Nothing says Happy Halloween better than some good old fashioned scary music. My early obsession with Alice Cooper was due more to his showmanship and apparent shock value than actual fright.
Back in the 70’s the band that really scared the crap out of everyone, on purpose, was Black Sabbath. I remember hearing the opening track of that first Black Sabbath album at one of the many basement parties that were all the rage back in the day.
Turned up as loud as a crappy stereo can go, the wind howling and bell ringing in the background followed by Tony Iommi’s demonic guitar chords and rumble of Geezer Butler’s bass literally made the windows shake, along with my legs in my boots, or sneakers.
Black Sabbath brought something new to my ears with that eerie fuzz sound and the haunting vocals of a guy with a funny name. Ozzy Osbourne. I never got to see them live, unfortunately. They would sell out quickly, since their popularity increased quicker than almost any band of that era. Black Sabbath tickets were hard to come by and for some reason I don’t remember them coming around that often.
The first album was a good beginning for the band. But they hit their mark on the followup “Paranoid”, a perfect album and absolutely in the top 100 albums of all-time, in my opinion. Proof of that is how often its played on classic rock radio. It’s a staple.
Sabbath were uniquely interesting, simple, yet knew exactly what they were doing. Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward made some phenomenal music and I still love it.
The early albums are all great. The self titled “Black Sabbath”, “Paranoid”, “Master Of Reality” and “Vol. 4” were all excellent albums. “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was spotty, but mostly good. After that, they fell victim to drug abuse and lost focus. Ozzy went on to a semi-brilliant solo career.
Ronnie James Dio and even Ian Gillian, of Deep Purple tried to fill Ozzy’s shoes and even if they were better singers, they weren’t Ozzy. He just had that special something. As much as Ozzy tried to scare you, somewhere in his eyes you see a frightened little boy who only loved to rock n roll. That is why he is considered one of the most loved personalities in rock ‘n’ roll history.
Black Sabbath are considered the Godfather’s of heavy metal. They brought it to the forefront but Ozzy is an admitted Beatles fanatic and has often cited the record that inspired him to get into music was The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” Well, what do you know.
Many other bands have followed in the footsteps of scary rock. Marilyn Manson probably came closest, but something is missing from those bands. Sabbath was the first and they were the best.
Sadly, his legacy has been destroyed when his silly wife decided to exploit him and make him look like a damn fool. F U Sharon
You know your mystique is gone when 70-year-old grandmothers say they like Ozzy.
Now THAT is scary.
Happy Halloween !!!