Black Sabbath — The Eternal Idol
Black Sabbath has been one of the most legendary bands in heavy metal rock, with a novel style that gave a whole new dimensionto the development of this unique music trend. Their influence is this arena has become a defining force for other musicians. Heavy bass and wild rocking guitar riffs, coupled with screaming vocals has been Black Sabbath’s trademark. Their predecessors were the hard blues-rock bands of the late ’60s like Cream (Eric Clapton), Blue Cheer, Vanilla Fudge and other groups, which transformed traditional blues into electrified ear piercing sounds of rational anguish. Black Sabbath guitar solos, with howling vocals that reflected grisly gruesome thoughts took that tradition in a new direction and generated a musical style that continues to attract millions of fans many decades later.
The roots of Black Sabbath date back to late 60’s when four teenage friends from Aston, near Birmingham, England: Anthony «Tony» Iommi (b. Feb 19, 1948), guitar; William «Bill» Ward (b. May 5, 1948), drums; John «Ozzy» Osbourne (b. Dec 3, 1948), vocals; and Terence «Geezer» Butler (b. Jul 17, 1949), bass got together to form a jazz-blues group by the name of Polka Tulk, later renamed as Earth. They played all across Europe and were inclined to change the band name again because of conflict with another group with the name Earth.
The name Black Sabbath was taken from the name of a book written by occult writer Dennis Wheatley, which was also the title of one of the songs written by Terence Butler. This unit is responsible for creating the famous Black Sabbath guitar music. «Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)», was Black Sabbath’s first single and Phillips subsidiary, Vertigo, released Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album in early 1970, which made a mark on the U.K. Top Ten charts. Warner Bros. Records released the same album in May 1970 in the U.S. and eventually ended up selling a million copies within a year. By this time, the band had the tremendous following of faithful audience that found Black Sabbath’s uncompromising approach irresistible. «Paranoid» was Black Sabbath’s next album that was released in September 1970 after the title track, released as a single in advance of the LP, hit the Top Five in the U.K.
The Paranoid album hit the number one spot and sold over four million copies. One of its tracks, «Iron Man», remains their biggest hit ever and won them their first Grammy. The success of the Black Sabbath group continued with the release of «Master of Reality», the third album, in August 1971, reaching the Top Ten in U.K. and U.S., selling over a million copies. With many follow-up albums like Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 (September 1972), Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (November 1973), We Sold Our Soul for Rock ’n’ Roll (December 1975), Technical Ecstasy (October 1976), Heaven and Hell (April 1980), Mob Rules (November 1981), Born Again (September 1983), The Eternal Idol (November 1987) and many more to their credit, Black Sabbath music remains popular today and will be there for many more decades to come.