Black Sabbath/Technical Ecstasy (1976)

Interesting turn of events at Camp Sabbath as when Technical Ecstasy is released the production has changed. Gone is the wicked warmness audio of the first 6 albums replaced on Techinical Ecstasy a more kind of  sterile studio sound. Everything even the songs are a different kinda Sabbath. Still though what do you do in Sabbaths case? Do you keep doing  what you’re doing and people will call you out as your not changing it up (musically) or do you in fact change it up and people will still bust your chops about changing. This record for me is Sabbath in no man’s land. Trying to move forward yet still trying to keep the crack of the door a little open on there past!

Tony Iommi,Geezer Butler,Ozzy and Bill Ward recorded this in Miami! Say no more as I’m sure there was a wee bit of partying going on at Sabbath HQs and they probably realized at one point “Ummm we gotta get a album done!”

BACK STREET KIDS-Iommi nails a heavy riff and the fella’s as they always do join in. Think Hearts Barracuda  pace not that this sounds like it  just the tempo! BackStreet Kids is a great song except that Ozzys vocals are mixed trebly like and perhaps that due to the sound of the album in whole but especially this song. Ozzy sings the tale of being in a rock n roll band going from nothing to something. The middle point of the song has a good ol synth a roo making a cameo which sounds once again Who Quadraphonia like. BackStreet Kids gets the album off to a rocking start!

YOU WON’T CHANGE ME-Sabbath is right changing gears. You Won’t Change Me is almost a slowish tune that weaves in and out with different time changes.

ITS ALLRIGHT-Bill Ward does the lead vocal here and he’s got a pretty decent voice. Sabbath is getting technical here! Not resting on their past success. It’s Allright is a no frills track! Pretty decent actually.

GYPSY-Ward kicks off Gypsy with his drums and cymbals smashing around and Gypsy ramps Sabbath back up. But wait a minute this tune almost sounds like a mini rock opera as the song shifts gears slows down and brings a mid temp pace along with some keys. Gypsy is a real interesting track. A bit of it sounds like Sabbath and a bit doesn’t! Give these guys credit there baked from the sun recording in Miami and there still shaking things up! This is a great song! I posted the video so check out Miami Sabbath!

ALL MOVING PARTS(STAND STILL)-Love Iommi’s riff n roll on this song and hey there’s a creepy 70s synth seeping in the background. Nice pace by the boys here. You know Sabbath took on a ton of heat for this record but seriously these songs are good it’s funny even Sabbath disses some of this stuff!

ROCK N ROLL DOCTOR- Junkie Sabbath looking for a fix! The lyrics say it all. “If You Wanna Feel Groovy,Give The Doctor A Call,Doctor Rock Will Help You Anytime At All!” Hey readers! That’s the deal of this tune almost a throw together good time tune and that’s Miami talking I believe. Even dig the honky Tonk piano throughout the tune as well. Happy High Sabbath just wanting a good time!

SHE’S GONE-I guess the song Changes kinda affected Ozzy and Crew as they were trying to write chick songs at times succeeding and others sometimes falling short. Too be honest this one falls short I mean the stuff I think of Sabbath is heavy doom and gloom. You can’t blame Sabbath as they’re trying to channel their inner self through song! Whoah that’s deep! Ha!

DIRTY WOMAN-Wow! Sabbath ends their album with the 8 minute plus Dirty Woman workout! Basically tells the tale of Ozz wondering around looking to score and picking up a  Dirty Woman she don’t mess a round.(could be about Hook or Smack) Iommi,Butler and Ward pull out all the stops how about some big drums,loud guitars and pumping bass changing the song structure up and before you know back to all Sab hands on deck for a heavy metal workout with Bill smashing his double bass drums at a ferocious clip!

Techinical Ecstasy by all accounts is a pretty good album. I know for many out there it boils down to the first 4 Sabbath albums and fair enough. Some and from what I read  the critics bashed this one and the next one(Never Say Die) but as I pointed out earlier people sometimes have a hard time accepting change and perhaps these songs aren’t classics but for myself there pretty good especially if the production angle  could have used  had a little more liveness to it….

Never Say Die coming up on Freaky Friday….

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Black Sabbath/Technical Ecstasy (1976)”

  1. I like this one too Deke. Lot’s of good stuff on this… There’s a wee lull in the middle but it starts and ends well. Always thought they sound half asleep on Rock N Roll Doctor, it’s such a phoned-in song. It’s the next album that lost me a bit…

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  2. Love this album, even some of the songs you don’t seem too hot on — Gypsy, She’s Gone. I really love the ballady moments on this album. Sabbath were such a classy band, their ballads always ruled. Witness Solitude and Changes…

    They were getting more progressive here, maybe…I think it was a cool experiment.

    True story, I got this album in ’95. For $1 on tape. A guy came in selling tapes, but we didn’t buy tapes. I offered him a buck for his Sabbath and he took it, so that was how I first had this album. The songs were in a different order on tape.

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    1. I dig Gypsy…this was a pretty good record considering no one ever talks about it. Except the die hards like yourself! Haha….great story about the tape hahahaha .best buck you ever spent Mikey!

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  3. Good write-up, Deke. Might just have have sold me on giving this another listen! Never took to it on account of it feeling a tad lifeless, but you’ve certainly made a good case.

    I also agree with Scott and Mike about Rock N Roll Doctor. And I agree with you on She’s Gone.

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  4. Deke I really like that visual of the in between album, the door slightly open to the past while moving ahead.
    And like you said, either way the band will be criticized for treading water or, you’ve changed man!

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