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

 

PET PEEVES: Who’s your favorite/best guitarist?

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There are so many polls, questions, battles, etc., etc., on who’s the best guitarist. I feel that this is a question that can never be truly asked or answered. In my opinion each and every guitarist that I listen to is distinctly different. I often wonder what Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Zakk Wylde, Tony Iommi, Dimebag, Randy Rhoads, and many more, would think (or would have thought) of all of these comparisons. For me, there is such joy in the diversity of styles in rock n’ roll. If everyone tried to sound like each other what would be the point? I say enjoy the bad ass guitarists that are out there and do yourself a favor and seek out the new crop of players that are trying their hardest to be heard. I just had to put this out there after seeing all of the recent polls and battles out there. Now, let’s talk about some  axe slingers you should be listening to.

     Justin Manning:

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Justin is the guitarist for the band Crowned By Fire. Incredible riffs, blinding speed, and a certain uniqueness in style make Justin a player to watch. check Justin and Crowned By Fire in the video for “Witch In The Window” : 

 Redd Yoachum:

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Redd is the lead guitarist for Scattered Hamlet. Redd plays with an old soul. He makes you feel the music that he plays, his passion fills your ears with sonic joy. I feel the guitar heroes who have passed on are smiling down on Redd. Here is the live version of “Skeleton Dixie”: 

 Craw Cajun:

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Craw is the guitarist for All Hail The Yeti. Craw is another one of those guitarists that when they play it gets right into your soul. All Hail The Yeti’s self titled release  was my top CD for 2012. This is a band on the move and Craw is a player headed for legendary status. Check out Craw’s playing in “The Art Of Mourning” : 

These are but three of my favorite guitarists that I feel should be getting more attention in the world. If you have any by all means bring to my attention! You can reach me at janaya64@msn.com or on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/theHellionRocks

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!

the Hellion

BLACK SABBATH – some thoughts and reflections on the past, present, and future leading up to 13.

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     I have been a Black Sabbath fan since the moment I heard “Planet Caravan” when I was 6 years old. Since then I have felt like I was with them from high to low. Listening to Sabbath has taken my mind to different planes of existence and back, floating away on the guitar licks of Tony Iommi, my heart beating in time to the drumming of Bill Ward, the dark and monstrous basslines of Geezer Butler, finally, the madcap lunacy of the voice of Ozzy Osbourne. From the self titled Black Sabbath to Never Say Die!, Sabbath was there for me. And then things changed.

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     1979- Ozzy and Sabbath had parted ways!!!! Say it wasn’t so!!! What was going to happen now? I so wanted to hate Heaven And Hell, but I couldn’t. I was familiar with Ronnie James Dio from his prior work but didn’t think he could replace our beloved Ozzy, but it worked. Then Bill Ward was gone as well and Vinny Appice was in. This marked the start of many lineup changes to come. The Mob Rules was released and was a truly amazing piece of work.

     Well, as we all know, Ozzy launched a stellar solo career and Sabbath released several more records with varying lineups. There were several reunions but no full blown release with the classic lineup until now (well sort of).

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     Enter 13 – The long standing rumors were true,  Black Sabbath: Ozzy, Tony, Geezer, and Bill were going to record a new record!!! Then, amidst great controversy, Bill Ward was no longer part of the project. Brad Wilk from Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave was to fill in behind the kit. I will withhold my personal feelings on the matter. I heard that one of my favorite producers of all time, Rick Rubin, was working with Sabbath on this. It is my opinion that pretty much anything Rick works on is amazing (note that I said pretty much and not everything).  I am hopeful that 13 will return us to the storytelling, journeys of Sabbath past…. we can dream….

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL

the Hellion

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OZZY! 12/3/12

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On this day in 1948 the Rock Gods blessed the earth with John Michael Osbourne. They tested him thoroughly with things that would have surely killed a mere mortal. Yet he withstood all that was thrown at him. Yet, all of these trials had transformed him, remade him, and thus OZZY  arose from the man that was John Michael Osbourne. OZZY gathered the musical forces to him and gave to the ears of the world BLACK SABBATH. The power of OZZY quickly grew and he needed to empower other musicians and he left BLACK SABBATH in order to gather young musicians and take them under his “wing”.

Thank you OZZY! Thank you very much!!!

We truly hope you never stop!

the Hellion