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Are The Sabs Predictable?

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  • Are The Sabs Predictable?

    Sure, a new album is on the way. And sure, there will likely be some surprises contained within ...

    But do Sabbath continue to pander to the "metal" audience at the expense of exposing more of their musical character?

    Do they subscribe to some post-punk ethos where rock and roll has to fit into a certain sized bag and anything outside that bag is pretentious?

    I mean, think about it, Sabbath just played "down under," where "Changes" was a smash hit back in the day. Why not get Tony to pull up at a piano, get Geezer a mellotron and let Ozzy take a shot at "Changes"? Who cares if he can't sing it the way he could in '72? The crowd will help him on those soaring chorus bits ...

    And it would be so out of left field!

    Why not appear on Letterman or Saturday Night Live, but grab a big string section with a conductor and crank out "Spiral Architect"? I think the average non-believer would shit a brick if the band he knew for "Paranoid" suddenly pulled that out!

    Why not get Rick Wakeman to join them on stage at one show in London and do "Sabbra Cadabra"?

    Why not suddenly, out of the freaking blue, perform "She's Gone" on Jay Leno with Tony on acoustic and a string section?

    The "metal" audience is already sold and this may be about it for these guys. Why not expand the circle even further by stepping out of the "box" they so often stepped out of on record?
    Last edited by Jeff; 05-06-2013, 07:14 PM.
    "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
    -WTB

  • #2
    I think they should do what the Rolling Stones did a couple tours ago, fans vote on line for a song to be played, the most votes and that song and the voting result are announced right there on stage... I remember Star Star (Star Funky Star) won one night and the Stones all looked at eachother like what chords... ok, this key..., yea got it, let's go! Imagine what a fan vote like that would be like, I think you do it via your cell phone so it's the actual fans at that particular concert who get to vote... that would be cool, I agree with your ideas, a little surpise out of the bag kind of thing is great...
    "Music is so sacred to me that I canít hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
    R. Blackmore

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    • #3
      It's because with the exception of Spiral Architect those more expansive songs are generally looked back on as self-indulgent and sort of ridiculous. I love them but the non-hardcore fan sees them as bad memories, the dark spots on otherwise great albums that are better left forgotten. If they broke out Changes or Shes Gone at a concert that would be time for most of the crowd to go get a drink, or maybe wonder if something was slipped in their drink.

      Not to mention Ozzy really couldn't sing any of those tunes anymore anyway.

      Predictability isn't a bad thing. People love Sabbath for their heavy stuff, not their experimental fluff. It's the same reason you're never going to have a Sabbath show without War Pigs, Iron Man, Paranoid, etc. If those songs weren't in the set there'd be an outcry because thats what people expect when they buy their ticket.

      Not that I don't want deeper cuts or a little branching out or unpredictability, just in a different direction. I'd love to see Sleeping Village and Wicked World in the set somehow. Remember when they did medleys at Ozzfest? That was cool, I think it would be nice for them to bring that back instead of running through an instrumental of Symptom. Give us a verse or two of some underappreciated classics or things that might not fit in the whole set. A bit of Rock and Roll Doctor or heck, maybe a verse of Megalomania (I'm confident Ozzy could handle it, the verses are very low and slow)! Or a more conventional (and abbreviated) take on Solitude as an intro to Into the Void. Intros are sweet! One problem with Sabbath compared to Ozzy is the songs are so long you are limited by what you can fit in a two hour set, I'd like to see them tackle this in a more creative way instead of spending 20 minutes on two new songs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 62_SG View Post
        It's because with the exception of Spiral Architect those more expansive songs are generally looked back on as self-indulgent and sort of ridiculous. I love them but the non-hardcore fan sees them as bad memories, the dark spots on otherwise great albums that are better left forgotten. If they broke out Changes or Shes Gone at a concert that would be time for most of the crowd to go get a drink, or maybe wonder if something was slipped in their drink.

        Not to mention Ozzy really couldn't sing any of those tunes anymore anyway.

        Predictability isn't a bad thing. People love Sabbath for their heavy stuff, not their experimental fluff. It's the same reason you're never going to have a Sabbath show without War Pigs, Iron Man, Paranoid, etc. If those songs weren't in the set there'd be an outcry because thats what people expect when they buy their ticket.
        Correct you are sir. Those of us who want the deep cuts are fewer by comparison. It was like Led Zeppelin at O2. I wished that they had played a 30 minute acoustic set with Battle of Evermore, That's the Way, Friends, and Black Country Woman (or a similar set), but it was not to be. So yes, Sabbath are very predictable, but that seems to be the nature of the biz these days. Don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing, but I was struck at how static Sabbath were in the concert that was posted from Australia. I mean, they were glued to their stage stickers and barely moved. Geezer was the only one who had a somewhat dynamic persona, and of course Tommy doing his tricep stretches to the ceiling. They aint kids anymore, but having seen Ozzy before, he was far more mobile; probably because he wasn't as reliant on the teleprompter. I would rather see them being professional and reserved than a bunch of goons in any case.
        Last edited by Now in Darkness; 05-06-2013, 08:08 PM.
        Casting his shadow, weaving his spell, funny clothes, tinkling bell.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Now in Darkness View Post
          Correct you are sir. Those of us who want the deep cuts are fewer by comparison. It was like Led Zeppelin at O2. I wished that they had played a 30 minute acoustic set with Battle of Evermore, That's the Way, Friends, and Black Country Woman (or a similar set), but it was not to be. So yes, Sabbath are very predictable, but that seems to be the nature of the biz these days. Don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing, but I was struck at how static Sabbath were in the concert that was posted from Australia. I mean, they were glued to their stage stickers and barely moved. Geezer was the only one who had a somewhat dynamic persona. They aint kids anymore, but having seen Ozzy before, he was far more mobile; probably because he wasn't as reliant on the teleprompter. I would rather see them being professional and reserved than a bunch of goons in any case.
          If only we could get another show out of Zep done Earl's Court style...

          Still, we're getting Under the Sun and Behind the Wall of Sleep every night. In today's day and age those are deep cuts. I'd just like to see the band take this (possibly final) opportunity to stuff every bit of song they can into this tour. Unfortunately odds are by the time they hit NA the sets will be even shorter and even shorter than that when they get to my neck of the woods.

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          • #6
            But please take note of my examples ...

            This thread is not meant to suggest that they suddenly play "Changes" and "She's Gone" as regulars in the setlist.

            I'm offering ideas for unique, "one off" ideas to mix things up. Maybe at most one leg of a tour gets something unique, as in the example for "Changes," but more so I am talking about solitary concepts. They come out and burn through "Spiral Architect" on Letterman or something. And they do something like play with an orchestra ONE. FREAKING. TIME.

            Live, Sabbath have let themselves become a bit one dimensional. The idea that this is all fans will accept is nonsense, IMO. This is all fans are offered. And I have to imagine it also impacts the type of fans they are attracting to the live show in the first place.
            "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
            -WTB

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            • #7
              Why would they go on Letterman to play a song from 40 years ago that nobody knows and is drastically different to most of their catalogue? That makes no sense.

              Sabbath aren't Zeppelin. Zeppelin was highly multitextural right from the beginning, playing in a wide variety of styles and genres. The majority of Sabbath's catalogue is based around a single sound, the Sabbath sound, and whenever they strayed away from that is was either brief or regarded as a bad decision. History remembers the Sabbath sound and thats what people are paying 150 bucks to see.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 62_SG View Post
                Why would they go on Letterman to play a song from 40 years ago that nobody knows and is drastically different to most of their catalogue? That makes no sense.

                Sabbath aren't Zeppelin. Zeppelin was highly multitextural right from the beginning, playing in a wide variety of styles and genres. The majority of Sabbath's catalogue is based around a single sound, the Sabbath sound, and whenever they strayed away from that is was either brief or regarded as a bad decision. History remembers the Sabbath sound and thats what people are paying 150 bucks to see.
                Absolutely. You can't please all of the people all of the time. From what I can see of the current tour and set list, they are pleasing most of the people most of the time, and that is an achievement in itself.
                Casting his shadow, weaving his spell, funny clothes, tinkling bell.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 62_SG View Post
                  Why would they go on Letterman to play a song from 40 years ago that nobody knows and is drastically different to most of their catalogue? That makes no sense.

                  Sabbath aren't Zeppelin. Zeppelin was highly multitextural right from the beginning, playing in a wide variety of styles and genres. The majority of Sabbath's catalogue is based around a single sound, the Sabbath sound, and whenever they strayed away from that is was either brief or regarded as a bad decision. History remembers the Sabbath sound and thats what people are paying 150 bucks to see.
                  Meh. I don't agree at all.

                  What separated Sabbath in terms of their experimentation was that they always sounded like Sabbath. Acoustic sections? Sabbath. Ballads? Sabbath. Strings? Sabbath. Horns!? Sabbath!

                  Zeppelin, for all of their strengths, actually end up revealing way too much about their influences. When they went acoustic it sounds like: "We've been listening to Fairport Convention, CSNY and Joni Mitchell, so now we're going to have an acoustic thing." It's great, but not up to the standard of organic innovation that Sabbath always brought to the table.

                  I'm not suggesting that Sabbath do acoustic sets, but wondering why they wouldn't consider doing the occasional thing to "shock" an audience? They've always done this on albums and they aren't getting any younger. Why not pull out an idea or two from deep left field? Even if it just for one TV appearance or something, I am simply posing the question as to whether it might be of creative benefit?
                  Last edited by Jeff; 05-06-2013, 08:41 PM.
                  "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
                  -WTB

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                    Meh. I don't agree at all.

                    What separated Sabbath in terms of their experimentation was that they always sounded like Sabbath. Acoustic sections? Sabbath. Ballads? Sabbath. Strings? Sabbath. Horns!? Sabbath!

                    Zeppelin, for all of their strengths, actually end up revealing way too much about their influences. When they went acoustic it sounds like: "We've been listening to Fairport Convention, CSNY and Joni Mitchell, so now we're going to have an acoustic thing." It's great, but not up to the standard of organic innovation that Sabbath always brought to the table.

                    I'm not suggesting that Sabbath do acoustic sets, but wondering why they wouldn't consider doing the occasional thing to "shock" an audience. They've always done this on albums and they aren't getting any younger. Why not pull out an idea or two from deep left field? Even if it just for one TV appearance or something, I am simply posing the question as to whether it might be of creative benefit?
                    Well for starters the reason for doing TV is to promote the album and tour to the masses. Not the venue to pull out a deep cut.

                    And shocking the audience is one thing, but there are good surprises and bad surprises. Breaking out a mellow sappy Sabbath song will just confuse the audience and bomb. Breaking out an underplayed heavier number will light heads on fire. Thats where the money is.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                      Zeppelin, for all of their strengths, actually end up revealing way too much about their influences. When they went acoustic it sounds like: "We've been listening to Fairport Convention, CSNY and Joni Mitchell, so now we're going to have an acoustic thing." It's great, but not up to the standard of organic innovation that Sabbath always brought to the table.
                      Come on, that's just silly Jeff. Had a listen to NSD lately? Air Dance in particular? Wonderful album, but if that isn't following the crowd, nothing is. That's the way it works. Everyone is influenced by someone and following some sort of trend to stay viable. Otherwise we would all still be listening to that horrible '80's metal sound.
                      Casting his shadow, weaving his spell, funny clothes, tinkling bell.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Now in Darkness View Post
                        Come on, that's just silly Jeff. Had a listen to NSD lately? Air Dance in particular? Wonderful album, but if that isn't following the crowd, nothing is. That's the way it works. Everyone is influenced by someone and following some sort of trend to stay viable. Otherwise we would all still be listening to that horrible '80's metal sound.
                        Exactly. Say what you will about Zeppelin and their transparent influences, but there is no singular defineable Zeppelin sound. That isn't the case with Sabbath. With Zeppelin acoustics and strings and whatnot was normal, with Sabbath it was a departure. I hardly think it was an evolution, or at least not a natural one. It wasn't a creative evolution, it was a desperation to fulfill an imaginary need to progress and they did it in the most cliched way possible with results that were just straight up out-of-character. It's only well recieved in hindsight by a select few. It's been shown very clearly that it isn't wanted.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 62_SG View Post
                          It's only well recieved in hindsight by a select few. It's been shown very clearly that it isn't wanted.
                          An unfortunate truth. I'd die very, very happy if they pulled out Gypsy or Air Dance this summer, but it will never happen. The general paying populous is unfamiliar with those tracks and doesn't want to hear them. It would be wasted effort on their part to practice, rehearse, etc. etc. to get next to no reaction from the bulk of any crowd.

                          Look at the backlash they've received from those albums in general over the decades. As much as a lot of us here would love it, it'd be a virtual shit storm. It isn't just Sabbath that's "predictable." It's the majority of long term acts that built a reputation like they did. The general concert going crowd are neanderthals and the rest of us deep down diehards have to deal with it accordingly.
                          ***Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of other internet people, the internet police or the internet in general. It is to be assumed that all sentences are automatically followed by "IMO, BUDDY" as to not offend other internet people and start an internet fight.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Now in Darkness View Post
                            Come on, that's just silly Jeff. Had a listen to NSD lately? Air Dance in particular? Wonderful album, but if that isn't following the crowd, nothing is. That's the way it works. Everyone is influenced by someone and following some sort of trend to stay viable. Otherwise we would all still be listening to that horrible '80's metal sound.
                            Really? And to what exactly do you trace "Air Dance"?

                            I think I'm fairly well versed in music, and I'm not sure I've ever heard anything like it.

                            But my point is more a general than a specific. I don't meant to "put down" Zeppelin, I just don't think they were as innovative as Sabbath even with all of their so-called "diversity." When Sabbath break into a ballad or something acoustic, it sounds like nobody but Sabbath; period. That's just how they rolled. That doesn't make it "better," but it does make it unique. If part of their audience cannot or will not appreciate that, it's their loss, IMO.
                            "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
                            -WTB

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                            • #15
                              Call me crazy but I think playing 4 songs (1 a bonus track) from the new album 2 months before it is released "shocked" not only the audience but All of us!!
                              www.downtrendmetal.com

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