Well folks this brings to an end my Sabbath January Sabbath Posts! I hope you all enjoyed reading it much as I had blogging about these albums! They are fantastic pieces of work. Now there’s been a method to my madness for doing the 6 Ozzy only Sabbath albums. My good friend Metal Todd has very generously bought me a ticket (and a place to stay)to see Black Sabbath/Rival Sons February 3rd/2016 in Vancouver British Columbia! Holy Frigg,Yeah I’m Going! (full show review will be blogged about) I’m stoked. So myself,Metal Todd,his wife Nicole and another friend of Metal Todd’s named Naisan are going!
It’s gonna be F*^kin Killer!
Thanks a million times over Metal Todd and Nic!
I’ve been real lucky over the years to see some real stellar all time great guitar players live such as Joe Perry,Brad Whitford, Alex Lifeson,Eddie Van Halen,Ace Frehley,David Gilmour,Keith Richards,Ronnie Wood,Adrian Smith,Dave Murray,Janick Gers,Slash And Izzy,Kirk Hammett,James Hetfield and now Tony Iommi! Man,just to hear the King Of Doom riffs ply his craft live is gonna be a real mindblower for sure!
So what better way than to prep myself sonically for the show than to review these Ozzy albums! The 13 album that Sabbath released a few years back was I thought very good and I will review it at some point but I just wanted to focus on the 1970s version of studio Sabbath output for now.
Up to this point I had never done a full-out one month series of a certain band and it ended up being a good listening experience!
You gotta hand it to guys like Mike Ladano that will post fantastic written blogs exclusively on one band and do about 15 reviews in a row. I got to 6… haha….
Speaking of Mike check out his fantastic site and read his DVD review of the Never Say Die Tour! It’s a sneak attack Friday Special. Click here Folks…..
I also must mention that Aaron from The KMA listened to all the Motley Crue studio albums (7 or 8 at least maybe more) in a week! After that listening expeirience Aaron said one of the greatest one liners every stated about listening to all that Crue in a 7 day span! The quote was “I Feel Dirty And I Need To Take A Shower!”
Ok enough babble……
Never Say Die is Ozzy’s swan song from 1970s Sabbath. By 1978 the wheels were coming off big time! There was a ton of issues big time with Ozzy who actually quit before the recording of Never Say Die and was replaced by some fella named Dave Walker but Ozzy returned to rejoin and record with the band. On the Never Say Die tour it was common to hear that openers Van Halen were giving Sabbath more than a run for they’re money shortly after the tour Ozzy quit yet again. So I guess when it rains it pours …..
Technical Ecstasy (1976)was recorded in Miami(party,drugs,cartel and hookers are the first thing that come to my mind) whereas Never Say Die was recorded in Toronto in January of 1978(cold,colder,coldest and the Toronto Maple Laughs(Leafs) are the first things that come to my mind).
Does Sabbath have enough gas in the tank to punch out another album of greats? Mmmmmm let’s see….
NEVER SAY DIE-Sabbath nail Gold right off the bat! Listen to the video of this song that I posted as Bill Ward plays his role of Satan Jazz Drummer playing Heavy Metal! Holy Frigg the drums on this track are so good they shuffle at a clip and Its amazing. That’s just the drums folks! The rest of the lads Tony and Geezer lay it down with a real good mix of bass and guitar! Ozzy and his vocals are mixed perfectly here. Gone is the sterile studio sound of Technical Ecstasy replaced by a good studio sound. I have no idea why people bash this album but let’s continue on shall we?!
JOHNNY BLADE-a creepy Mr Crowley like keyboard opens Johnny Blade and before long Uncle Tony and his guitar ramble out of the gate. This is a pretty cool tune. Ozzy howls down during the chorus “Jooooohnny Blaaaaaade!” Bill and Geezer are locked n loaded and along for the ride!
JUNIOR’S EYES-I may need to be corrected here but I tend to think that this is the only Sabbath song ever just to have Geezer and Bill starting the tune off and keeping the bass and drums going right through the whole song in a mid tempo kind of fashion as it’s Sabbath jamming and it’s a pretty decent song as well. Tony even cranks out some psychedelic like riffs.
SHOCK WAVE-Wow I just love this tune! It’s Happy Sabbath or would that be High Sabbath! Regardless this song has a real good verse and even a better chorus driven by Geezer’s bass and Ozzy’s lead vocal. Even Tony lays off the doom gas pedal and drives the song with a clean guitar tone.
HARD ROAD-This song a revved up Sabbath rocker. It trucks along at a decent clip. Pretty cool song actually not sounding like Sabbath. Iommi plays a mean clean guitar while Geezer drives the bass along with Bill on the drums.
AIR DANCE-Freaky Sabby! Ozzy outs in space and this is one of those tracks that as a listener your thinking to yourself “WHUT?”.
OVER TO YOU- Kinda a different tune. Iommi though as like many a Sab tune starts it off and it’s a different kind of Sabbath. Different tempo changes as Bill does his jazz drum fills along with Geezer and Tony joining along for the ride. This tune at first I was like ???? Now I would rank it !!!! It’s a grower for sure,give it a few spins kids!
BREAK OUT-Now where would we be without a Sabbath musical only song? Right! Ozzy gets the day off in Toronto and Geezer,Bill and Tony play what could almost be considered a Sabbath Stripper like tune! There’s horns and an off beat like stomp. Not a bad tune if you’re heading to a seedy late night hours bar!
SWINGING THE CHAIN-Bill Ward does the lead vocals here. I guess the deal with this song was that Dave Walker who had replaced Ozzy for a little bit worked on this song with Geezer,Bill and Tony. When Ozzy came back to Sabbath to record he refused to sing this song as another singer had worked on it! Ha! Goes to show you that Sabbath was just writing enough material for their albums and no more! I guess the album tour album tour etc cycle can catch up to Ya and in this case it does as there are no extra songs lying around. This tune is a mash-up of sounds even a distorted harmonica is heard(The Wizard? Ha!) I dunno I think the Sabbath gas tank is pretty much empty by this tune. It’s like “let’s get this over with and hit the pub!”
For the most part I really like Never Say Die.(5 – 6 Tunes I dig) To me in the Ozzy Sabbath catalogue it’s like what Done With Mirrors by Aerosmith is to Aero. Two albums by these two powerhouse acts and they don’t want to know about them!
For myself. I dig em tons and if you have been reading my Yammers (blogs as most people call them) than you know my utter dig fest for Done With Mirrors. I reviewed it and it’s floating around the site …Never Say Die is another one of those albums that if you give it some time will grow on Ya! Trust me!
FINAL YAMMER- For everyone that read,commented and just flat-out took the time to check out my Ozzy Sabbath Series thanks tons! What a real cool part of Metal History and I was glad to go along for the ride with Sabbath!
My first Ozzy related owned Ozzy Sabbath was Ozzy’s Classic Speak Of The Devil which you can click here and read about how it affected me as a young snot nosed kid…https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/sonic-waves-ozzy-osbournespeak-of-the-devil/
It’s amazing how many people love the first 4 albums and as Mikey Ladano commented perhaps the essential first 6 many people would attest too being the Ultimate Sabbath.
I do have to say that Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die were the two albums that surprised me the most. Now,I’m not a huge Sabbath expert like many others out there but Never Say Die kinda knocked my socks off especially the first 5 songs as like I said earlier is parallel to Aero’s Done With Mirrors. Kinda funny that to me both those albums songs tail off towards the end and that would be due to the bands being Hammered amongst other devices floating around at the time!
Still though there are points of genius amongst the songs like the tune’s Never Say Die and Shock Wave and that’s due to the drive of Bill Wards drums. The cat just blew my mind with his drumming,percussion playing and singing the odd tune as well. Too bad currently him and Sabbath are on the outs with each other.
Geezer Butler and that fuzzed out NIB tone as the dude set the bar for total bass jamming and riffing and let’s not forget that it was most likely Geezer who had a huge hand in the lyric writing as well.
Ozzy is Ozzy man! But you can hear how his voice had developed from album to album and got stronger as Sabbath went on in there recorded history.
Tony Iommi is the Sniper with guitar riffs of doom! The guy is legend and kudos to him as I have no idea how many various incarnations of Sabbath he had kept going through the 80s (Hello David Donato!) Tony plowed through and through and now were At The End as Sabbath are calling it a day and I hope they stick too it being The End!