Black Sabbath

ARTICLE ABOUT Black Sabbath / Curved Air FROM New Musical Express, January 16, 1971

Here is a double concert review for you. What is fascinating with these old papers, in our time of near perfection, is that the proofreaders were non-existent or sometimes not very good. An example of this is what you will find here. I have corrected some obvious wrong-doings in the Sabbath part, but I have left the Curved Air review uncorrected for you to see.
Read on!


Concert review

By Roy Carr

BLACK SABBATH are about as subtle as an enraged mule kicking down a stable door, yet it is this controlled use of sheer physical brute force and electric wattage that has enabled them to quickly amass such a loyal international following.
There are very few bands working in the “heavy-weight” class who are capable of sustaining and then intensifying the rapid build up of neolithic excitement that Black Sabbath generate in their opener “Paranoid.”
Despite the fact that the Saints were at home to Bristol City (they won 3-0), the sombre municipal sanctum that is Southampton’s Guild Hall, where the group’s current tour opened on Monday, was soon a sea of bobbing heads and leaping idiot dancers as the Sabbath proceeded to almost exorcise all inhibitions out of the capacity audience.
With his lank hair constantly shrouding his face, singer Ossy Osborne took up his now permanent position to the right of the stage where he feigned, lurched and writhed through such strong-riffed numbers as “War Pigs,” “Iron Man” and the doomy “Black Sabbath.”
Two new numbers from their forthcoming album were previewed, “Into The Void” and “After Forever”, which benefited from some fierce drumming from Bill Ward and some equally aggressive playing from bassists Geezer Butler and smilin’ Tony Iommi whose guitar playing has improved immensely following the foursome’s succesful expeditionary trip to the States.
In all, their appearance and the audience participation speaks well of their future, and their finale of “Fairies Wear Boots” being the proverbial clincher.
Now is the time to forget the barrage of publicity and the obvious gimmick of a multi-coloured album.. they’ve served their intended purpose in that they have succeeded in bringing Curved Air the attention they need on a national basis.
Now on their own and without the protective cocoon of the publicity machine they consolidated the belief that they possess all the major qualities that a band needs to succeed and afterwards maintain the initial impact.
Faced with a cold audience in their first half spot, they worked flat out with the result that they had the entire multitude on their feet yelling for an encore at the end of their tour-de-force, “Vivaldi.” The switching on of the house lights midway through their set didn’t help but to their credit but they didn’t let it deter them.
Curved Air are rapidly developing into a band of strong personalities and though this is a good trait, they’ll have to be doubly careful that this commendable asset doesn’t backfire and become overworked.
At the moment, violinist Darryl Way and vocalist Sonja Kristina dominate the proceedings to dramatic effect. During “It Happened Today” Sonja was in complete control, while in other selections from their debut album Darry’s virtuosity completely transfixed one’s attention as he took the solo role usually reserved for a guitarist.
However, guitarist/pianist Francis Monkman, Ian Eyre on bass guitar and drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa were able to acquit themselves in an almost equally commendable manner.


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ARTICLE ABOUT Black Sabbath FROM New Musical Express, September 26, 1970

Here`s a real good one – Ozzy helping to review their second album, explaining what each track is about. There is also some assurances that they are not about any black magic at all… but the first time I heard the track “Black Sabbath”, looking at the cover, I was not, let`s say, thinking of angel choirs… No wonder that people associated the band with the black arts.
Read on!


Black Sabbath win struggle against black magic tag

By Richard Green who also reviews `Paranoid` LP

Because of the nature of the group`s name, people tend to associate Black Sabbath with witchcraft. This is an understandable misconception, but one which should be put straight – the Birmingham quartet has nothing whatsoever to do with slaying cockerels and goats.
Making their NME Chart debut this week at No. 26 with “Paranoid” the title track of their new album — Black Sabbath are pretty fed up with the tag and lead singer Ozzy Osbourne met me at his manager’s office to set the record straight.
“A lot of people have a grudge against us because of this black magic thing, but it has got out of all proportion. At one time we got so confused with Black Widow it was unbelievable, though I understand that Black Widow are getting out of black magic now. We’re two completely different bands in music and everything,” he began.
“All the tracks on the first album were a warning against black magic. You get old business tycoons wanting to go with young chicks, so they go along to black magic rituals and get themselves involved… things like that, they’re sick. I believe in black magic but I’ve not tried it and I won’t.
The black magic thing caused a lot of worries for Black Sabbath when going to America was mentioned. Ozzy explained:
“It frightened us because of the Sharon Tate murder and we got very uptight that people would expect us to go on stage and turn people into frogs and things.”
He laughs about it now but at the time it wasn’t funny. Ozzy finds that people realise what the group are once they’ve seen them and he’s more than pleased that they’re starting to break big at last.
“We used to be called Earth,” he revealed, “We were just bumming round the country for two years like a lot of other groups and when things started happening we thought maybe it was our turn. All that sweat has now paid off. As long as people want to listen to Black Sabbath we’ll be around.
“It’s unbelievable on the Continent. We’ve just finished a tour and every night we were getting two or three ovations. Up until the last tour we were going down well but there was a thing that just wasn’t there.
“At one time I just wanted to get a record in the charts and when we did it was amazing. It’s not changed any of us, we just want to go on playing good music and making people happy.”


Ozzy sat chain smoking and not holding back on his language, much of which was fruity. He makes use of expletives to emphasise points, most of which are good sense, and he has strong views on things like drugs and groups who have no time for other people when they’ve made the big time.
When he talks about Black Sabbath’s music, he is just as enthusiastic but he tends to get worked up in a quieter way. On recording albums he said: “We got so fed up hearing stories about love that we decided to write about what’s going on in life around people.
“If we start writing now for the next album by the time it comes up we may have a lot of good tracks or we may have a load of numbers we don’t like, so we leave it ’til the last moment.
‘We’re pretty quick at writing. Tony thinks of a riff or a melody and we write round that usually.
“We try to blend our music instead of getting the same monotonous riff. We like a lot of tempo changes so that it doesn’t get on people’s nerves.”
Black Sabbath turn out a gutsy, sock ’em all the time type of music which is never pretentious and the album is a good example of what they’re doing on stage. The speed and force of the music is sustained throughout. Tony Butler’s bass and Tony lommi’s lead guitar forcing the numbers along while drummer Bill Ward puts down a solid foundation.
Ozzy played me their new Vertigo album (42s. 6d.) and talked about the tracks. Here’s what he had to say:

WAR PIGS: “It’s about VIP people who are sitting there saying “Go out and fight” and all the everyday people are forced to, but the VIPs never do. We’re not a political group, it’s just that most of our songs have messages.”

PARANOID: “This is about a guy who has a hang up with chicks. It’s got a heavy riff. We’re not a single group and after the first single, which we didn’t like, we just wrote this in the studio and now its starting to sell.”

PLANET CARAVAN: “We wrote this in the studio as well. We decided to vary the album more by having a soft number. It’s a smokey jazz cIub number about someone going through space and seeing stars and things.”

IRON MAN: “This is about a guy who invented a time machine and he goes through time and finds the world is going to end. Coming back he turns to iron and people won’t listen to him, they think he’s not real.
“He goes a bit barmy and decides to get his revenge by killing people. He tries to do good but in the end it turns into bad.”

ELECTRIC FUNERAL: “In years to come, the way things are going, there’s going to be a nuclear war, which is what this track’s about. There’s a lot of evil in the world today.”

HAND OF DOOM: “It’s about people on drugs and what happens to them — their skin turning green and things. There’s a lot of gorey words, but we’ve seen a lot of people like that and it’s getting out of all proportion.
“If you can frighten people with words its better than letting them find out by trying drugs. I’m not trying to say we’re angels, I’ve indulged to a certain extent but I’d never try any of the hard drugs or trips or anything.”

FAIRIES WEAR BOOTS: “Again, it’s a warning about the use of drugs.”


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ARTICLE ABOUT Black Sabbath FROM New Musical Express, April 4, 1970

This was a fun find! An article printed just over a month after the release of their very first album. They had to get used to people believing they were some kind of Satan worshippers for the rest of their career. Anyone who have read their lyrics know that they in many ways expressed themselves more towards love and God. One of my absolute favourite bands – very consistent in their output – great musicians, wonderful riffs and rhythms. Oneof those bands that will continue to impress generations to come.
Read on!


Black Sabbath have nothing to do with spooks!

says lead guitar TONY

By Richard Green

A NUMBER of pop groups seem to have decided that it’s the in-thing these days to meddle in black magic and present their version of some of its rites on stage. So when I came across a group called Black Sabbath I naturally thought this was another touch of the things that go bump in the night. Not so.
Despite the group’s name, members Ossy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony lommi and Bill Ward want nothing to do with the spooks – at least, in their music.
Lead guitarist Tony told me: “Everybody thinks we`re a black magic group, but we just picked the name because we like it. I agree some of the numbers on the LP are about supernatural things, but that’s as far as it goes.
“We don’t make a habit of playing numbers like that, I think it was because we’re interested in the supernatural as people but not as musicians. The next album will feature more instrumental work.”
Black Sabbath have been together since the end of 1967, just after Tony left Jethro Tull.
The other three were members of various groups and they all came together to play what they felt.
“I was with Jethro Tull for a few weeks,” said Tony. “Musically they’re really good but where we treat the music as a personal thing they treat it as a job. We all mix together, they don’t. Ian is very to himself, he doesn’t mix. When I joined Jethro Tull they were already pretty big, with Black Sabbath I feel it’s better because I’m part of a group that’s trying to make it.”
Tony describes Black Sabbath’s music as heavy rock. The first time I heard it was on a Saturday afternoon when I was doing a bit of trendy posing with dark glasses and a large vodka in the Chelsea Drugstore. It’s not an exaggeration to say that over half the people in the place stopped camping it up to listen to the albums.
There are all sorts of good things on the LP and, unlike some groups, no one member has all his own way. Things are shared out evenly and the overall result is one of compactness and imagination.
When I asked Tony if he thought Underground music had begun to level out now, he replied: “There’s a lot more to come, things are going to get better. People are learning things all the time. There are a lot of amateur groups who are really good but people don’t give them a chance. There’s a group called Hot Spring Water in Cumberland who are great, but they don’t get the breaks.
“If people would listen to more groups they’d realise the talent that’s about. It’s hard getting the breaks and we’re lucky they’ve started happening for us. We couldn’t do a thing at first.”
Tony is very interested in jazz and he has a liking for some of the brass sounds of Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago. He hopes to see them both during the group’s forthcoming American tour.


“We’re worried about this black magic group bit in America, people might take us seriously,” he commented. “We might change some of the words of the songs so that we don’t have any trouble! If we get the time I’d like to see Joe Pass, he’s a fine guitarist and one of my early influences.
“It’s people like him and Alvin Lee that I like, they’ve got a style of their own. You can listen to them and think ‘I’ve never heard that before,’ they have their own thing going without having all these Clapton things creeping in.”
On stage, Black Sabbath does a twenty-five minute version of their number “Warning.”
It features a fifteen-minute solo by Tony who admits that he often plays whatever comes into his head, the others picking up their instruments and following him as best they can, though there are some set patterns.
Black Sabbath is already booked for a few festivals this year, so the breaks they wanted are becoming reality. So fear not when going to see them, you won’t have to take hammers, stakes and crosses to ward off evil spirits, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the wholesome music. If they let you relax.


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ARTICLE ABOUT Black Sabbath / Aerosmith FROM Sounds, December 27, 1975

This is one of those strange ones that happen from time to time – the support band gets a better review than the headliner. If that is in any way “correct”, I don`t know, as I was only nearly ten years old at the time and didn`t frequent many concerts at that age. Maybe some of the readers know?
Read on!


Black Sabbath/ Aerosmith
Madison Square Garden

Concert review by Toby Goldstein

IT WAS the kind of show no one over 18 wants to cover unless they’re paid to do so. Yet in spite of formidable odds against a proper reception, regardless of the beer spray which rained down on a hefty chunk of audience during their encore, Aerosmith, at least, proved they will be a band to reckon with in future, an Important Group in terms of both music and showmanship.
Leader Steve Tyler is a barrel of laughs. A Bostonians version of the Jagger school, he follows Mick in cut of hair, costume and attempted stage antics. He looks convincing enough.
After a time, the klutziness fades, for Tyler is as believable a singer as they come, Aerosmith are skilled in the arts of rocking and rolling and, best of all, not once did they attempt playing at jet takeoff volume.
The set was concentrated around their third album, ‘Toys In The Attic’ but also payed homage to the best of earlier albums. Older singles ‘Dream On’ and ‘Same Old Song And Dance’ illustrated what had pulled this group out of the mainstream.
Black Sabbath headlined the show, and a band with more persistence at repetition would be hard to find. Ozzie Osborne looks and acts at least five years backdated, with the songs hewing to a similar pattern.
Older material was indistinguishable from the newer, all three-chord exercises in success through overkill. It must be said that the audience was firmly in Sabbath’s corner, treating them as conquering heroes for more than an hour of the stuff, but after Tommy Iommi started to bleed, victim of a tossed-up tin can, I knew it was time to leave.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Black Sabbath and Black Oak Arkansas FROM SOUNDS, May 25, 1974

A new year is here, and as my first posting I think that this double concert review will kick off things in style. Funny that these two “black” bands toured together. Enjoy!


Concert review

By Pete Makowski

Stoke, Bloody, Stoke, eh? I can now admit to seeing my first Sabbath gig and it proved to be quite a mind shattering experience. For a start Stoke Trentham Gardens venue is quite an odd place anyway what with a ridiculously limited capacity (something to do with the doors on the side of the hall not being counted as fire exits) also, it`s in the centre of what could be described as Stoke`s version of Kew Gardens. It seemed quite strange to see a band as heavy as Sabbath in such serene surroundings.
The band that kicked off the evening were American friends of Sabb – Black Oak Arkansas who left me rather dazed and confused. They went down extremely well and I can understand why but the music they played was absolutely dire. But that didn`t really matter because with a showman like Jim Dandy they could help but go down well. That guy comes over strong like a sledge hammer in the guts. His vocals are deep and raunchy and he struts around the stage like an arrogant peacock occasionally leaping up in the air and pulling various stunts.
All the numbers sounded the same with the exception of “Mutants Of The Monster” and their rendition of “Dixie” which was very well played.
Ozzie Osbourne and Jim Dandy project themselves in a similar way and they would also win first prize in the look alike contest. Something that impressed me more than Dandy`s cahorting was the drummer Tommy Aldridge, who played an immaculate solo. Technically I wouldn`t know how good it was, that didn`t matter it was just so hard and
rhythmic that the guy even got a standing ovation from the audience. And when he leaped out to the front of the stage offering his sticks to the audience, there was virtually a riot.
He then went back and played some more without sticks, that guy has just got to be seen to be believed. The band had to do an encore which turned out to be their best song of the night, their single “Jim Dandy” and kids were still screaming for more after that. If this band`s music matched up to their stage act they`d be sensational but until then I can see them doing well at gigs but I wouldn`t imagine their records selling in the masses. Still I can honestly say I`ve never seen an unknown support band go down so well.

The stage was done up quite nicely with an English and American flag suspended from either side and a huge crucifix was hanging in the middle with strands of white wool trailing down either side. Their gear consists of speakers on top of speakers and mountains of amps – I`ve never seen so much equipment.
Sabbath strode onto the stage calmly and the crowd immediately leapt onto their feet. They opened the set with what I believed to be “Tomorrows Dream” and Ozzie leapt into action straight away flaying his arms all over the place and peace signs seemed to be the order of the day. Boy are they loud, it`s not so much the volume it`s the way they use it. It pounds into your nervous system and renders you helpless.
Each number kept at the same thunderous pace. The best part of the night was when they played material of their new album including “Killing Yourself To Live” and “Sabbra Cadabra” which featured some neat guitar from a short haired Tony Iommi.
Being a bit of a riff rat myself I really rate their new album which is much more refined than their previous efforts although it stays closely to the roots that they were set on the first and their other good album. Other numbers the band pounded away were “War Pigs”, “Snowblind”, “Iron Man”, and “Children Of The Grave”, which closed the show. Of course they came back for an encore.
“This songs from `Paranoid` what`s it going to be?” screamed Ozzie.
“PARANOID!” the audience yelled back, they were right. The band really let loose. Bassist Geezer Butler is quite a showman himself moving all the time occasionally kicking a leg up into the air.
I`ve got to admit, for the most part I didn`t enjoy this concert and I found myself watching the audience more than the band. I just couldn`t cope with the sound which came over dull and monotonous. But I`m glad I saw them just for the fact that I can now appreciate why their fans like them so much.
I spoke to Ozzie after the set and it seemed that the band were disgruntled with the sound the monitors were giving.
“For sound this place is terrible it`s like a bloody second world war aircraft hanger,” said Osbourne, “but I suppose this is the only good venue. Anyway the kids enjoyed themselves and that`s what I`m here for.” I wish I`d said that.


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Goldie Zelkowitz, Curtis Knight, Simon Alexander, Steely Dan, Chris Stainton, Ronnie Lane, Elliott Murphy, Loudon Wainwright, Tim Buckley, Steve Miller, Beach Boys, Tommy Vance, Jim Simpson, Stefan Grossman, Lynsey de Paul, Mott the Hoople, Kevin Ayers,
Dave Cousins, ELP.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.