Released July 28, 1975
Re-Released February 28, 1996
Re-Released April 27, 2004 (Black Box)
Re-Released September 16, 2009

[ Lyrics | Tour Dates ]


2009 CD [ Amazon UK | Amazon US ] | 2011 Vinyl [ Amazon US ]
Original CD [ Amazon US ] | 1996 CD [ Amazon US | Amazon UK ]
2004 CD [ Amazon US | Amazon UK ] | MP3 [ Amazon UK ]

Track Listing

  1. Hole in the Sky
  2. Don’t Start (Too Late)
  3. Symptom of the Universe
  4. Megalomania
  5. The Thrill of it All
  6. Supertzar
  7. Am I Going Insane (Radio)
  8. The Writ
  9. Blow on a Jug – See Notes

Writing Credits

  • All songs written and arranged by Black Sabbath


  • Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
  • Tony Iommi – Guitar
  • Geezer Butler – Bass
  • Bill Ward – Drums
  • Produced by Black Sabbath with Mike Butcher
  • Engineered by Mike Butcher/Robin Black
  • Tape Operator and saboteur: David Harris
  • Recorded at Morgan Studios London and Brussels
  • Mastered at Sterling Sound New York
  • English Chamber Choir arranged by Will Malone
  • 1996 Remaster by Ray Staff @ Whitfield St Studios
  • 1996 Reissue Design, art, and sleeve notes by Hugh Gilmour
  • 2009 Remaster by Andy Pearce & Matt Wortham @ Wired Masters
  • 2009 Sleevenotes: Jerry Ewing
  • 2009 Design: Hugh Gilmour
  • 2009 Project Management/Consultant: Jon Richards, Steve Hammonds, Hugh Gilmour
  • 2012 Digital Remaster by Andy Pearce & Matt Wortham
  • 2012 Vinyl Mastering by Greg Moore @ Masterpiece

Catalogue Numbers

  • LP NEMS 9119-001 (UK 1975)
  • CASS NEMS CSL-NEMS-3207 (UK 1975)
  • LP Warner Bros BS-2822 (US 1975)
  • CASS Warner Bros M5-2822 (US 1975)
  • LP PGPRTB LP-5546 (YUG 1975)
  • LP Vertigo 6366-115 (BRA 1975)
  • LP Vertigo 6366-115 (AUS 1975)
  • LP Nippon RJ-7043 (JPN 1975)
  • LP EDIGSA 16L-0150 (SPA 1980)
  • LP NEMS NEL-6018-2 (GER 1980)
  • LP NEMS NEL-6018 (UK 1982)
  • LP Victoria VLP-107 (SPA 1984)
  • LP Castle CLALP-202 (GER 1985)
  • CD Castle CLACD-202 (UK 1986)
  • CD Castle NELCD-6018 (UK 1986)
  • LP Vertigo 832-706-1 (NETH 1987)
  • CD Warner Bros CD-2822 (US 1987)
  • LP SNC C90-31089-009 (RUS 1990)
  • CD Essential ESMCD306 (UK 1996)
  • CD Castle CMTCD029 (UK 2000)
  • CD Sanctuary SMRCD036 (UK 2004)
  • LP Earmark 41028 (ITL 2004)
  • LP Earmark 41028-P (ITL 2004 – Picture Disc)
  • CD Universal 2716664 (UK 2009)
  • CD Universal UICY-94187 (JPN 2009)
  • LP Rhino R1-2822 (US 2011)
  • CD Universal UICY-25121 (JPN 2011)
  • LP Sanctuary 3715295 (UK 2012) – “Vinyl Collection”


  • One some pressings of the viynl/cassette (and the remaster CD), there’s a short 23 second song after The Writ (recorded at very low volume) called “Blow on a Jug”.  It’s usually tacked onto The Writ, and isn’t a track on it’s own.  It was Ozzy & Bill Ward goofing around in the studio, and never was intended for release.
  • The “Radio” in Am I Going Insane? (Radio) doesn’t mean there’s a different radio edit of the song – this is the only one.
  • “The Writ” was written about all the legal problems Black Sabbath had with their band management at the time.



  • The following is the 1996 Castle CD back cover image

  • The following is the back cover image from the 2009 Universal Remaster CD.

  • The following are some images from the original Warner Bros US cassette tape release

  • The following are from the 2004 Earmark picture disc release.

  • The following are from the 2011 Rhino vinyl release.




NOTE: These lyrics are verified against the lyrics that appear in the “Black Box” booklet. Those lyrics were gone over by Geezer Butler (who wrote most of them anyway) for that set, and for that reason should be considered definitive.

Hole in the Sky

I’m looking through a hole in the sky
I’m seeing nowhere through the eyes of a lie
I’m getting closer to the end of the line
I’m living easy where the sun doesn’t shine

I’m living in a room without any view
I’m living free because the rent’s never due
The synonym of all the things that I’ve said
Are just the riddles that are built in my head

Hole in the sky
Gateway to heaven
Window in time
Through it I fly

I’ve seen the stars that disappear in the sun
But shooting’s easy if you’ve got the right gun
And even though I’m sitting waiting for Mars
I don’t believe there’s any future in cars

Hole in the sky
Gateway to heaven
Window in time
Through it I fly

I’ve watched the dogs of war enjoying their feast
I’ve seen the western world go down in the east
The food of love became the greed of our time
But now I’m living on the profits of crime


Don’t Start (Too Late)



Symptom of the Universe

Take me through the centuries to supersonic years
Electrifying enemy is drowning in his tears
All I have to give you is a love that never dies
The symptom of the universe is written in your eyes

Mother Moon, she’s calling me back to her silver womb
Father of creation takes me from my stolen tomb
Seventh Advent unicorn is waiting in the skies
A symptom of the universe, a love that never dies

Take my hand, my child of love, come step inside my tears
Swim the magic ocean I’ve been crying all these years
With our love we’ll ride away into eternal skies
A symptom of the universe, a love that never dies

Woman child of love’s creation, come and step inside my dreams
In your eyes I see no sadness you are all that loving means
Take my hand and we’ll go riding through the sunshine from above
We’ll find happiness together in the summer skies of love



I hide myself inside the shadows of shame
The silent symphonies were playing their game
My body echoed to the dreams of my soul
It started something that I could not control

Where can I run to now, the joke is on me
No sympathizing God, its insanity yeah

Why don’t you just get out of my life, yeah
Why don’t you just get out of my life, now
Why doesn’t everybody leave me alone, now
Why doesn’t everybody leave me alone, yeah

Obsessed with fantasy, possessed with my schemes
I mixed reality with pseudo god dreams
The ghost of violence was something I’d seen
I sold my soul to be the human obscene

How could this poison be the dream of my soul
How did my fantasies take complete control, yeah

Why don’t you just get out of my life, yeah?
Why don’t you just get out of my life now?
Why doesn’t everybody leave me alone now?
Why doesn’t everybody leave me alone, yeah?

Well I feel something’s taking me I don’t know where
It’s like a trip inside a separate mind
The ghost of tomorrow from my favorite dream
Is telling me to leave it all behind
Feel it slipping away, slipping in tomorrow
Got to get to happiness
Want no more of sorrow

Realized when to hide
How I tried to get away from you now
Now am I right if I fight
That I might just get away from you now
Sting me!

Well I feel something’s giving me the chance to return
It’s giving me the chance of saving my soul
Pictures of demigod are fading away
I’m going backwards but I’m in control
Feel it slipping away, slipping in tomorrow
Getting back to sanity, providence of sorrow

Was it wise to disguise
How I tried to get away from you now
Is there a way that I could pay
Or is it true I have to stay with you now

How I lied, went to hide
How I tried to get away from you now
Am I right in my fight?
That I might just get away from you now
Suck me!

I’m really digging schizophrenia, the best of the earth
I’ve chase my soul in the fires of hell
Peace of mind eluded me but now it’s all mine
I simply try but he wants me to fail
Feel it slipping away, slipping in tomorrow
Now I’ve found my happiness, providence of sorrow

No more lies, I got wise
I despise the way I worshipped you yeah
Now I’m free let me see
That now instead, I won’t be led by you now


The Thrill of it All

Inclination of direction, walk and turn and twist adrift
With the children of creation, futuristic dreams we sift
Clutching violently we whisper with a liquefying cry
Any deadly final answers that are surely doomed to die

Won’t you help me Mr. Jesus
Won’t you tell me if you can
When you see this world we live in
Do you still believe in Man?
If my songs become my freedom
And my freedom turns to gold
Then I’ll ask the final question
If the answer could be sold

Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it
‘Cause I’ve got no reason to lie
Forget your problems that don’t even exist
And I’ll show you a way to get high, oh yeah
Oh yeah

So come alive, you know you’re magic to me
Remember freedom is not hard to find
Time to stop all your messing around
Don’t you think that I know my own mind, oh yeah
Oh yeah

Why can’t you believe, I’m not here to deceive
Do you always have to be told
For you and your problem you can never give up
Long before the answer was sold, oh yeah
Oh yeah





Am I Going Insane? (Radio)

Everybody’s looking at me
Feeling paranoid inside
When I step outside I feel free
Think I’ll find a place to hide

Tell me people
Am I going insane, insane
Tell me people
Am I going insane, insane

Every day I sit and wonder
How my life it used to be
Now I feel like going under
Now my life is hard to see

So tell me people
Am I going insane, insane
Tell me people
Am I going insane, insane

So I’m telling all you people
Listen while I sing again
If I don’t sound very cheerful
I think that I’m a schizophrene

So tell me people
Am I going insane, insane
Tell me people
Am I going insane, insane


The Writ

The way I feel is the way I am
I wish I’d walked before I started to run to you
Just to you

What kind of people do you think we are?
Another joker who’s a rock and roll star for you
Just for you

The faithful image of another man
The endless ocean of emotion I swam for you
Yeah, for you

The shock troopers laying down on the floor
I wish they’d fallen into my private war with you
Yeah, with you

Are you metal, are you man
You’ve changed a lot since you began
Yeah, began

Ladies digging gold from you
Will they still dig now you’re through
Yeah you’re through

You bought and sold me with your lying words
The voices in the dark that you never heard came true
Yeah came true

Your fallen phallic god dismembered and gone
A poison father with his poisonous son, that’s you
Yeah, that’s you

I beg you please don’t let it get any worse
The anger I once had has turned to a curse on you
Yeah, curse you

All of the promises that never came true
You’re gonna get what is coming to you, that’s true
Ah, that’s true

Are you Satan are you man
You’ve changed in life since it began
It began

Vultures sucking gold from you
Will they still suck now you’re through

(Cats, Rats)

The search is on so you just better run
And find yourself another way
Rob the dead, they don’t feel a thing
Leave the living for another day

(Rats, Rat)

You are nonentity, you have no destiny
You are a figment of a thing unknown
A mental picture of a stolen soul
The fornication of your golden throne

A smiling face it means the world to me
So tired of sadness and of misery

My life it started some time ago
Where it will end, I don’t know
I thought I was so good
I thought I was so smart
I feel my world is torn apart

But everything is gonna work out fine
If it don’t, I think I’ll lose my mind

I know, I know, I know, yeah yeah I know
Listen to me while I sing this song
You might just think the words are wrong
Too many people advising me
But they don’t know what my eyes see

But everything is gonna work out fine
If it don’t I’m gonna blow my mind


Blow on a Jug

Blow on a Jug
Everybody come on – blow on a jug
Be like me and blow on a jug
I want you to blow on a jug
Everybody begin – blow on a jug


  1. vito monteiro says

    no! you are joking? this is one of the heavy metal albuns that i love the most!! along with the number of the beast of maiden. look at the cover! wonderful see ozzy in that….. dress. strange! crazy but cool ! the songs ? they are beauty in shape of music. love love sabotage ! my album of the heart that i listened for the first time in 1979. finest stuff

  2. Dragao da beira says

    This album says a lot to me. I must have listened to ir for the first time on 78 or 79 and I simply thought that it was the the most blacksabbathian album that I had ever heard. It’s heavy (Megalomania), it’s psycho-obsessive (Am I going insane?/radio) it’s balladeer (last part of “The writ”), there is everything there. Talking about the balladistic side of Black Sabbath, no one sings ballads better than Ozzy Osbourne, I went to tears several times listening to him singing his ballads, such as Changes or that ballad part by the end of The Writ. Well, I must say something, I think Black Sabbath has only been Black Sabbath with Ozzy and I’m not being fanatic, it’s just that a band is great when it achieves a characteristic sound, a sound that everyone may recognize as being this band or that other one. When I listen to Grand Funk Railroad or Deep Purple or Black Sabbath (with Ozzy) or Rare Earth, even if it is an album that I have never heard before, I know immediately that those guys are the Grand Funk, these ones are the Sabbath and those other ones are the Purple and these ones are the Rare Earth, no doubt about it, they have a distinctive unmistakable sound. Well, Black Sabbath has that trademark only with Ozzy, the other singers, although very good ones, were rain passengers in Black Sabbath. Well guys, right now, I’m getting to the end of listening to Sabotage, I’m going now to put spining Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and have my Sunday’s breakfast, it’s 20 past 8 AM and I’m standing up since half past 6. Have a nice day, good people, plenty of love and peace to you all.
    Kim Matola

  3. Chris Tatton says

    This album is pretty underrated among the fans in my opinion. Thrill Of It All, Megalomania, Symptom Of The Universe and The Writ are my favourite songs on here.

  4. Never Say Die, Sabotage and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath are musically Black Sabbath’s best albums. Geezer Butler is one of the greatest lyric writers and bass players in rock n roll. He is way underrated. I am serious. Listen to the lyrics on Magalomania, the Writ, Johnny Blade, Junior’s eyes, National Acrobat, Into the void, Warpigs, After Forever and Wheels of confusion. Nobody writes lyrics like this! I think Black Sabbath and Deep Purple were the greatest hard rock bands in history. They really are the people’s band. Bands like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin are way overrated. The Beatles were a bunch of whimpy commercial bubble gum song writers and Led Zeppelin did not have the lyrical punch that Sabbath and Purple had. Jimmy Page was eclipsed by Jeff Beck during the yardbirds and after Zeppelin not much of Page’s music is very good anyway.

    • Jeff Downing says

      I totally agree. Those three albums are absolutely peerless. I can’t fathom how even the band fail to see that this was their absolute best work- the culmination of all the work and ideas. Even more remarkable for the fact they had so many issues within the band. Sabotage and Never Say Die I been obsessed with for over 30 years. And Sabbath Bloody Sabbath had so many wonderful tracks as well. National Acrobat,Spiral Architects…..phenomenal. Geezer is truly the underappreciated mind in that band. He saves the new album as well. There is much intelligence there, and it distinguishes them from virtually all other heavy rock bands. There is true magic there that is way more than the sum of the parts.

  5. TomOzzy123 says

    My favorite album of all time. Flawless!!!

  6. The best one since master of Reality, in fact it’s even better. This is the last album Sabbath did before things started to fall apart and it kicks ass. The writ and Symptom of the Universe are my favorites.

  7. cant believe i just sat thugroh that whole 10 minute video! i must be your biggest fan!! altho there was some cool music bout 4mins 10seconds in that u guys should listen too 2 months till your gig woooo!!!!

  8. I’ve Always categorize the Ozzy Era in 4 different “sub-eras” when it comes to the Music style and their progression.
    Era 1 (68-70): The early demos.
    Era 2: Black Sabbath. Paranoid & Master of reality
    Era 3: Vol 4, SBS & Sabotage
    Era 4: Technical Ecstasy & NSD

    Sabotage was in my opinion the “end of an era” in the life of the Sabs. Prior to this, Black Sabbath had written and released five ground breaking, brilliant albums in three years. The two last were sound wise a little more into “heavy rock” with a progressive touch to it, than the first three albums. What would Sabbath release next?

    1974 was a year when Sabbath toured a lot, and released no album at all, until July 1975 when Sabotage finally were released. In my ears, they take a step back to a more “doomy” sound here, than the latest two albums, which I like! In my opinion it was the best and most decent way to continue the Sabbath sound after the incredible brilliant album “Sabbath bloody sabbath”. I think the guys thought it would be hard to top that one, so the “get back to the doomy sound” wasn’t a bad idéa.

    But in my ears, I’m sad to say that the overall quality in the songs is a bit dissapointing.
    As we say in Sweden; “It’s like cursing in church” to give negative cred to Black Sabbath, and don’t get me wrong here. I am a BIG fan of Sabbath, and all eight albums with the original Sabbath are holy to me. I love them all. But to me the album as a whole don’t interest me the same way as all the albums prior to this one.

    Sure, we have the killer opener “Hole in the sky”, the ground breaking “Symptom of the universe”, but those tracks are (in my opinion) the ones that really grips me on this album. The other tracks are… well, good! It’s Sabbath for Christ sake, and nothing they’ve done during the Ozzy years is bad. But to me, the rest of the songs on Sabotage are a bit dissapointing, and actually gets worse throughout “Technical Ecstasy” & “NSD”.

    Ozzys voice is really good (one of his best achievements actually), and all the guys do more than a decent job on this record. It’s not that. It’s the overall quality that concerns me. Sure, some riffs and parts on the other tracks are amazing, but sadly not everything, as the earlier albums provided.

    And the cover…. I mean… Come on!? Is it a joke? I’ve heard the story about it, and I know that it wasn’t ment to be like that. But it sadly came out that way and to me that downgrade the album slightly.

    I’ve also heard the stories about the legal issues Sabbath went through during the writing and recordning of Sabotage. I think that might have affected the result a bit also. (Read the lyrics for “The Writ”)

    Well, It’s still much better than the later two original Sabbath albums, and I therefore categorize it as the last one of “era 3” above, before it really started to fall apart.

    Hope I didn’t offend anyone with a “die hard Sabotage fetish” like I have with “Master of reality”. :-)
    God bless Black Sabbath

  9. Mark Briers says

    Cover! Cover! You rate the music because of the cover? Look, it may not be a Roger Dean, but in hindsight it’s hysterical: The Soulboy, the Mystic, the Gnome and the Transvestite. Who cares?
    The music is an good as any of the early Sabbs and shows a real development with respect to lyrics and arrangements. I went to the reunion tour back about a decade ago and you should have seen the place explode when they played 16 bars of “Symptom” – everyone on their feet (well those that weren’t already). It got a better reception than Paranoid.

    Great album!

  10. My favourite Sabbath album, and one of the best metal albums ever in my opinion. It’s heavy as hell, the songs show a wide variety, and it contains Ozzy’s best vocal performance in the band. The only complaint I have is the inclusion of Am I Going Insane, although that song does act as a good lead in for The Writ, and is incredibly catchy.

  11. Thomas Caniglia says

    I LOVE Sabotage. Aside from Hole in the Sky (and Am I going Insane) the whole album is GREAT. Songs like Symptom of the Universe and Megalomania are even meaner and more raw than their beloved 2nd album Paranoid and all of it’s gems. The Writ is like a gift from above.
    One question though…. Supertzar is such an obvious opening track, I wonder why it is number 6?

  12. I recently noticed that the 1996 Castle remaster of Sabotage sounds exactly the same as my 2014 BMG/Sanctuary reissue (BMG released the 2014 reissue series after acquiring Sanctuary following the Universal/EMI deal; these are the 2009 remasters just with a new label/sleeve; some even still include the Universal labeled 2009 cds). Also after importing the cds, the bitrate of the songs on each cd was exactly the same. Did Universal use the 1996 remaster on the 2009 reissue or was the 1996 remaster “accidently” used on this reissue? Still, the inlays credit Ray Staff with the 1996 remaster and Andy Pearce with the 2009 one respectively.

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