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Black Sabbath - Vol 4 (1972)



‘Black Sabbath’, ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Master of Reality’ may contain more famous songs, but of the four brutal and brilliant albums cut by the band from 1970-1972, it is ‘Vol 4’ that is the most complete realisation of their vision. Suddenly flush, newly famous and cut adrift in LA, Sabbath weren’t subtle about their influences – the sleeve credits ‘The great COKE-a-cola company of Los Angeles’ – yet the vast, cold, disconnected vibe that those influences helped to create gives ‘Vol 4’ its doomed magic.

Two great, druggy epics, the opening ‘Wheels of Confusion’ and then the majestic ‘Snowblind’ are its centrepieces, but around them are some of Tony Iommi’s greatest riffs. ‘Supernaut’ is a glorious heady rush, while ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ is just crushingly heavy. They were even stirred up enough to attempt a ballad, the tortuous ‘Changes’, a laboured effort revived many years later as a father-daughter duet between Ozzy and Kelly. In all, ‘Vol 4’ had a depth of invention greater than that of the first three records, and it also set a template for two releases to come, ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ and ‘Sabotage’.

TRACKLIST:
Wheels of Confusion - The Straightener / Tomorrow's Dream / Changes / FX / Supernaut / Snowblind / Cornucopia / Laguna Sunrise / St. Vitus Dance / Under the Sun - Every Day Comes and Goes

KEY FACTS:
  • At 41 seconds into the song Snowblind you can hear Ozzy whisper "cocaine". On the original takes Ozzy would shout the word after every verse, but it was later rerecorded.




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