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Black Sabbath

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									                               Black Sabbath
      Formed in Birmingham, England in 1968, the four-man powerhouse known as
Black Sabbath pioneered a bone-crunching rock and roll assault that laid the
foundations for the heavy metal revolution that swept popular music in the ‘70s and
‘80s. While the band’s blistering ensemble playing and evocative lyric blend of
machismo and mysticism set a standard for countless groups to follow, their 1970
self-titled debut album remains one of the most innovative and influential long
players in rock history.
      Comprised of Ozzy Osbourne (vocalist), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler
(bass), and Bill Ward (drums), the quartet was initially known by the name Polka
Tulk and then Earth and took their hometown pub-and-club circuit by storm with a
high energy blend of blues and rock. Schoolmates from a working class Birmingham
neighborhood, the group earned a fervent following throughout the English
Midlands and in 1968 changed their name to Black Sabbath. The new moniker
reflected the band’s penchant for moody, dark-hued music that matched
supernatural themes with supercharged ensemble playing. In 1969 they entered the
recording studio to cut their first album.
      Black Sabbath eventually reached the Top Ten on British charts where it
remained for three months and earned the band a devoted cult following on both
sides of the Atlantic.
      A major breakthrough came later that year with Paranoid, a pioneering heavy
metal offering. Laden with Iommi’s driving guitar riffs, Ozzy’s eerie vocals and the
thundering rhythm section of Butler and Ward, Paranoid reached No. 1 on British
charts and No. 8 in the U.S. where it remained on the charts for more than a year
and reached platinum status. The title track, a harrowing descent into madness,
was an FM radio staple and the band played its first successful American tour in
the autumn of that year.
      Master of Reality, Black Sabbath’s third album, was released in August of
1971. Among the album’s eight original selections were such Black Sabbath
trademarks as “Children of the Grave” and “Sweet Leaf.” Master of Reality reached
the Top 10 on American charts and remained a bestseller for nearly a year.
      Black Sabbath recorded Vol. 4 in early 1972 at the Record Plant in Los
Angeles. In addition to such powerhouse originals as “Supernaut” and “Under The
Sun,” the album revealed a whole new side to the band’s songwriting skills, with
such melodic and carefully crafted selections as “Cornucopia” and the haunting
“Laguna Sunrise,” an instrumental that would subsequently become one of the
band’s musical trademarks.
      One of a handful of hard rock’s certified classics, Black Sabbath’s 1973 tour de
force “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath” earned critical acclaim to match the group’s long-
standing stature as premiere heavy metal practitioners. Such standards as “Killing
Yourself to Live,” “Looking For Today” and the title track combine the group’s
propulsive musical drive with a multi-faceted lyric approach that is, by turns, subtle
and commanding. Produced, written and performed by the group, “Sabbath Bloody
Sabbath” remains a highpoint in Black Sabbath’s long recording career.
      When Sabotage, Black Sabbath’s sixth album, was released in 1975, it not only
cinched the quartet’s reputation as premiere hard rockers but earned them lavish
praise for their arranging, producing and songwriting skills. With a potent blend of
high energy rock and haunting, evocative lyrics, the eight classic cuts comprising
Sabotage showcase Black Sabbath at the peak of their formidable musical power.
      A blockbuster “Best Of” collection, featuring 14 of Black Sabbath’s hard rock
and heavy metal classics, We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘N’ Roll chronicles this
pioneering group’s groundbreaking career from their inception through the release
of 1975’s critically acclaimed Sabotage. Included on this deluxe package are such
slabs of pure Black Sabbath as “Paranoid,” “War Pigs,” “Fairies Wear Boots,” and
“Children Of The Grave.”
      Highlighting original material from the classic Black Sabbath, 1976’s
Technical Ecstasy contains such propulsive studies in Sabbath sounds as “Back
Street Kids,” “Gypsy,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Doctor” and the LP’s centerpiece “Dirty
Women.” Technical Ecstasy stands as one of Black Sabbath’s most inventive and
original studio outings.
      The eighth studio album in a career that stretches nearly two decades, Black
Sabbath’s 1978 release, Never Say Die, features the potent combination of Tony
Iommi’s electrifying guitar, the vocals of premiere rock performer Ozzy Osbourne,
and some of the band’s most memorable songwriting. Never Say Die, which captures
all the legendary power of the original lineup, was the last album to feature Ozzy as
the Sabbath front man. Standout cuts include “Johnny Blade,” “Breakout,” “Shock
Wave” and the title track, all included in the group’s live repertoire.
      In 1979, Ozzy Osbourne was replaced by Ronnie James Dio, an American who
had fronted the group Elf and served a stint in Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. It was
the group’s first personnel change in over a decade. Heaven And Hell was Black
Sabbath’s ninth album, and the first with the group’s new singer. Containing eight
cuts written by Dio and the band, the album was a Top 10 bestseller and was
followed by a major U.S. and British tours.
      Released in 1981, Black Sabbath’s second album with Dio as the band’s front
man and the first album with the group’s new drummer Vinnie Appice, the album,
Mob Rules, featured nine smashing cuts such as “Turn Up The Night,” “Slipping
Away” and “The Mob Rules.” The album was a Top 20 bestseller and was followed
by a major U.S. and British tours.
      Release in 1982, Black Sabbath released a live album, Live Evil. containing all
the great hits from their first album up through Mob Rules. Shortly afterwards,
Ronnie James Dio and Vinnie Appice left the band.
      The album, Born Again, released in 1983 brought in vocalist Ian Gillan, who
was formerly of Deep Purple, into Black Sabbath. Original Sabbath drummer, Bill
Ward, returned as well. Such favorites off this album include “Trashed,” “Digital
Bitch” and “Zero The Hero.” For the U.S. and British tours, Bev Bevan from ELO
replaced Bill Ward. After the U.S. and British tours, Bev Bevan and Ian Gillan left
the band. Bill Ward came back again and they tried with a new vocalist, Dave
Donato. This lineup never recorded, and Dave Donato was fired from the band for a
very egotistical magazine interview he gave. They tried once more and the only
other person alleged to be in the band during this time was Ron Keel. After trying,
Geezer Butler left and Black Sabbath broke up.
      Three years later, in 1986, Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi released
another album entitled, Seventh Star. Glen Hughes, from Deep Purple joined as the
frontman. During the U.S. tour, Glen Hughes left the band after 10 dates into the
tour, and was replaced by Ray Gillen, who finished out the tour.
      In 1987, Black Sabbath release their fourteenth album, the eternal idol.
Featuring great hits such as “the shining,” “hard life to love,” “born to lose” and “lost
forever.” That years line up consisted of Tony Iommi (guitars), Tony Martin (vocals),
Dave Spitz, Bob Daisley (bass), Bev Bevan (percussion) and Eric Singer (drums).
Ray Gillen actually recorded this album and left before it was released. Tony Martin
came in at that point, re-recorded the vocals and it was then released.
     In 1989, Black Sabbath release their fifteenth album, Headless Cross.
Featuring great hits such as “Devil and Daughter,” “When Death Calls,” “Black
Moon” and the title track. That year’s line up consisted of Tony Iommi (guitars),
Tony Martin (vocals), Cozy Powell (drums) and Laurance Cottle (bass). Laurance
Cottle was replaced by Neil Murray.
     In 1990, twenty-two years after the inception of Black Sabbath, the band
released their sixteenth album, TYR. Featuring a continuing direction set by the
1987 album, the eternal idol, Black Sabbath is once again gaining momentum. Such
songs from this album include “Anno Mundi,” “Jerusalem,” “The Sabbath Stones”
and “Feels Good to Me.” Replacing Laurance Cottle on bass for this album and tours
was Neil Murray.
     1992 marked a historical event for Black Sabbath. It was the year of the
Reunion with Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, Vinnie Appice and Tony Iommi.
The album, Dehumanizer, rocked through the world. Featuring smashing hits such
as “Time Machine,” “TV Crimes,” “Master of Insanity” and “Sins Of The Father.”
Time Machine was featured in the box office smash hit Wayne’s World. The album
was a Top 20 seller followed by major U.S. and British tours.
     In 1994, Black Sabbath released their eighteenth album, Cross Purposes.
Featuring great hits such as “I Witness,” “Cross of Thorns,” “The Hand That Rocks
The Cradle,” “Immaculate Deception” and “Psychophobia.” The band’s lineup
consisted of Tony Martin (vocals), Geezer Butler (bass), Tony Iommi (guitars) and
Bobby Rondinelli (drums).
     In 1995, Black Sabbath released their nineteenth album, Forbidden. Featuring
hits such as “The Illusion of Power,” “Get a grip,” “Shaking Off The Chains” and
“Sick and Tired.” The band’s lineup consisted of Tony Martin (vocals), Neil Murray
(bass), Tony Iommi (guitars) and Cozy Powell (drums). A major U.S. and British
tours followed. Cozy Powell left the band after the US leg of the tour and was
replaced by Bobby Rondinelli.
     In 1997, the original line-up of Black Sabbath was formed once more. They
played on December 4th and 5th at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, England. This
prompted for a live album named Reunion.

                           History of Metallica
     On October 28th, 1981, drummer Lars Ulrich makes guitar player/singer
James Hetfield the offer he can’t refuse: “I’ve got a track saved for my band on
Brian Slagel’s new Metal Blade label.” The truth is, Lars didn’t have a band at that
time, but he did that day when James joined him. The two recorded their first track
on a cheap recorder with James performing singing duties (with a sore throat,
even!), rhythm guitar duties and bass guitar duties. Lars dutifully pounded the
drums, helped with musical arrangements and acted as manager. Hetfield’s friend
and housemate Ron McGoveny was eventually talked into taking up bass and Dave
Mustaine took lead guitar duties.
     The band adopted the moniker Metallica: Young Metal Attack, and began
gigging in the Los Angeles area opening for bands like Saxon. They eventually
recorded a full-fledged demo called “No Life Til Leather.” The demo was circulated
near and abroad by Lars and his metal tape-trading buddies. “No Life Til Leather”
stirred up some interest in the underground metal community and the band started
garnering some attention, especially in San Francisco and New York. Metallica
performed 2 shows in San Francisco and found the crowds there more friendly than
LA’s “there to be seen” crowd. They also caught up-and-coming band Trauma, and
most importantly their bass player, Cliff Burton. Eventually, Metallica moved
upstate and Cliff joined Metallica.
      In New York, a copy of “No Life Til Leather” made its way to Jon Zazula’s
record shop, the aptly-named Metal Heaven. Zazula quickly recruited Metallica to
come out east to play some shows and record an album. The band made it to New
York in a stolen U-Haul only to make announcement to their now manager/record
producer: “Our guitar player has got to go.” Roadie Mark Whitakker suggested a
guitar player from a band he knew back in SF, and on April 1, 1983 Kirk Hammett
joins Metallica.
      Metallica’s first album, Kill ‘Em All, is released in late 1983. “Feed My Brain
with your so-called standard. Who says that I ain’t right?” Metallica toured behind
Kill ‘Em All, and in 1984, a second album Ride The Lightning was recorded and
released. This album was a more mature album, both lyrically and musically while
not missing a beat of the ferocity of Kill ‘Em All. Notable on Ride The Lightning’s
eight songs is track four; “Fade To Black.” Inspired by the theft of the band’s
equipment earlier that year in Boston, the song delves rather deeply into dealing
with loss. Other tracks are inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and the movie The Ten
Commandments.
      The band signed with major management agency Q Prime and soon after is
signed to major record label Elektra. 1986 brought their third album, Master Of
Puppets, and a tour with Ozzy Osbourne. Metallica was reaching new highs: the
new album reached #29 and enjoyed a 72-week run on the US charts. The Ozzy tour
helped them gain wide exposure. The band endured a minor downfall when James
broke his arm skateboarding and was unable to play guitar. John Marshall pulled
double duty, acting as Kirk’s guitar roadie and filling in on rhythm guitar until
James healed.
      With the Ozzy tour complete the band moved on to Europe and planned their
first venture to the Far East. It was hoped that James would be ready to handle his
guitar duties, but for the first shows in Europe, Marshall filled in. James returned
in full guitar and vocal duties on September 26th, 1986, the last time Metallica
performed with Cliff. Early the next morning, the tour bus skidded out of control
and flipped, killing Cliff Burton. It probably would have been easier for Metallica to
call it quits right then and there. Cliff was a major part of the band, not only
supplying bass but being somewhat of a teacher and mentor, sharing his musical
wisdom and “be yourself” attitude. Knowing Cliff would be the first to want them to
carry on, Metallica minus one carried on.
      Jason Newsted was chosen from over 40 auditions to play bass with Metallica.
His many strengths included being able to keep up with the band’s drinking habits!
It was decided they would jump right back into “tour mode” to initiate the new bass
player and wrap up loose ends. The band also released an EP of all cover songs as
an introduction to Jason. The EP, titled Garage Days Re-Revisited is considered a
sequel of sorts to “Garage Days Revisited” which appeared as a B-side in 1984.
      With Jason established, the band went back to record their fourth full-length
album, …And Justice For All, released in August 1988. It reached #6 on the US
charts, and received a Grammy nomination for Best Metal/Hard Rock album. The
band took the show back out on the road and toured extensively to all parts of the
world. ...And Justice For All produced two US singles and the band’s very first
venture into music video for the song “One.” They finally won a Grammy for the
“One” single.
      In 1991 Metallica released the self titled “black album” (Metallica). With new
producer Bob Rock, this album was a departure from the previous album. The songs
were shorter and the sound was fuller, deeper and less monotone. The “black
album” went straight to number one all over the world.. and stayed there for several
weeks. The album spawned several singles and videos and remains the most
successful Metallica album to date. The band won several awards including a
Grammy for the album and several MTV and American Music Awards. The band
toured and toured and toured (get the picture?) playing all alone in “An Evening
With Metallica” or with Guns N’ Roses, or as headliner at many festivals. Metallica
took the Black Album (and the other songs as well) to the people.
      Five years would pass before the next Metallica album saw the light. The
album was called Load and was the longest Metallica album to date. With 14 songs
it took all available room on a compact disc. The album was again produced by Bob
Rock, as was ReLoad, which followed in 1997. Both albums were written and mostly
recorded together, and continued what the self-titled album started. Soundwise, the
album was thick and punchy, the songs were loose, powerful and eclectic. It would
be unfair to say Metallica changed a great deal, as the band is the same band that
recorded Kill ‘Em All, ...And Justice For All and the rest, but the Load twins show a
Metallica that has grown towards expanding past the “all attitude and speed” days
and back to the “be yourself” attitude.
      With the completion and subsequent touring for Load and ReLoad and quite
possibly the end of this phase of Metallica, it’s natural only to become somewhat
introspective. While lyrically the Load albums reflected a great deal of what lies
inside each of us emotionally and subconsciously, it came a time to look into what
made this band. No greater reflection of what makes Metallica “Metallica” are their
influences. And as they did in 1981 when they started, 1984 with Garage Days
Revisited and 1987 with Garage Days Re-Revisited, the band did what comes
naturally…they went back to the garage. Metallica was and is very much a garage
band. Whether it’s in Kirk’s basement, Jason’s Chophouse, Lars’ Dungeon or on
stage in front of 50,000, Metallica always plays that song or that riff that helped
them out somewhere along the road. They had already released 2 garage projects
and put out a smattering of cover songs as B-sides. In fact, the Garage Days projects
had become so collectable and rare, that poorly-recorded bootleg copies have been
circulating for outrageous prices. The band chose 11 new songs to record its third
“in the garage” project, again with Bob Rock. The project was aptly-titled Garage
Inc. as it incorporates all the previously-recorded garage cover songs along with the
11 new tracks.
http://www.metallica.com / metclub@aol.com

								
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