Black Sabbath’s 10 Greatest Songs and Greatest Discs (Representative Songs and Hidden Masterpieces)

This time I created a ranking of Black Sabbath.

I tried to limit it to the period when Ozzy Osbourne was the vocalist.

I like Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan on vocals just as much.

However, the Ozzy era alone fills up the 10-song limit, so I decided to limit it here.

The Ozzy Osbourne era is also divided into the first and second halves.

The first half is the period of heavy sound from the first album to “Black Sabbath Vol.4”, and the second half is the period of pop music from “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” to “Never Say Die!

I’d like to introduce some of the best songs from the latter half of the period.

This blog is an automatic translation of a Japanese blog into English.

Please understand that it may be difficult to read.

No.1「Sweet Leaf」(Album:Master of Reality)


■Song Title:Sweet Leaf
■Album Name:Master of Reality
■Video link:「Sweet Leaf」

I think Tony Iommi’s talent as a riff-maker is tremendous.

I could pick any song from this period.

The reason why I chose this song as number one is because I thought the flow from the coughing sound effect in the intro to the riff was very cool.

By the way, the connection between the sound effect and the riff is very messy, and I always end up half laughing there.

The low center of gravity of the performance goes well with Ozzy’s vocals, which are characterized by nasal high notes.

I also love how the pace suddenly picks up in the middle of the song, and the guitar climbs up.

This song is also known as “Fight For Your Right” by the Beastie Boys, who sampled it.


No.2「St. Vitus Dance」(Album:Black Sabbath Vol.4)


■Song Title:St. Vitus Dance
■Album Name:Black Sabbath Vol.4
■Video link:「St. Vitus Dance」

This band has a lot of long, lazy songs.

It’s a good thing in some ways, but if you listen to the whole album, you might get a little bored.

However, they always try their best to avoid being too straightforward.

This light and catchy song sounds very appealing in between the long and heavy songs.

After all, it’s less than three minutes long.

In the case of Led Zeppelin, this song might play a role like “Communication Breakdown” or “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)”.

They tend to be associated with a heavy sound, but surprisingly, they also have fast and loud songs like these.

In this ranking, I tried to consciously focus on such songs.


No.3「N.I.B.」(Album:Black Sabbath)


■Song Title:N.I.B.
■Album Name:Black Sabbath
■Video link:「N.I.B.」

This song has a really cool intro bass line.

Geezer Butler’s bass sounded eerie, but somehow made me feel like I was singing.

I’m not sure how the bass is tuned, but I’m sure the strings are loose.

I don’t know how the bass is tuned, but I’m sure the strings are loose, but it’s effective and shows the sound stylist of this period.

This song shows another characteristic of the band.

That is, the vocals are sung in unison with the guitar riffs.

They are not a band that makes you listen to their singing melodies, but more of a band that focuses on the guitar riffs.

Since the guitar riffs are the main focus of the band, it might be a reversal of thinking to put the vocals on the riff side.

I don’t know how much of this was calculated, but I think they were a little godlike at this time.


No.4「Symptom Of The Universe」(Album:Sabotage)


■Song Title:Symptom Of The Universe
■Album Name:Sabotage
■Video link:「Symptom Of The Universe」

It is a fast and loud song like “St. Vitus Dance” mentioned earlier.

This album doesn’t get a lot of attention.

More than once, I’ve seen disc reviews that say it’s a bad album.

But some of the songs are so ambitious that they should not be overlooked.

I have an image that Tony Iommi is good at medium tempo, low gravity riffs.

However, after listening to it again this time, I realized that he provides the best riffs for any song at any tempo.

This song, in particular, sounds like thrash metal.

Also, the structure of this song is a little more elaborate.

It is said that the sound became lighter and poppier at this time, but there are also some songs with elaborate structures like progressive metal.

The “Led Zeppelin III”-like development at the end is not bad at all.

Ozzy’s vocals in the latter half sound a little like Robert Plant.


No.5「Snowblind」(Album:Black Sabbath Vol.4)


■Song Title:Snowblind
■Album Name:Black Sabbath Vol.4
■Video link:「Snowblind」

I first heard this song on Ozzy’s “Speak of the Devil”!

But I still prefer the original version.

I sometimes think of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana when I hear this song.

Kurt Cobain professed that he was influenced by Black Sabbath.

I imagine that he liked this kind of Black Sabbath, with its sluggishness and low center of gravity, but somehow catchy.

This song also sounds like grunge depending on how you listen to it.

By the way, “Snowblind” is a metaphor for drugs.


No.6「Into the Void」(Album:Master of Reality)


■Song Title:Into the Void
■Album Name:Master of Reality
■Video link:「Into the Void」

This song is about enjoying guitar riffs.

Tony Iommi is known as the riff master, but his appeal is more as a stylist than a technician.

As is often pointed out, the down-tuning of the guitar is also characteristic.

I also think that the handicap he had due to the amputation of his fingers at the factory had an effect on the limited number of performances he could do.

The loss of his fingers limited his playing, and he was not a dexterous guitarist by nature, but I think his strong vision more than made up for his shortcomings.

This song is also over six minutes long, but they always change things up in long songs.

This song is also over six minutes long, but they always try to change the pace of the song, such as making it suddenly faster in the middle of the song.

In this song, the pace speeds up a little past the one minute mark.

In this song, the pace speeds up a little after the first minute, and it becomes very comfortable to just let the guitar riffs take over in the tempo that expands and contracts.


No.7「Sabbath Bloody Sabbath」(Album:Sabbath Bloody Sabbath)

Black Sabbath-bloody

■Song Title:Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
■Album Name:Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
■Video link:「Sabbath Bloody Sabbath」

From this album, they shifted to a pop line.

It seems that they decided to move away from the heavy musicianship while keeping the occult line.

They were selling very well at the time, so this change in direction must have been a big adventure.

But the change turned out to be a good one.

This song, which became the title of the album, was a revival song for them, as they were in a slump at the time.

According to Wikipedia, it was “the riff that saved Black Sabbath.

The song is indeed a great piece of music and has been covered by many different people.

The Cardigans, a seemingly mismatched group, is also famous for their cover of the song.




■Song Title:Paranoid
■Album Name:Paranoid
■Video link:「Paranoid」

This song is generally considered to be Black Sabbath’s signature song.

The album reached number one in the UK charts and number four as a single.

It is the song that drove their popularity in the early days and is the first song that people like when they first hear the band.

It’s a straightforward, fast-paced number for them, and it made my blood boil when I heard it after a long time.

Ozzy sings in a single tone, a little faltering, with a zapping guitar in the background.

Ozzy may not be as expressive as he was later in his solo career, but I think his voice is good enough.

The lyrics say, “Someone’s trying to take over my head. Please help me.” The lyrics describe a confused situation.

In the UK at that time, there was a base for such songs to become hits.


No.9「Supernaut」(Album:Black Sabbath Vol.4)


■Song Title:Supernaut
■Album Name:Black Sabbath Vol.4
■Video link:「Supernaut」

After listening to it again, I realized that I really like “Master of Reality” and “Black Sabbath Vol. 4)”.

The riffs on these songs alone are enough to satisfy me.

The riffs in this song in particular have a charm or a unique singing spirit.

Incidentally, the riff of this song is said to be a favorite of the genius Frank Zappa.

In the middle of the song, there is a rare part where percussion continues.

Bill Ward’s drumming in this song has a unique sense of time.

It’s like “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones, but with a slightly different tension.


No.10「Back Street Kids」(Album:Technical Ecstasy)


■Song Title:Back Street Kids
■Album Name:Technical Ecstasy
■Video link:「Back Street Kids」

Sabbath in the latter half of Ozzy’s career is generally not highly regarded, but if you listen to it without any expectations, you will discover many things.

There are some straightforward songs that seem to be conscious of the U.S., mixed in with some strangely pop songs and progressive songs.

How about this song, for example?

If you ask me if there is a necessity for Black Sabbath to play such a song, I am at a loss to answer.

But don’t you think it’s a genuinely good song?

I think the development of the song, especially at 1:46, is really great.

The song may sound different depending on how you listen to it without the image of the previous period.


Other「Embryo」(Album:Master of Reality)


■Song Title:Embryo
■Album Name:Master of Reality
■Video link:「Embryo」

Finally, as a non-ranking, here is a short song.

This song is “Master of Reality,” and it is an instrumental number in between the longer songs.

In “Master of Reality”, sometimes there are short gothic European songs like this one to break up the longer songs.

It’s a very effective way to express the total image of the album.

I skipped through the other albums this time, but this is the only one I listened to in its entirety.

“Master of Reality” can be translated as “master of reality”.

It’s as if they want to say, “You think the reality you see now is all there is, but it’s not.

At this time, they were very good at self-production.

Their frightening image strategy, grimy sound, and insane lyrics all came together to make them truly unique.

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