Black Sabbath is without a doubt the greatest Heavy Metal band of all time. Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward pioneered the genre as we know it today, taking rock and roll to another level, a heavier one. When the self-titled album was released in 1970, music fans were in shock due to the heaviness of the sound and the lyrics that spoke about death, satan, and black magic.
We look back at the 5 Songs That Made Black Sabbath A Success In The ’70s:
A must-have piece from their self-titled debut album, started by a Geezer bass solo with Wah Wah, resulting in a great groove. The band points out this song as Cream’s influence. It has often been said that the acronym stands for “Christmas in Black” however in 1992, Geezer said that “nib” refers to the beard that drummer Bill Ward had at the time and that he added the dots to create a mysterious atmosphere.
One of the anthems of the album “Paranoid”, the work of 1970 was also the most successful of the English band. At first, it was going to carry the name “Warpurgis” and it focuses on the condemnation of the Vietnam War, this made the record company fear possible negative reactions, and therefore it was not the first single or the name of the album. “War Pigs” has been used in many movies as part of the soundtrack and is a very easy to recognize song for its characteristic riff and the hook of Ozzy’s verses.
The super hit of Black Sabbath, to date, is the most successful song that also relaunched the entire album “Paranoid” to one of the most acclaimed in rock history. When the group had finished the album they realized that there were still three minutes left so they had to put one more song. While Ozzy, Geezer, and Bill were having beers, Tony came across this riff and since he didn’t have a recorder he dedicated himself to playing it continuously until his teammates returned so he wouldn’t forget it. It was recorded in just half an hour.
Of all the songs on Black Sabbath, the namesake is undoubtedly the one that can define them the most. After Tony Iommi’s accident, the implant that was made in his fingers was decisive in changing his playing and led him to play this chord considered satanic, something that created Heavy Metal. And we add the dark lyrics of Geezer and the gloomy voice of Ozzy Osbourne we can understand why Black Sabbath differentiated itself from all its contemporary bands and managed to create something new.
If “Paranoid” was the single that catapulted them, “Iron Man” is the riff that made them immortal, which implied “Smoke on the Water” for rock did “Iron Man” for Heavy Metal, it became the riff that every guitar learner should play. Rolling Stone considered it the 310th in its list of best songs in History, for its part VH1 considered it the best song in the History of Metal. It also won the Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 2010. It has been covered by a large number of artists of different genres such as Metallica, Marilyn Manson, or Green Day.