Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4
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Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4

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Item #: 2526696
    Black Sabbath: Geezer Butler (bass instrument); Bill Ward (drums); Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi. Personnel: Ozzy Osbourne (vocals); Tony Iommi (guitar). Audio Remasterer: Ray Staff. Liner Note Author: Hugh Gilmour. Recording information: Record Plant, Los......more

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Artist: Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath: Geezer Butler (bass instrument); Bill Ward (drums); Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi. Personnel: Ozzy Osbourne (vocals); Tony Iommi (guitar). Audio Remasterer: Ray Staff. Liner Note Author: Hugh Gilmour. Recording information: Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA (09/1972). Photographers: Ross Halfin; Chris Walter. Arranger: Black Sabbath. Vol. 4 is the point in Black Sabbath's career where the band's legendary drug consumption really starts to make itself felt. And it isn't just in the lyrics, most of which are about the blurry line between reality and illusion. Vol. 4 has all the messiness of a heavy metal Exile on Main St., and if it lacks that album's overall diversity, it does find Sabbath at their most musically varied, pushing to experiment amidst the drug-addled murk. As a result, there are some puzzling choices made here (not least of which is the inclusion of "FX"), and the album often contradicts itself. Ozzy Osbourne's wail is becoming more powerful here, taking greater independence from Tony Iommi's guitar riffs, yet his vocals are processed into a nearly textural element on much of side two. Parts of Vol. 4 are as ultra-heavy as Master of Reality, yet the band also takes its most blatant shots at accessibility to date -- and then undercuts that very intent. The effectively concise "Tomorrow's Dream" has a chorus that could almost be called radio-ready, were it not for the fact that it only appears once in the entire song. "St. Vitus Dance" is surprisingly upbeat, yet the distant-sounding vocals don't really register. The notorious piano-and-Mellotron ballad "Changes" ultimately fails not because of its change-of-pace mood, but more for a raft of the most horrendously clich‚d rhymes this side of "moon-June." Even the crushing "Supernaut" -- perhaps the heaviest single track in the Sabbath catalog -- sticks a funky, almost danceable acoustic breakdown smack in the middle. Besides "Supernaut," the core of Vol. 4 lies in the midtempo cocaine ode "Snowblind," which was originally slated to be the album's title track until the record company got cold feet, and the multi-sectioned prog-leaning opener, "Wheels of Confusion." The latter is one of Iommi's most complex and impressive compositions, varying not only riffs but textures throughout its eight minutes. Many doom and stoner metal aficionados prize the second side of the album, where Osbourne's vocals gradually fade further and further away into the murk, and Iommi's guitar assumes center stage. The underrated "Cornucopia" strikes a better balance of those elements, but by the time "Under the Sun" closes the album, the lyrics are mostly lost under a mountain of memorable, contrasting riffery. Add all of this up, and Vol. 4 is a less cohesive effort than its two immediate predecessors, but is all the more fascinating for it. Die-hard fans sick of the standards come here next, and some end up counting this as their favorite Sabbath record for its eccentricities and for its embodiment of the band's excesses. ~ Steve Huey
See Also:
Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978), Sabotage, Master of Reality, Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Vol. 4
See Influences:
Screaming Lord Sutch, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, John Mayall, The Yardbirds, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Elf (Band), Iron Butterfly, Blue Cheer, The Kinks, Vanilla Fudge, The Beatles, Yes, Cream
See Contemporaries:
Queen, Dio, Alex Harvey (Rock), Led Zeppelin, Scorpions, Jethro Tull, Motorhead, Cactus, Deep Purple (Rock), Cannibal Corpse, April Wine, Iron Maiden, Uriah Heep, Frank Zappa, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Iron Butterfly, Pink Floyd, Budgie (Metal), Dokken, UFO, King Diamond, Danzig, Free, Rainbow, Quiet Riot, Thin Lizzy, Ozzy Osbourne, Nazareth, Diamond Head (Metal), Samson, Mountain, Hawkwind, Gentle Giant, Blue Oyster Cult, Judas Priest, Status Quo (UK), Humble Pie, Gillan
Track Listing:
Disc 1:
  1. 1 Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener: Wheels Of Confusion / The Straightener
  2. 2 Tomorrow's Dream
  3. 3 Changes
  4. 4 FX
  5. 5 Supernaut
  6. 6 Snowblind
  7. 7 Cornucopia
  8. 8 Laguna Sunrise
  9. 9 St. Vitus Dance
  10. 10 Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes: Under The Sun / Everyday Comes And Goes
Rock & Pop
Hard Rock
Warner Bros. Records
Black Sabbath; Patrick Meehan; Black Sabbath; Patrick Meehan
Number of Discs:
Compact Disc
Studio or Live:
Mono or Stereo:
SPARS Coding:
42 : 38
Editorial Reviews:
Rolling Stone (12/7/72, p.63) - "...Storms of liquid metal...the Sabs pour it on...The Sabs are genius..." Q (6/00, p.69) - Ranked #60 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "...The sound of drug-taking, beer-guzzling hooligans from Britain's oft-pilloried cultural armpit let loose in LA..."
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  • cd black sabbath

    ordering on line is very conventine and easy i always recommend overstock to everrone

    • How did the image on site compare with the actual product? perfect
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    • Please tell us about the quality of the product. its a cd - it was mailed using USPS - came quiickly
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