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  • Was Sabbath Bloody Sabbath's ....?

    I've always thought SBS was Sabbath's pinnacle album after 4 previous continuous "progressions" of their themes and new musical ideas. It's why their 1st 5 albums are considered by many fans and critics alike, to be the Bible of Heavy Metal. Although Sabotage was a return to a more aggressive sound heard on earlier albums, mainly Paranoid IMO... it was in many ways covering old ground. Despite changing their sound, somewhat, to fit the changing musical landscape of the day, TE and NSD were also not held in the high esteem their 1st five (or six) albums were. Another reason I love ending SBS with Spiral Architect, the perfect name and theme to describe reaching their highest musical peak. Interested in hearing others opinions on this.
    "Music is so sacred to me that I canít hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
    R. Blackmore

  • #2
    Until recent years, I never, ever heard the term "first five" when it came to Sabbath.

    There was the "first four" crowd, the "first six" crowd, and obviously people who liked a variety of stuff from their entire career or even everything they'd ever put out, but Sabbath Bloody Sabbath being a cut-off point was never something I even thought about.

    It makes zero sense, IMO. Sabotage is so completely a part of the progression. I can see people thinking TE was too far wide a turn, but Sabotage? Really?
    "It is not opinion that Ozzy peaked on Sabotage, it is a measurable fact."
    -WTB

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    • #3
      Sabotage is their finest hour.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have actually heard the first 5 being said more than once and it does annoy me because sabotage is on par with anything the band ever did. Also I don't think it was covering old ground either. Sabotage was fresh and different to anything else they ever did.

        Anyway back OT, yes I look at SBS as the peak of black sabbath. As recording artists this was them at the top of their game. Untouchable at this moment in time.

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        • #5
          I'm weird in that I think the first three is the pinnacle of Sabbath, and after those three the next best ones are the first three with Dio. Vol 4 through Sabotage never grabbed me in the same way they grab a lot of fans, especially die hard fans. I also think NSD is better than both SBS and Sabotage (maybe not better than Vol 4 though).
          Monty Python and the Holy Grail pic extravaganza! http://www.black-sabbath.com/vb/showthread.php?t=31523

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          • #6
            The point wasn't was Sabotage or TE and NSD for that matter "on par" with any of the 1st five, but did the "progression of their message and music reach a pinnacle with SBS.." Many interviews I've read and heard in over the years have placed SBS as their peak before other factors came to be, whether induced by their own hand or in the changing times... in terms of record sales, Sabotage was their lowest charting album in the US at no.28, it was certified Gold a mere 22 yrs after it's release...in 1997. SBS marked the band's fifth consecutive platinum selling album in the United States. Peaking at no.11.

            Personally I view Sabotage as good or better than any of the "first 5", but statistically is was the beginning of a downward trend in record sales and Sabbath's popularity... but the times they were a changing, as someone who lived through it, hard rock took a big detour after 1974 when Disco and Punk, and Reggae music dotted the musical landscape. It wasn't until 1980 when a hard rock, and now the widely used term, heavy metal had a big resurgence... led by Sabbath's Heaven & Hell album and Ozzy's debut album, but there were many new and exciting bands a new generation of younger fans embraced... Van Halen, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden to name a few....
            Last edited by Wicked Cricket; 01-24-2017, 06:43 PM.
            "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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            • #7
              Their first three albums were their most influential, so naturally, they attained the most respect. Those three albums are fucking brilliant, I love Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but it doesn't have quite the same spirit behind it as the prior albums.

              Speaking from an artistic standpoint, Sabotage is definitely their pinnacle. However, for purposes of pure enjoyment, Paranoid could be considered their pinnacle.
              You tried to suppress me
              But nothing holds me down
              Just when you think you're happy
              I come around

              Comment


              • #8
                I feel like the first 3 albums all had the same sound, vibe and theme. All of the first 6 albums had the Sabbath sound, but only the first 3 had the original Sabbath sound which they attempted to recreate for 13.

                Volume 4 was really when things finally started to evolve. And even more so for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. And with Sabotage, you have 3 albums with 3 very different identities, unlike the first 3. It seemed as though they finally got to where they were going with Sabotage. The masterpiece, imo. And only after that did the band finally abandon it all for an entirely new sound.

                I don't know why anyone would refer to them as "the first 5" when there's Sabotage. The material is just so damn strong.
                Last edited by Tromafreak; 01-24-2017, 10:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by From Beyond View Post
                  Sabotage is their finest hour.
                  Says the guy with that album cover as his avatar. Absolutely right, but I liked the statement with the image.

                  I discovered Sabbath in the early 80s, so previous sales records didn't sway me one way or the other. Both SBS and Sabotage are up there, in my opinion, as the band's top two Ozzy-era offerings. SBS showed them at their most progressive and Sabotage... well, that's been called "Music to invade Poland by" and is definitely their hardest offering. That Sabotage didn't do better in sales says more about the times than it does about the quality of the album or the direction it was going.

                  Sabotage really showcased the power of the face-ripping riff in a way that Sabbath hadn't done in previous albums. For the band, it was an amazing development of both dark and heavy material with some excellent songwriting. TE and NSD were the band losing their way, dissipating... but Sabotage shows them at their top.

                  SBS is incredible, amazing, I love it except for "Who Are You". Sabotage, though, I play over and over and over and over and over again, no skipping.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
                    I've always thought SBS was Sabbath's pinnacle album after 4 previous continuous "progressions" of their themes and new musical ideas. It's why their 1st 5 albums are considered by many fans and critics alike, to be the Bible of Heavy Metal. Although Sabotage was a return to a more aggressive sound heard on earlier albums, mainly Paranoid IMO... it was in many ways covering old ground. Despite changing their sound, somewhat, to fit the changing musical landscape of the day, TE and NSD were also not held in the high esteem their 1st five (or six) albums were. Another reason I love ending SBS with Spiral Architect, the perfect name and theme to describe reaching their highest musical peak. Interested in hearing others opinions on this.
                    Great thread brother Wicked , and even after digesting some well thought out post's .... without question - your 100% correct ,,,, with breaking down this great band of ours from every conceivable angle imaginable (forever) - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the unmatched end of progression for this Era of musicianship .... no doubt Technical Ecstasy saw Iommi reach a level on guitar playing that had surpassed everything he had done to date , NSD saw the culmination - but in an ending way - of what Geezer had left lyrically for this Era of Sabbath .... and without question "Sabotage" was Ozzy's finest hour , ever , hands down .....

                    But , in no way was "Sabotage" a progression further , or even built upon , what Sabbath Bloody Sabbath gave us - Sabotage was a step sideways and backwards - taking from SBS and combining it with more of a raw sound that came before - giving us something new and old at the same time ....

                    Sure , the album was complex and diverse , central theme and conceptual - but only with what came before - and built it into a revolutionary masterpiece , the likes not seen since - BUT certainly seen before ....

                    No doubt "The Writ" and to a lesser extent "Supertzar" , seem to be a progression forward ,,, they are not , they are a major progression "sideways" - in of itself , an amazing accomplishment - listen how fresh the second half of "The Writ" sounds to this very day.

                    Certainly "SOTU" and "Megalomania" are a step forward , not at all - listen to Vol 4 very closely ,,, these 2 masterpieces are a thorough example of a band going back to what preceded 1975 , and combining it with there highest peak of progression (1973 , SBS) - and throwing at us a wall of Sabbath complexity - learned and perfected , new with the OLD.


                    SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH , on the other hand , was Sabbath at there absolute peak , in terms of EVERYTHING , no if , and , buts about it .... from progression , to production , to style - this Era of Sabbath , never went further .... each album prior lead Sabbath here , much like each album - including SBS - lead our great band to Sabotage ,,,,, only difference , and it's major , SBS was the progression of EVERYTHING "NEW" - nothing sideways , nothing backwards .... 1973 (known as the first 5 , as far back as the mid 70's) , was the pinnacle (as Iommi stated then , and still states today) , of everything this Era of Sabbath has ever done.

                    It is the single most perfect example , that I have ever heard , of any band , at there creative , progressive peak ... no questions about it.

                    SBS is the end of Sabbath's "FIRST" 5 - and a compliment to creative genius!
                    Last edited by BACK TO EDEN; 01-25-2017, 07:14 PM. Reason: God Bless

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tromafreak View Post
                      I feel like the first 3 albums all had the same sound, vibe and theme. All of the first 6 albums had the Sabbath sound, but only the first 3 had the original Sabbath sound which they attempted to recreate for 13.

                      Volume 4 was really when things finally started to evolve. And even more so for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. And with Sabotage, you have 3 albums with 3 very different identities, unlike the first 3. It seemed as though they finally got to where they were going with Sabotage. The masterpiece, imo. And only after that did the band finally abandon it all for an entirely new sound.

                      I don't know why anyone would refer to them as "the first 5" when there's Sabotage. The material is just so damn strong.
                      What this guy said.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BACK TO EDEN View Post
                        Great thread brother Wicked , and even after digesting some well thought out post's .... without question - your 100% correct ,,,, with breaking down this great band of ours from every conceivable angle imaginable (forever) - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the unmatched end of progression for this Era of musicianship .... no doubt Technical Ecstasy saw Iommi reach a level on guitar playing that had surpassed everything he had done to date , NSD saw the culmination - but in an ending way - of what Geezer had left lyrically for this Era of Sabbath .... and without question "Sabotage" was Ozzy's finest hour , ever , hands down .....

                        But , in no way was "Sabotage" a progression further , or even built upon , what Sabbath Bloody Sabbath gave us - Sabotage was a step sideways and backwards - taking from SBS and combining it with more of a raw sound that came before - giving us something new and old at the same time ....

                        Sure , the album was complex and diverse , central theme and conceptual - but only with what came before - and built it into a revolutionary masterpiece , the likes not seen since - BUT certainly seen before ....

                        No doubt "The Writ" and to a lesser extent "Supertzar" , seem to be a progression forward ,,, they are not , they are a major progression "sideways" - in of itself , an amazing accomplishment - listen how fresh the second half of "The Writ" sounds to this very day.

                        Certainly "SOTU" and "Megalomania" are a step forward , not at all - listen to Vol 4 very closely ,,, these 2 masterpieces are a thorough example of a band going back to what preceded 1975 , and combining it with there highest peak of progression (1973 , SBS) - and throwing at us a wall of Sabbath complexity - learned and perfected , new with the OLD.


                        SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH , on the other hand , was Sabbath at there absolute peak , in terms of EVERYTHING , no if , and , buts about it .... from progression , to production , to style - this Era of Sabbath , never went further .... each album prior lead Sabbath here , much like each album - including SBS - lead our great band to Sabotage ,,,,, only difference , and it's major , SBS was the progression of EVERYTHING "NEW" - nothing sideways , nothing backwards .... 1973 (known as the first 5 , as far back as the mid 70's) , was the pinnacle (as Iommi stated then , and still states today) , of everything this Era of Sabbath has ever done.

                        It is the single most perfect example , that I have ever heard , of any band , at there creative , progressive peak ... no questions about it.

                        SBS is the end of Sabbath's "FIRST" 5 - and a compliment to creative genius!
                        Well said Doc

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think the 1st time I heard or read about the 'first 5' Sabbath albums was when Ozzy stated that the 1st 5 BS albums were the ones he rated the highest. I think I've always rated SBS higher than Sabotage but they're both great, and IMHO the latter was Sabbath's last overall great quality album release until Heaven and Hell.

                          Vol.4 started the move toward a 'softer' sound with songs like Changes and Laguna Sunrise, but it was SBS which really contained 'progression', while still providing some heaviness (the title track and KYTL).

                          Ted

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                          • #14
                            This is like arguing if dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate... they're both chocolate, so it's a matter of taste.

                            SBS absolutely has the prog thing going for it, but I see that as a diversion from Sab's core competencies. It wasn't a diversion like TE or NSD that put them in the weeds, but it's still a diversion. Sabotage gets back on the hard path and blazes away in that area. That's the one that is cited as an inspiration for band after band after band. They put that album on and decided as they listened that that was the music they wanted to play.

                            "Fluff" and "Sabra Cadabra" are nice little songs, but they serve as decorations, not something that holds the record together. They gild the lily. "Who Are You" is, for me, a flawed song. Not just the lyrics, but the cheesy synth intro as well. The remaining five songs are treasures, though, and are the heart of the album. Put those five in a row and it's just heaven.

                            So what then about Sabotage? The acoustic bossa nova ending for SotU whipsaws me pretty much every time I get to it. It seems forced in the context of both the main song it's in and the one that comes next. "Supertzar" is cool, but also doesn't quite fit in between the songs it's mixed with. It's not as jarring to me, though, as "Who Are You" on SBS, so I accept that song flow better.

                            What I'm left with is some powerful stuff, perhaps one of the finest examples of the genre to be known as stoner or desert rock. That's the launching pad for that rocket ship. MoR started it off with "Sweet Leaf" and "Children of the Grave", but here on Sabotage is where the fruit from those seeds is gathered. Sabotage is where the craft of the riff attained perfection. SBS is more about melodies, Sabotage delivers the crunch and the chunk in the rhythms. The title track on SBS definitely has the riffage, but it leaves the rest of that album behind in that regard. Whereas on Sabotage, that track would have fit right in, with "The Writ" serving as a variation on that theme, interestingly enough. Those two really go well together.

                            For me, it's the riffs that make a great Sabbath song, and Sabotage has got riffs to spare. Big, chunky, crunchy, fuzzy, RIFFS.

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                            • #15
                              Similar to Jeff, I had never heard anyone categorize part of Sabbath's discography as "the first five" until recently. SBS is certainly a monumental achievement, and it stands fine all on its own. However Sabotage has one thing that every.single.piece.of.recorded.music.in.the.entire .history.of.mankind does not have:

                              Blow on a Jug

                              It is such a lightening bolt of amphetamines directly to the brain. That's why WB had to hide the track lest the music-buying public lose their collective mind and cause the downfall of the music industry itself. SBS may be the pinnacle, but Sabotage is the gift shop at the top of that pinnacle - serving hot chocolate (dark or milk!) and Schnapps all day long.
                              gadji beri bimba glandridi laula lonni cadori - Ball

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