Where exactly did heavy metal begin? The phrase is said to begin with the line in Steppenwolf’s ‘Born To Be Wild’. There’s certain bands that laid the groundwork for it in the sixties, amongst which Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience would be forerunners, and The Who (‘My Generation’ and ‘Substitute’), early stuff by The Kinks (‘You Really Got Me’ and ‘All Day And All Of the Night’), and even The Beatles (‘Revolution’ and ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy).’
However, perhaps the band with the most claim to have truly invented heavy metal is Birmingham’s Black Sabbath.* And this year sees the release of 13, the first album in 35 years to reunite singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tommy Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler (drummer Bill Ward has been replaced by Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk).
My favourite Sabbath albums are probably still Black Sabbath and Paranoid, though I enjoy Sabbath Bloody Sabbath as well. To list all the bands who have been influenced by Black Sabbath would take a long time, but when you consider sources as diverse as Slipknot and The Cardigans** have claimed them as an inspiration, that shows the length of the appeal of a band that the critics of the time hated. You can hear them on stoner metal bands, goth bands (well over a decade before goth rock was even termed), grunge, thrash, death…
The album tracklisting is as follows:
‘End Of The Beginning’
‘God is Dead?’
‘Age Of Reason’
The bonus deluxe edition tracks are:
‘Peace of Mind’
Stream the awesome first single ‘God Is Dead?’ (note the significance of the question mark).
*yes, I’m aware of the importance of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, but Sabbath consolidated the whole thing, frankly.
** yes, really. The Swedish band covered ‘Iron Man’ ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ and ‘Changes.’