sabbath has been directly influenced by them, all you need to do is take a listen to them and it becomes obvious. People in bands know what they like and they know who their influences are. If 90% of metal bands are citing Black Sabbath as their biggest influence, then you do the math, pal....more info
  • Black Sabbath is pretty much the beginning of Metal
    In response to your earlier reviewer;Whats this business of metal not really beginning until the 90's!!!!! Limp Bizkit and Korn suck big-time, you little wet behind the ears retard!!!! The young folks (your probably in your early 20's) don't know good music anyway these day's,and this guy's a bleeping idiot. Really BLACK SABBATH pretty much invented the Heavy Metal genre!!! These guys are very accomplished musicians!!! Learn from these Heavy Metal Godfathers!!! These are the guys,your Limp Bizkit idolized,so go to music school,or shut your mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!...more info
    I'm sick of all these kids who think Nu Metal is "soooo original" and think they know better. "Black Sabath" is the first metal album and it's a lot more diverse than your Korny. Tell me how metal could have been created in 1994 if we already had 1/4 century of metal like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Saxon and many more...?
    Now shut up and go slit your wrist!...more info
  • Dark and influential
    Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath. What can I say? Awesome. Deep, dark hard rock that has influenced so many rock bands and even bands in other genres. Sabbath are one of the true pioneers of hard rock/heavy metal. The song Black Sabbath is a classic that is pretty dark. You know it's going to be a great tune when you hear rain and thunder in the beginning. It's great Halloween music. The slow pace of the first half of the song shows that Ozzy wants to make his point. Things speed up substantially in the second half of the song. The lyrics are sinister and the music matches well. The second song on the album is The Wizard. Another classic. Lots of harmonica that fits right in. The last three songs (there are only five songs on the album) are awesome as well, particularly Wicked World. If you want to add an absolutely essential hard rock album to your collection, then get this album. This album was a great beginning for the band that set the stage for their next classic album, Paranoid. I highly recommend it. ...more info
  • Sabbath's best!!!!
    All Ozzy Sabbath albums up to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath are great and the Dio, Martin, Gillan and Hughes albums are awesome too but this is Sabbath at it's best! The writing is great such a dark album and by far the heaviest album around at the time. If you like darker songs than this album is for you. If you like Sabbath this album is for you and if you like metal this album is for you. The riff in Black Sabbath is brilliant and Wicked World and N.I.B are classics aswell. Still one of my favorite albums. ...more info
  • The first is still the best.
    Black Sabbath's debut is still one of the bets heavy metal albums of all time. There's not a boring spot on the entire album and the whole thing reeks of pure genius. Nothing sounds like this, nothing. It's as if Ozzy, Geezer, Bill and Tony were put on deserted islands at the time of their births and they learned to play and write music with NO outside influences at all. This is an essential album. Even the cover is dark and menacing, a concept metal bands would adopt just as much as Sabbath's sound....more info
  • I was afraid. . .
    When I first listened to Black Sabbath as a kid, I was afraid. I was afraid that some adult was going to figure it out. I could tell Ozzy Osbourne was singing about some pretty intense things. He was telling me about a world that I had never encountered. I thought that just by listening to this, I was going to Hell.

    How fun it all was! That first taste of rebellion and fear, the breaking free, the still vibrating inspiration all alive in this music. When I listen now, I can still revisit that feeling of fear that struck my heart in youth. Still, I would listen again and again. While I have long since abandoned other music from that era, Sabbath stayed with me. Somehow there was always a place for them waiting in the annals of rock music history. A branch of rock-n-roll became hard rock, and it is very clear now what was clear early on, that the hardrock genre would evolve a great deal as a result of the contributions that were coming from Black Sabbath. A genre of razor clear blues riffs, with grate and dirt, spit, and confusion, all taken into directions, angles, and awkward spaces that we had never gone before.

    Rhythm and bass that flows like a warm, rolling river, sometimes rapid, unpredictable, and choppy, sometimes heavy, thick, and melodic, but always moving forward, always driving the train toward some certainty that only Black Sabbath heard before us. These albums are laden with vocals that can haunt, entrance, inspire, or enrage, and all of it emanated from a young man with an old soul, a clear original, John "Ozzy" Osbourne. Be afraid again, be in awe again. Black Sabbath is a journey worth taking. ...more info
  • The birth of heavy metal
    Some may argue that Sabbath did not invent heavy metal, only took it a step further in the heavy direction. Well, that's not true at all. Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin may have had about two albums each out before Sabbath got theirs out their but neither Purple or Zep were heavy metal, they were about a step behind being about the hardest "rock" you could get. Sabbath definitely was heavier than both and patented the sound and more importantly the "style" of heavy metal which was more apparent on Paranoid and Master of reality but started right here. I am not trying to take any thunder away from Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin though as Purple was good and Led Zeppelin being one of the greatest bands of all time.(2nd to Sabbath in my opinion)

    Now the album review!

    Black Sabbath-4.5- Here it is, the song that started Heavy Metal baby! It's pretty simplistic but the main riff is so dark and scary sounding that it's great. The second half picks up and has a great solo.

    The Wizard-4- Great blues tinged song with Ozzy playing harmonica. Geezer and Bill as always prove that their the best rhythm section ever.(Geezer is among the best bassists ever only competition being Steve Harris of Iron Maiden for the top spot and Bill Ward has only John Bonham of Zeppelin and maybe Keith Moon of the Who as competition as the best Drummer in metal/rock)

    Wasp/Behind the Wall of sleep/bassically/NIB-5- One of the best sabbath compositions ever. Geat drumming, bass(especially the solo and NIB) and guitar

    Wicked World-4- good song with a cool solo but probably my least favorite track on this album only because the other ones are better not because it's a bad song.

    Bit of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning-5- Maybe not one of the best Sabbath "songs" but still earns five stars because this compostion contains Tony Iommi solo for like ten minutes throughout. Some amazing stuff I may add! Not to mention everything else is great as well. ...more info
  • The Beginning of Metal...
    This is a great CD, no doubt about it. Since 1970, Black Sabbath have been the kings of metal. Featurning Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi, this is where metal took birth. I would reccommend this CD to any rock or metal fan. Its a classic. (although my favorite from Sabbath is "Paranoid".)

    Black Sabbath - 10/10 - a masterpiece, starting out with the sounds of rain and lightning, soon adding church bells in the distance. Suddenly we hear Ozzy's voice and heavy guitar riffs. Awesome.

    Wizard - 8/10 - a great song. Featurning a little more of Ozzy's harmonica.

    Wasp/Behind the Wall of Sleep/bassically/NIB - 9/10 - yet another good song. Its made up of 4 parts, all of which have a differend sound to em. Its pretty good.

    Wicked World - 10/10 - my favorite from the CD, its features good vocals from Ozzy and great guitar riffs.

    Bit of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning - 9/10 - like Wasp, it has several parts to it, and its longer than the other songs. Its great.

    To sum all this up, this Cd rocks. As I said before you must be crazy if you don't own this already. I highly reccommend it....more info
  • Response to "Lame Metallica wannabes."
    Kelsey, you are an idiot and really need to do your research before typing any kind of product review online. Black Sabbath had already been around for an entire decade when Metallica was formed, and this is their first album. So you want us to believe that Black Sabbath are just wannabes of a band that didn't even exist at the time and that they "stole riffs" from albums that were made over 30 years later?!

    BTW...Slipknot, Staind, and Puddle of Mudd are NOT real metal, far from it actually. As far as Metallica is concerned, their old stuff was metal. St. Anger as well as pretty much everything else that came after And Justice For All is NOT....more info
  • Precurser to Paranoid
    This album opens with the scariest guitar riff Ozzy ever heard in his life and one of the coolest I've ever heard in mine. This is where metal started, when Sabbath was a blues band called Earth and Iommi came up with that bone crunching riff.

    You will not find a bad track on this album. "Black Sabbath" is a classic, "The Wizard" showcases Ozzy's command of the harmonica, "A Bit of Finger/Behind the Wall of Sleep/Bassically/N.I.B." is an amazing meddly of some of Sabbath's more memorable songs, "Wicked World" is great, and the last track buries an amazing cover in a slaughterhouse of awesome riffs. What more could you want in an album?

    The final track, however, does get a bit much sometimes...and the album is short (I know, it's a debut, but...). All the songs are great though, so pick it up....more info
  • I own every album.
    Too lazy to sign in, but still writing a review anyway. All lies if you are reading the one star reviews. That aside, Black Sabbath is really great in their own right. I idolize Tony Iommi for all those crushing riffs of "Black Sabbath", "The Wizard", "NIB", and finally the underrated "Wicked World". Geezer Butler is also underrated also, for him, you'd only got half of Sabbath for at least the first ten albums ("Black Sabbath" to "Mob Rules") excluding the greatest hits and adding "Born Again", "Dehumanizer", and "Cross Purposes". Ozzy Osbourne may not be the greatest singer in the world, but he is the best entertainer/singer bare none with his creepy tones in his lyrics. Bill Ward, no one could beat his drumming, with the exception of late Cozy Powell (RIP), beating down his drums in later releases. I used of been a Ozzy believer, but seeing Tony go through so many line ups, I changed my mind after hearing "Heaven and Hell" with Ronnie James Dio of Rainbow and Elf fame. But this album, "Black Sabbath", is the start of a metal revolution in history of rock....more info
  • The very worst reason NOT to like music is beacause it's old
    If there was no Black Sabbath, then where the hell would metal come from. All metal bands today were deeply inspired by Black Sabbath if you like it or not. True some bands of today are heavier and have their own sound going like Korn (I hate Limp Bizcuit, but actually like early Korn), Sepultura (Awesome Brazilian boys), Pantera (Kick ass), Metallica (Another hugely inspirational metal band who shined so much more with their classic 80s albums), System of a Down (Very fun comical metal band at times), but none of them sound as good as the classic Black Sabbath with Ozzy line up...

    I'm 23 now and I love old music (stones, beatles, zeppelin, floyd, who, dead, ccr, jeff beck, guess who, queen, bowie, young, dylan etc...) I might not be from the 60s or 70s, but that doesn't mean I can't tell that the music then is simply amazing! I like todays music as well.

    People who don't like old music just because it's old makes me want to vomit...

    Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath is classic! ...more info
  • Gloomorama!
    Here is where it all began: Heavy Metal as we all know and love it! The gloomiest,most explosive, diverse music and perhaps the scariest album cover to boot! This album makes all other doom and gloom bands look like pop music! And the remastering is exquisite. The cymbal crashes send shivers down your spine. Working with music for 30- plus years, I know a little about sound mixing, and this is some of the best! And the music: some of the most mature ever to be placed on one debut disc. These are some very- well written songs with "picturesque" lyrics, ones that allow you to experience the stories being set forth. Although this recording isn't as technically brilliant as later offerings (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or Sabotage,) the raw energy hits you like a bolt of lightning. I enjoy every single track here and I'm sure you will also. I keep coming back to this recording more than any other by this group. Love it!...more info
  • The Best Rock Album of them ALL!
    This is my favorite rock album of all time! It is by far Sabbath's best, but I consider it the best rock album, period. ...more info