|» The Best of Black Sabbath||
Published February 21 2017
The Best of Black Sabbath
Written by Jason Warren
The Original Lineup
eginning with the release of the self-titled debut album in 1970 to approximately 1976, Black Sabbath had its golden period. During this time, the band produced most of its seminal albums, including what most followers consider to be Sabbath's best, Paranoid. Only eight tracks are on the album, with side one of the vinyl featuring an aural explosion of classic metal with "War Pigs," "Paranoid," "Planet Caravan" and "Iron Man." Released In September 1970, just six months after the band's debut, Paranoid brought to fruition the possibilities that were hinted at on "Black Sabbath." The first album remains a favorite among Sabbath fans and is considered to be one of music's most eponymous works thanks to the title track and the song "N.I.B."
he other albums
produced during this period, Master of Reality, Vol.4, Sabbath Bloody
Sabbath and Sabotage are also considered classics. The last release of
this period, 1976's Technical Ecstasy is an attempt to explore new musical
directions. While not quite up to the level of the previous six works,
it still merits a top ten finish thanks to tracks like "Back Street
Kids" and "Dirty Women." Other notable songs from this
period include "Children of the Grave," "Sweet Leaf,"
"After Forever" and "Into the Void" from "Master
of Reality." 1973's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" is sometimes deemed
the group's prog album with Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman present on many
of the tracks. The best work off this album is the mesmerizing "Spiral
of the best songs they have ever made.
The Ronnie James Dio Years
ntense discord and substance abuse crippled the original lineup in the late 1970s and led to the firing of Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath experienced a monumental rebirth in the early 1980s after hiring vocalist Ronnie James Dio to front the band. The group's 1980 release, Heaven and Hell, is considered by its fan base to be among the top five Black Sabbath albums. The former Rainbow singer rejuvenated the band that had been in decline for years through his rich melodic voice and poetic lyrics. Highlights here are the album's colossal title track, the atmospheric "Children of the Sea" and the ultra-heavy "Neon Nights." With these treasures, Dio is often considered to be the greatest metal singer of all time. Almost as good was 1981's Mob Rules, the first Sabbath work recorded without drummer Bill Ward. The album's masterpiece is "Sign of the Southern Cross," a seven-minute mini-epic that combines Dio's vocals with Iommi's eerie guitar riffs.