Exposé Online banner

Black Sabbath — Black Sabbath
(Vertigo VO 6, 1970, LP)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-04-06

Black Sabbath Cover art

Black Sabbath is undoubtedly as famous and as influential as any rock band out there, the progenitor of one, if not two or more, genres, but allow me the space, if not the sheer cheek at looking at this first album differently, not as the first album by the pioneers of heavy metal but one of a stable of early 70s Vertigo label progressive rock bands. This is an illusion almost instantly dispelled by their second album, Paranoid, but if you can forget the rest of their history, this sits pretty closely to the sheer audacity of a lot of their Vertigo label mates. Perhaps closest were the hard rock groups like Clear Blue Sky, May Blitz, and Warhorse, but this was really no less inventive than jazz rockers Nucleus or jazz-blues rockers Colosseum or even the great Gentle Giant. Vertigo was one of the most fertile and wide-ranging of the early 70s English labels and in many ways, the success of Black Sabbath memorialized that tradition. Like with a lot of early 70s hard rock, Sabbath's songs could be lengthy and multifaceted, not only with two suites here, but the absolutely legendary title and band track which was a horror movie brought to life, its slow creeping dread developing into a rocking gallop with terrific guitar playing. If the album had stopped there it would still be a stone classic, but the rest of it never lets up, bringing forward the blues rock tradition in a completely unique and dark way. Sabbath did a lot of great albums after this for sure, but there's something a bit naïve and sinister about this one that they really never topped later on. It managed to be raw if you looked at it one way and refined if you looked at it another way.


Filed under: New releases, 1970 releases

Related artist(s): Black Sabbath

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Strawbs - Lay down with the Strawbs – As live Strawbs albums go, this two disc set is an outstanding one, recorded in March 2006 at Robin 2, Bilston UK featuring the mid-70s lineup same as you would find on Hero and Heroine or Ghosts (and...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues