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Black Sabbath - Sabotage (1975)



Sabotage didn't just divide fans of the band, it divided the members, too. Ozzy felt that it took far too long to record and contained too much studio and production work – after all, he reasoned, the band’s first album had been taped in a matter of hours for a few hundred quid and it hadn’t done too badly, had it? Ozzy may have had a point. Sections of ‘Sabotage’ do stray some distance from the elemental grind of those early days, but it’s a record of great charm and one that has aged well.

The cover photograph, in which Ozzy wears a dress and Bill a pair of red tights, sets the tone for some of the wiggy madness to come. ‘Hole In The Sky’ and ‘Symptom of the Universe’ are classic Iommi riffscapes, but there’s a spacey darkness to them that has a different feel to previous albums. ‘Megalomania’ and ‘The Writ’ are lengthy and not quite from the band’s top drawer, while ‘Am I Going Insane (Radio)’ is singalong pop by comparison. The choral sweep of ‘Supertzar’ was perhaps the most contentious cut, a real departure for the band, but viewed from a distance of years ‘Sabotage’ adds real depth to Sabbath’s early catalogue.

TRACKLIST:
Hole in the Sky / Don't Start (Too Late) / Symptom of the Universe / Megalomania / Thrill of It All / Supertzar / Am I Going Insane / The Writ

KEY FACTS:
  • The idea for that monstrosity of an album cover came from Bill Ward's drum tech Graham Wright. There is a story that Ozzy is wearing nothing beneath his kimono. It is regularly voted one of the worst album covers of all time.
  • KISS were the opening act on the tour which followed the release of the album. The tour ended early, though, when Ozzy crashed his motorcycle.



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