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Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath — Sabotage (28 July 1975)

                                              Black Sabbath — Sabotage
•»   The embodiment of heavy metal, with the overpowering volume, sludgy attack, and fantasy lyrics that would define the genre.
Formed: in Birmingham in 1968
Location: United Kingdom
Album release: 28 July 1975 (US, Warners) / August, September 1975 (UK, Nems Records)
Recorded: February–March 1975 at Morgan Studios in London, England
Record Label: Vertigo / Warner Bros. Records / NEMS / EDIGSA / Sanctuary / Creative Sounds Ltd., 6003
Duration:     38:54
1 Hole In The Sky     4:00
2 Dont Start (Too Late)     0:50
3 Symptom Of The Universe     6:32
4 Megalomania     9:43
5 Thrill Of It All     5:57
6 Supertzar     3:46
7 The Writ     7:50
8 Am I Going Insane (Radio)     4:16
•»   Lyrics and music by Black Sabbath (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward)
•»   Some versions of Sabotage contain a short hidden track entitled "Blow on a Jug" at the end of "The Writ", recorded at very low volume.
Black Sabbath
•»   Ozzy Osbourne — lead vocals
•»   Tony Iommi — all guitar, piano, synthesizer, organ, harp
•»   Terry "Geezer" Butler — bass guitar
•»   Bill Ward — drums, percussion (piano on "Blow on a Jug")
Additional personnel
•»   Will Malone — arrangements for the English Chamber Choir
•»   Black Sabbath — co–producer
•»   Mike Butcher — co–producer / engineer
•»   Robin Black — engineer
•»   David Harris — tape operator and saboteur
•»   Engineer — Robin Black
•»   Producer, Engineer — Mike Butcher
•»   Engineer [Tape Operator And Saboteur] — David Harris*
•»   Performer — English Chamber Choir*
•»   Arranged by [English Chamber Choir] — Will Malone*
•»   Art Direction — Cream (7)
•»   Artwork [Album Cover Concept] — Graham Wright
•»   Producer — Black Sabbath, Mike Butcher
•»   Written–By, Arranged By – Black Sabbath
•»   Recorded at Morgan Studios London and Brussels
•»   Mastered at Sterling Sound New York
•»   Billboard Albums
•»   1975 Sabotage The Billboard 200      #28
•»   Black Sabbath began work on their sixth album in February 1975, again in England at Morgan Studios in Willesden, London. The title Sabotage was chosen because the band were at the time being sued by their former management and felt they were being sabotaged all the way along the line and getting punched from all sides”, according to Iommi. Iommi credits those legal troubles for the album's angry, heavier sound. In 2001, bassist Geezer Butler explained to Dan Epstein, Around the time of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, we found out that we were being ripped off by our management and our record company. So, much of the time, when we weren't onstage or in the studio, we were in lawyer's offices trying to get out of all our contracts. We were literally in the studio, trying to record, and we'd be signing all these affidavits and everything. That's why it's called Sabotage — because we felt that the whole process was just being totally sabotaged by all these people ripping us off.” In his autobiography I Am Ozzy, singer Ozzy Osbourne confirms that "writs were being delivered to us at the mixing desk" and that drummer Bill Ward was manning the phones.” In the liner notes to the 1998 live album Reunion, Butler claimed the band suffered through 10 months of legal cases and admitted, music became irrelevant to me. It was a relief just to write a song.”
•»   Tony Iommi later reflected, “We could've continued and gone on and on, getting more technical, using orchestras and everything else which we didn't particularly want to. We took a look at ourselves, and we wanted to do a rock album — Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath wasn't a rock album, really.” According to the book How Black Was Our Sabbath, “The recording sessions would usually carry on into the middle of the night. Tony Iommi was working really hard on the production side of things with the band's co–producer Mike Butcher, and he was spending a lot of time working out his guitar sounds. Bill, too, was experimenting with the drums, especially favouring the 'backwards cymbal' effect.” Osbourne, however, was growing more frustrated with how long Sabbath albums were now taking to record, writing in his autobiography that “Sabotage took about four thousand years.”
•»   Sabotage's front cover art has garnered mixed reactions over the years and is regarded by some as one of the worst album covers in rock history. The inverted mirror concept was conceived by Graham Wright, Bill Ward's drum tech who was also a graphic artist. The band attended what they believed was a test photo shoot for the album cover, thus explaining their choice of clothing. Said Ward, “The only thing we didn't discuss was what we'd all wear on the day of the shot. Since that shoot day, the band has survived through a tirade of clothing comments and jokes that continue to this day”. Ward, in fact, was wearing his wife's red tights in the photo. Wright recalls in the book How Black Was Our Sabbath that the plan was for each band member to appear on the cover dressed in black and had been instructed to bring some stage clothes for preliminary photos, but when they arrived no black costumes had been laid out by the designers and the original concept had been overruled.” The designers carried on with the shoot, explaining they would superimpose the images at a later stage and that it would look great, honest. The session was unbelievably rushed, and the outcome was far from what had been originally envisaged... Ironically, the sleeve design that was intended to illustrate the idea of sabotage had instead become a victim of sabotage itself. By the time they saw it, it was too late to change.” In 2013 Mojo commented the cover provides a rare moment of light relief.”
BY BILLY ALTMAN September 25, 1975; SCORE: not rated, favourable
•»   Sabotage is not only Black Sabbath's best record since Paranoid, it might be their best ever. Even with the usual themes of death, destruction and mental illness running throughout this album, the unleashed frenzy and raw energy they've returned to here comes like a breath of fresh air.
•»   "Symptom of the Universe" rambles on, an atonal riff–based crusher, then shifts for a coda of lightly paced acoustic jamming. "Megalomania" is an inversion of that, erupting into a hard rocker with a hummable chorus before it's slammed home in a quake of phasing and feedback. For diversion, there's "Supertzar," which features the English Chamber Choir chanting off an off–time splurge of guitar phrases. Black Sabbath loyalists will no doubt love this record and those who've never bothered may even want to indulge. •»   http://www.rollingstone.com/
Review by Steve Huey;  Score: ****½
•»   Sabotage is the final release of Black Sabbath's legendary First Six, and it's also the least celebrated of the bunch, though most die–hard fans would consider it criminally underrated. The band continues further down the proto–prog metal road of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and this time around, the synthesizers feel more organically integrated into the arrangements. What's more, the song structures generally feel less conventional and more challenging. There's one significant exception in the blatant pop tune "Am I Going Insane (Radio)," which rivals "Changes" as the most fan–loathed song of the glory years, thanks to its synth–driven arrangement (there isn't even a guitar riff!) and oft–repeated one–line chorus. But other than that song and the terrific album opener, "Hole in the Sky," the band largely eschews the standard verse–chorus format, sticking to one or two melody lines per riffed section and changing up the feel before things get too repetitive. The prevalence of this writing approach means that Sabotage rivals Vol. 4 as the least accessible record of Sabbath's glory years. However, given time, the compositional logic reveals itself, and most of the record will burn itself into the listener's brain just fine. The faster than usual "Symptom of the Universe" is a stone–cold classic, its sinister main riff sounding like the first seed from which the New Wave of British Heavy Metal would sprout (not to mention an obvious blueprint for Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?"). Like several songs on the record, "Symptom" features unexpected acoustic breaks and softer dynamics, yet never loses its drive or focus, and always feels like Sabbath. Less immediate but still rewarding are "Thrill of It All," with its triumphant final section, and the murky, sullen "Megalomania," which never feels as long as its nearly nine and a half minutes. But more than the compositions, the real revelation on Sabotage is Ozzy Osbourne, who turns in his finest vocal performance as a member of Black Sabbath. Really for the first time, this is the Ozzy we all know, displaying enough range, power, and confidence to foreshadow his hugely successful solo career. He saves the best for last with album closer "The Writ," one of the few Sabbath songs where his vocal lines are more memorable than Tony Iommi's guitar parts; running through several moods over the course of the song's eight minutes, it's one of the best performances of his career, bar none. Unfortunately, after Sabotage, the wheels of confusion came off entirely. Yes, there were technically two more albums, but for the non–obsessive, the story of Osbourne–era Sabbath effectively ends here.
Fan site: http://www.black-sabbath.com/
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Website: http://www.blacksabbath.com/
Lyrics Symptom of the Universe
1.)    Take me through the centuries to supersonic years
Electrifying enemy is drowning in his tears
All I have to give you is a love that never dies
The symptom of the universe is written in your eyes
2.)    Mother Moon she’s calling me back to her silver womb
Father of creation takes me from my stolen tomb
Seventh Advent unicorn is waiting in the skies
A symptom of the universe, a love that never dies
3.)    Take my hand, my child of love, come step inside my tears
Swim the magic ocean I’ve been crying all these years
With our love we’ll ride away into eternal skies
A symptom of the universe, a love that never dies
4.)    Woman child of love’s creation come and step inside my dreams
In your eyes I see no sadness you are all that loving means
Take my hand and we’ll go riding through the sunshine from above
We’ll find happiness together in the summer skies of love

Black Sabbath