Black Sabbath 1st album 50 Years ago today was where it all started. The birth of doom laden metal from so called devil worshippers black sabbath.
Released on 13 February 1970 in the United Kingdom and on 1 June 1970 in the United States, the album reached number eight on the UK Albums Charts and number 23 on the Billboard charts.
The album sleeve sets the tone for Black Sabbath 1st album. With its sinister cover. Standing in front of the watermill is a figure dressed in black depicting a witch holding a black cat. In 2020, the woman on the artwork was identified as Louisa Livingstone. The Black Sabbath album cover features a depiction of Mapledurham Watermill. Situated on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England.
Open the gatefold sleeve to reveal an upside down cross. Which the band later dismissed as a record company gimmick?
Then there’s the music itself, never before had a sound like this been heard on record. Music that sounded like it had been recorded at the gates of hell, although in reality it was the genius of band and producer Roger Bain who recorded and mixed the album in only two days, remarkable!!
The songs tell tales of black magic, Lucifer, dark subject matters indeed. Ozzy Osbourne‘s vocals sound tortured and disturbed over slabs of doom laden guitar riffs from the master of doom, Tony Iommi. Bill ward and geezer butler play jazzy patterns throughout to compliment the awesome skill of iommi.
The inventors of metal, the godfathers of everything dark and mysterious in music. This album has never sounded better 50 years on from it’s release, still my favourite album of all time and never bettered.
Black Sabbath have influenced many bands since and will continue to in the future.