Wednesday, August 11, 2010
What I bought today
I splurged a little and got myself this gem on CD. I was glad to get it because I've been frustrated lately. Old Black Sabbath music is hard to come by. And Ozzy Osbourne has a real quirkiness when it comes to any music he seems to have had an influence on.
For example, Ozzy went totally George Lucas on all his fans and re-recorded his first two incredibly influential (and nearly perfect on their own) solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, ending up with less-enjoyable versions after the effort. No kidding, the drum and bass tracks from the original albums were removed and replaced with recordings by other artists, and these re-releases are the only versions available if you try to buy them new. So, unless you actually own vinyl or CD versions of these albums from the 1980s or 90s, the only thing you can get these days are much weaker imitations. Even Bark at the Moon (which was only remixed, not re-recorded) sounds a lot crappier than it did when it first came out. I bought that one through iTunes, and I was sorely disappointed with what was downloaded to my computer.
And then, there's the Black Sabbath music. Ozzy seems to think only he owns anything that has to do with Black Sabbath before he left the band, and he recently fought a legal battle with Tony Iommi (the guitarist and the only member of the band to actually be in the band for its entire existence) for actual ownership of the name "Black Sabbath". Supposedly their feud is over, but, for some reason, Ozzy has been refusing on-line access to any Black Sabbath album or song recorded with him. Go to iTunes or Amazon, and you can find anything Ozzy has recorded solo, and you can find Black Sabbath material produced after Ozzy left the band, but absolutely nothing is available from the time before he jumped ship. No Paranoid. No Master of Reality. No Technical Ecstasy. No nothing.
And guess what? I've been itching to hear some old Black Sabbath, especially some things that I haven't heard in decades.
Then, today, I came across Sabotage. It has been so long since I have heard the tasty tunes on this album that I have almost forgotten what they sound like. "Hole in the Sky". "Symptom of the Universe". "The Writ". These are some of the songs that shaped my appreciation for metal and set the stage for future pursuits in the genre. This album and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath were a couple of my closest companions in my formative years, and it has been to my sadness that I have not had a copy of Sabotage since high school, thanks in part to its limited availability in music stores and its complete absence online.
But now I have found it. And now I have it! Good times for me!
Oh, and I always thought the cover art was pretty cool for this album. It shows the band members looking great in duds that demonstrate the height of 1970s hard rock/metal fashion.
Well, except for Bill Ward. He insisted on wearing his red tights for the photo shoot. With checkered underwear.
I suppose there's no accounting for taste, even in the 70s.