Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Here's 3 videos documenting the rise and fall of one of the best and definitely the most influential metal bands ever, the mighty Black Sabbath. These videos document the Ozzy years (1970-1978), inarguably Sabbath's heyday, from their meteoric rise from the suburbs of Birmingham to their descent into excess, fame, and drug abuse.

Firstly, a rousing performance of "War Pigs" from Paris, 1970, featuring a skinny, Converse-wearing Bill Ward beating the bloody Hell out of his poor drumset. The lads are young and hungry here, in top form musically and physically, on the brink of becoming one of the most popular bands on the planet. Note the extra verse not found on the album version of the song, featuring spooky lyrics about a "politician's funeral pyre". Epic.

The next video features the blokes at the peak of their popularity, performing one of their greatest songs, "Children of the Grave", at California Jam in 1974. Over 200,000 people are in the audience, and Ozzy is obviously pumped. Note Geezer Butler's awesome curly patch cord and the giant rainbow in the background (proof that Richie Blackmore was involved deeply with this concert). Speaking of Mr. Blackmore, he reportedly attacked a cameraman and set fire to his amplifiers after Deep Purple's performance, causing the band to flee quickly by helicopter to avoid the wrath of the local Ontario police and fire marshals. They just don't make rock bands like they used to.

And finally, Sabbath at the end of the rainbow, strung out and spent, performing "Snowblind" in 1978, a song (ironically) about the perils of cocaine usage. The band members clearly hate the Ozz-man at this point, and if you watch closely you can see Tony Iommi shaking his head "no" at him as he over-enthusiastically air guitars along during Iommi's solo. So sad. The fat, tasseled Osbourne is the picture of rock star overindulgence in this one, oblivious to the fact that he is embarassing himself and his band. Bummer.
Still a kick-ass song, though.

Fun factoid: Did you know that the old guy from those World of Warcraft and AT&T cell phone ads used to sing in this band? Crazy!

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