Monday, November 06, 2006

Number 3!

And so we return to the countdown of my Most Influential Albums!!! (cue Kermit the Frog-esque "yaaaaay"). Since it's been a while, let's do a quick rundown of what we've gone through so far.

Number 5

Number 4.2

Number 3.8

And that my friends brings us to Number 3.

Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath

Forget the Ozzy of Mtv fame, forget the pepsi commercials, forget crazy train even. This is not that Ozzy. This is the Ozzy that taught me to love two things: Satan and Rock and Roll. Although their record label may have had way more to do with the Satanic imagery than the band did, these guys were still sinners extraordinaire. Sabbath entered my life when I bought a greatest hits album of theirs called We Sold Our Soul for Rock and Roll, vol. 1. I'm pretty sure I bought it just because I liked the idea of selling one's soul to rock out. So I brought it home and I rocked to it a little bit, which caught my dad's attention. Now, this was around the time that almost everything I listened to was appalling my parents, so I was pretty surprised to see how pysched he was that I was listening to Sabbath. He glanced through the track list and basically informed that although this was a pretty good cross section, there was more. The next day he brought me home their self-titled album. I had heard bluesy rock before (I mean, I practically learned to rock walk to Led Zepplin) but never like this. The album starts with a heavy rainstorm, church bells, and three evil notes from Tony Iommi's guitar, leading into the straight forward rock of the album's titular track. Then at the end of the track, things start picking up to lead into the heavy blues of "The Wizard". I'm convinced that a harmonica will never sound as badass as it does on this song. I could go on and talk about every track on the album, but it'll just descend into me gushing and marveling at their metal, so I'll stop now. I would've never given a shit about heavy metal if it weren't for this album though, and in retrospect, I don't think I'll ever really give a shit about any heavy metal the way I did about this album. In my mind, it's the perfect manipulation of the blues into a dark, heavy sound. Guitar players: Listen to Tony Iommi, Bass players: Listen to Geezer Butler, Drummers: Listen to Bill Ward, Vocalists: If there's anytime when you should listen to Ozzy, this is it. It's hard to pick just a few highlights and not post the whole album, but I'll do my best.

Aright, so I came close to posting the whole thing, but I still showed a little restraint. While I'm here talking about Sabbath, I might as well mention how awesome their 3rd album, Master of Reality, is.

With Master of Reality, Sabbath's sound got even darker, thanks in part to Iommi and Butler's detuned guitars, but also largely to the album's theme of intoxication through various substances, and references to solitude and suicide. I'm going to hold back from talking as much as I did about the self titled, but I will throw out a couple highlights.

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