Monday, April 6
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Tag: Black Sabbath

So fresh: 10 Black Sabbath songs that will never get old

So fresh: 10 Black Sabbath songs that will never get old

Music
Last Friday the original, legendary Black Sabbath lineup -- Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward -- announced that they are reuniting once again for a tour and a 2012 Rick Rubin-produced album. I'm holding out hope that it won't be a disaster, as the quasi-Sabbath Heaven & Hell project (R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio) was quite good. So to honor the godfathers of heavy metal I've put together this compilation of ten songs (from the original foursome) that are not their biggest hits, but are still true genre classics. 1 -- "Black Sabbath" (from Black Sabbath, 1970) This is it, people. Scholars can debate the origins of metal all they want, but for my money it starts with the first song from Sabbath's first album. Those opening three guitar chords from Iommi ar...
My favorite music: 1972

My favorite music: 1972

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1972. Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees -- Oh sure, I love Rumours as much as the next person. But there's something about this particular, pre-Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the band that speaks to me. Bare Trees is a bit uneven in spots but I keep coming back to it just the same. That said, the original version of Bob Welch's "Sentimental Lady" found on this record is far superior to the 1977 hit single version. Steely Dan, Can't Buy a Thrill -- I don't care if Donald Fagen and Walter Becker want to disown this record, I love it and I know a ton of Dan fans love it. Like all classic Steely Dan records, the hits are only part o...
Album cover of the week: Mob Rules

Album cover of the week: Mob Rules

Album Cover of the Week, Music
It's hard to believe, but we lost Ronnie James Dio one year ago today. It seems only right to pay small tribute to his musical legacy, and so here we have 1981's Mob Rules. It was the second and last studio album Black Sabbath released with Dio as frontman until the one-off reunion disc Dehumanizer in 1992. It's every bit as sinister and metal as the cover indicates. The cover painting is by fantasy/science fiction artist Greg Hildebrandt. It's essentially a recreation of his 1971 work, Dream 1: Crucifiers. Here's the original: I'm guessing the addition of the band and album names didn't escape your notice, but did you catch the fact that the hook on the left side of the original was changed to a crucifix for the album cover? Also, the blood stain in the fabric (skin?) was ma...
Album cover of the week: Paranoid

Album cover of the week: Paranoid

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Is there anything left to say about the music on Black Sabbath's Paranoid?  It, even more than their debut album from earlier in 1970, pretty much became the template for heavy metal.  "Iron Man," "War Pigs," and "Electric Funeral" are some of the most essential songs of all-time.  But man, what's up with that cover? So the background on this weird dude is this - Sabbath originally wanted to call the album War Pigs, and that's what the guy in the Day-Glo outfit, sword, and shield is supposed to be.  Vertigo, the band's label, was uncomfortable with that title since the Vietnam War was going on and they didn't want to offend people.  I guess they figured a lot of pro-war types were Sabbath fans too? So anyway, they switched the title to match the second song on the record, "Parano
Listening Booth – Dio, “Mystery”

Listening Booth – Dio, “Mystery”

Listening Booth, Music
It was a sad weekend in music my friends.  Heavy metal icon and all-around decent guy Ronnie James Dio passed away from stomach cancer at age 67.  Dio carved out a damn good career for himself and his powerful voice, fronting Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and then his own band.  Here's one of his solo tracks that I've always been fond of - from 1984's The Last in Line, it's "Mystery". RIP Ronnie, you will be missed.  Let us all throw the devil horns in his honor.  
2009 – The year in recorded musical performances

2009 – The year in recorded musical performances

Music
I swear that each year I have less and less time to spend listening to new music.  It seems like a losing battle anymore to keep up with all the new albums coming out, but I have to keep trying.  So rather than pontificate on the albums of the past year - as I've been known to do - I'm going for brevity in an attempt to get more done.  And I'm adding one new feature to this year's year-end music wrapup (and future releases as well), by introducing a grading system.  Here's the rundown: Dig It - You can safely part with your hard-earned money for this and not feel like a sucker. Download It - Still worth a listen, but you'll probably want to just download it and cherry-pick the best tracks. Ditch It - If you can find something of lasting value, you're a better person than I. Got