Black Sabbath

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Summer of 1977…

I had just met the neighbor kid in the apartment complex we had just moved into. He invited me over to hang out and listen to music one afternoon. He asked me if I liked Black Sabbath and I told him that “Iron Man” was a cool song but that was about all I knew. He then proceeded to play Master of Reality. The music was like an adrenaline shot to my senses. I was hooked immediately and had to have more and find out all I could about Black Sabbath.

Over time I managed to collect their music and it became a part of my regular listening schedule. I couldn’t explain it but the music reached me on many levels. And then, as quickly as I had found them, there was news of a band split.

Back then (before up to the minute news from the internet) rumors began circulating of Ozzy leaving the band. This unfortunately became truth.

It came to pass that Black Sabbath had hired Ronnie James Dio to sing and Ozzy launched a solo career. I was a long time Rainbow fan and was curious to see what Dio would bring. I was positive that Ozzy would have some cool stuff as well.

Let’s talk Black Sabbath first. With the addition of Dio they brought us Heaven and Hell. I like this record but it brought about a sense of change to the Black Sabbath style. I always felt that this record took them in a more pop rock oriented style. It wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t MY Black Sabbath that I’d grown to love. It proved to be the same with the Mob Rules. They had just failed to reach as had been done with their previous work. I like both records and still listen to them today but not nearly as much as the earlier work. And then Dio was gone.

To be honest I left them at that point not even bothering to listen or seek out their music. Black Sabbath was lost to me at that time.

Ozzy went on to great success as a solo artist. He surrounded himself with stellar musicians and made some good records. Like Dio era Sabbath it was different. Ozzy tried to cultivate the Prince Of Darkness image but it failed to reach me. The music while great again, in my opinion, leaned a little more towards the pop rock side.

I know, I know, I can just see some of you rolling your eyes at this. Change is ok and sometimes can be good. It was good for Ozzy’s career and not so much with Black Sabbath. Sabbath eventually reunited with Dio for Dehumanizer before parting ways again.

Eventually Ozzy and Sabbath got over the past and reunited for 13 (without Bill Ward), but, for me, the magic just wasn’t there anymore.

Over time we lost Dio to cancer, Ozzy’s solo career kind of came to a slow down, and Sabbath again had some infighting leading to a permanent split with Bill Ward. But, as I have said in other conversations, that is band business of which we as fans have no part.

All in all, it’s been a good ride with Sabbath and Ozzy. I will always have and cherish the early music they made. Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy, and Never Say Die! will ALWAYS be the definitive Sabbath albums for me. I will still continue to support anything Sabbath or Ozzy does because that’s what we as music fans do. I don’t have to love it but without that support it will go away. The bands that were influenced by Black Sabbath are countless.

Thank you Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward for the hours upon hours of enjoyment you have given to me over the years. You four will forever be Black Sabbath in my heart and mind. To all of the others who have had a hand in the Sabbath legacy: Geoff Nicholls, Craig Gruber, Vinny Appice, Ian Gillen, Bev Bevan, Ron Keel, David Donato, Eric Singer, Dave Spitz, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, Bob Daisley, Tony Martin, Cozy Powell, Laurence Cottle, Neil Murray, Bobby Rondinelli, Mike Bordin, Adam Wakeman, Tommy Clufetos, Rick Wakeman, Gerald Woodroffe, Don Airey, Brad Wilk thank you for being a part of such legends. Zakk Wylde, ZAKK SABBATH?!?!?! That’s what I’m talking about!

Dio, you just rule, period.

 

It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s mother#$%*ing SABBATH!!!

-the Hellion

 

Should keyboards be used in metal?

rant

Ahhh keyboards in rock music. I have always been a fan of keyboards in rock n’ roll, I mean John Paul Jones in Led Zeppelin, John Lord in Deep Purple, Rick Wakeman in Yes, Freddie Mercury in Queen, the list goes on and on. And then on December 21st 1983, a day that lives on in infamy to me,  Van Halen released the single “Jump”, wait…what just happened? My hard rock driven guitar band released a song with a sickly poppy sounding keyboard in it? If you can’t tell I was sorely disappointed in the boys. People were labeling the song as “pop rock” or “synthrock”, I was aghast a this. I eventually overcame my lament and forgave Van Halen for this travesty (again this is my opinion).

Today on my commute home I heard “Jump” on the radio (no I still don’t like it) and thought to myself I wonder what others think about keyboards in hard rock and heavy metal. I know bands like Sonata Artica, Kamelot, and Nightwish use them, but what are your thoughts?

 

it’s loud, it’s dirty, i might as well JUMP!!!

-the Hellion

YES – A BAND NEAR AND DEAR TO ME

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www.yesworld.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yes/107577509265620

 

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I was seven years old when I first heard “Starship Trooper”. I was enraptured by it, it took me away to the stars and beyond. My mom turned me on to Yes and I was hooked. I have remained a fan throughout the years.

Formed in 1968, by Chris Squire, Yes has been cutting edge ever since. They have risen from obscurity, to the heights of success. There have been many different lineups throughout the years with some outstanding musicians.

The most successful lineup (in my opinion) consisted of: Jon Anderson – lead vocals, percussion, guitar, harp, various others, Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals, various others, Steve Howe – guitars, backing vocals, various others, Bill Bruford – drums, percussion, various others, Rick Wakeman – keyboards, piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron, various others.

During the 80’s they had hits from the lineup of: Jon Anderson – (vocals), Tony Kaye – (Keyboards), Trevor Rabin – (Guitars, vocals, additional keyboards), Chris Squire – (Bass, vocals), Alan White – (Drums, percussion, backing vocals). This lineup gave us hits like: “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, “It Can Happen”, “Leave It”, and “Changes”

The current lineup of Yes consists of: Chris Squire – (bass, backing vocals, various others), Steve Howe – (guitars, backing vocals, various others), Alan White – (drums, percussion, backing vocals, various others), Geoff Downes – (keyboards), Jon Davison – (lead vocals, various others)

yes-2012-lineup

From 1 March to 12 April 2013, Yes will embark on their Spring 2013 North American tour. The band will play three albums a night for the first time in their entirety: The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One. During the Spring 2013 North American tour, Yes will lead a progressive-rock themed cruise titled Cruise to the Edge from 25 to 30 March 2013. Yes will also be going into the studio in the fall 2013 to record a new album, their 21st studio album and the first with Jon Davison.

 

The progressive rock music of Yes deserves a listen.

 

the Hellion