American version of the debut full-length album by the legendary British Hard Rock/Heavy/Doom Metal band.
Black Sabbath's debut album is the birth of Heavy Metal as we now know it. Compatriots like Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple were already setting new standards for volume and heaviness in the realms of Psychedelia, Blues Rock and Prog Rock. Yet of these Metal pioneers, Sabbath are the only one whose sound today remains instantly recognizable as Heavy Metal, even after decades of evolution in the genre. Circumstance certainly played some role in the birth of this musical revolution - the sonic ugliness reflecting the bleak industrial nightmare of Birmingham; guitarist Tony Iommi's loss of two fingertips, which required him to play slower and to slacken the strings by tuning his guitar down, thus creating Sabbath's signature style. These qualities set the band apart, but they weren't wholly why this debut album transcends its clear roots in Blues Rock and Psychedelia to become something more. Sabbath's genius was finding the hidden malevolence in the Blues, and then bludgeoning the listener over the head with it. Even if the seams are still showing on this quickly recorded document, "Black Sabbath" is nonetheless a revolutionary debut whose distinctive ideas merely await a bit more focus and development. Henceforth Black Sabbath would forge ahead with a vision that was wholly theirs!
The album reached number eight on the UK Albums Chart and number 23 on the Billboard charts. Although it was poorly received by most contemporary music critics, "Black Sabbath" has since been credited with significantly influencing the development of Heavy Metal music, and widely regarded as the first Heavy Metal album.
In 1989, Kerrang! ranked Black Sabbath number 31 on their "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time". In 1994, it was ranked number 12 in Colin Larkin's Top 50 Heavy Metal Albums. In 2000, Q magazine included Black Sabbath in their list of the "Best Metal Albums of All Time". In 2005, it was ranked number 238 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; it was ranked number 243 in a revised edition of the list in 2012. Rolling Stone ranked Black Sabbath number 44 in their list of the 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time, describing the title track as the song that "would define the sound of a thousand bands".
The British release includes cover version of Crow's "Evil Woman" that doesn't quite pack the muscle of the band's originals; the American version substituted "Wicked World," which is much preferred by fans.
Warner Bros. Records Inc., 1970/1987 (1871-2). Made in USA.
1. Black Sabbath 6:19
2. The Wizard 4:22
3. Wasp / Behind The Wall / Basically / N.I.B. 9:43
4. Wicked World 4:42
5. A Bit Of Finger / Sleeping Village / Warning 14:17
Total playing time: 39:23