Black Sabbath

It was the most deadly combination of all time.

The gloomy English weather of Birmingham. A release on Friday the 13th, the drummer’s fascination with the devil, horror inspired lyrics and cover, the voice of  Ozzy Osborne and a guitarist with chopped finger tips.

 

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Hailed as the first Heavy metal classic, this album was released on Friday the 13th, February 1970. This was the birth of a Genre called Heavy Metal. Soon to become a religion of is own. If heavy metal has a birth day then its celebrated on 13 feb 1970.

Cream, Blue cheer, Vanilla fudge, Jimi Hendrix all were around…but lets not confuse hard rock and heavy blues with Heavy Metal. Everyone else were on the edge, but Sabbath just went over the cliff. What Black Sabbath played was Heavy fukkin Metal. Period.

 

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Initially named “Polka Tulk” then “Earth”, all four agreed on the name Black Sabbath after drawing inspiration from the following.

1. A 1963 Boris Karloff horror flick with the same name.

2. Writings of Dennis Wheatly, who was considered a master of supernatural, Satanism, Exorcism and Black Magic.

 

But the actual inspiration was Geezer Butler waking up from a dream to find a “figure in black” standing next to his bed. Ozzy and Geezer wrote the song based on the experience, thus the magical mesmerizing lines of the song BLACK SABBATH were born.

The distant sound of church bells, the devil’s note coming thru the guitar combined with the voice of the devil himself (Ozzy Osbourne) pushes you into the darkest opus ever written.

Most fascinating thing about this album was that it was recorded in just two days. Like they say, “when you’re in the mood, you’re in the mood”

 

Artist : Black Sabbath

Album : Black Sabbath

Release : 13 Feb 1970

Songlist :

1. Black Sabbath

2. The Wizard

3. Behind the wall of sleep

4. N.I.B (Nativity in Black)

5. Evil Woman

6. Sleeping Village

7. Warning

 

“ Big black shape with eyes of fire

Telling people their desire

Satan’s sitting there, he’s smiling

Watches those flames get higher and higher”

                                                           – Black Sabbath

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Ozzy praying! – God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

Yeah, the title is as scary as what I saw.

I was watching the documentary about Ozzy Osbourne – “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne”. It was one of the ‘raw’ documentaries i’ve ever seen. No edits, no blurring of images when the hero appears ‘really’ drunk or in the nirvana of cocaine. And no cuts when he appears naked. Its one of those ‘as it is’ documentaries and yes I admit, they’ve done an excellent job in capturing the prince of darkness as a person.

It was not about his career, rock star image or about his ups and downs. It was about him, a person.

A very good documentary. Strictly do not watch this with kids, girl friends, family etc. They wont understand heavy metal. Even if they do, they wont be able to accept the madness behind it.

Capturing Ozzy’s eventful life in an hour is something next to impossible. Yet they have done it.

The crew traveled and toured with him for almost 2 years and went through thousands of hours of footage to put this masterpiece together.

His alcoholism, drug abuse, the madness all captured well and was woven together to perfection. (Including his liking to run around naked with his ‘i dont giv a fuck’ attitude)

Perhaps the second best thing in the documentary was capturing him when he visits his childhood home for the first time in decades.

But the craziest moment in the entire documentary was in its end. Ozzy preparing himself for a show. Does his workout, practices his voice and then locks the door and get down his knees and prays for a min.

Can u imagine that? A god praying!!!

For those who follow ozzy osbourne, black sabbath or anything else that is heavy metal, this will come as a shocker. I just went back and watched that scene again. Ozzy Osbourne praying! Now that, to me, is a really disturbing scene.

A True music fan

 

Every fan claim that they are the biggest worshippers of their favourite artist or band. I myself claim to be a hardcore IRON MAIDEN fan. But am I a true fan ? Will I empty my bank account to buy iron maiden collectibles ? Nope. I am just a fan.

 

But today, I wish to share the true story of a music fan.

 

The year was 1970. Mtv was not born yet. Britney spears was still a plan in her father’s mind. Hip hop was not heard of. The only thing that burned the charts all over the globe were the four lads from UK. The Beatles.

 

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The Hero of my real life drama is a hardcore Beatles fan. Unfortunately he lives in the other part of the world in a country called India. To make things worse he lived in state called Kerala, where western culture didn’t tread much into the roots.

 

He heard them, read about them, was amazed with their music. Back then there was not much airplay of english songs on the local radio and not everyone was rich enough to afford one either. Being a truly gifted artist (painting), he managed to save a couple of tens (back in 1970, 10 bucks was big).

 

He jumped in to make an ultimate investment.  He decided to buy a Beatles Record. Brand New….and imported from the mecca of music itself, The United Kingdom.

 

An imported Beatles record back in the 1970 costs a fortune. Buying a LP record disc, that too an imported one was strictly reserved for the rich and the famous.

 

But it was pure passion. Nothing in the world mattered most than a Beatles record. The record was to cost 3000 Indian rupees. Back in 70’s, you can buy a plot of land for the same money.  Yet he made the ultimate decision. To own it.

 

Opened up his savings box, worked over time and chipped in every last penny he cud find to treat himself to the ultimate gift. A Beatles Record.

 

DHL didn’t have a shop in town, Blue Dart, TNT and UPS were never heard of. Technology and communications were limited to the sweaty fellow walking in slippers and wearing a khaki uniform with a shoulder bag. The postman. The shipment took months to arrive, but finally came in through a friend in the public library who ordered books from England.

 

Finally there it is…A Beatles Record. An LP 33”

 

Our hero was over joyed, danced around with the Beatles record in hand. For the first time in his life he is holding a record of his favorite band. A brand new record. Now came the next challenge.

 

Where do he play it? He didn’t own a record player. (yeah, can you believe it?)

 

But he had a solution in mind before ordering the record. He took the record to his friend who lived a few miles away. His friend used to set up microphones and PA systems on stage for the great political leaders to address their crowd of followers (one thing we don’t lack in Kerala). They were able to use the ‘record player’ for a few hours as a part of “testing”.

 

It was a hot sweaty summer night. There he sat in an open ground, next to a temple. Workers were dismantling a stage after some dance program. His friend put the record and placed the needle on the spinning LP….the words and voice of John Lennon and Paul McCartney came through the public addressing system (kolambi).. He closed his eyes and he was at peace…..

 

The song should have been the hit single “Its been a hard day’s night….and I’ve been working like a dog…..”  (my guess)

 

For me he is the ultimate music fan. No one can ever top his love for music. Or band loyalty.

 

The hero of this story is none other than my uncle named Shajahan. (“Shajahan Babe” as I call him). A true Beatle mania. Retired from Kerala Police fingerprint bureau. He Lives in Trivandrum, Kerala (India) with his wife and two kids.

 

Occasionally he listens to his favorite band and shares this story to the younger generation. You can still see the pride and happiness in his eyes (of owning a Beatle Record)

 

I could find no other encouraging topic to begin my music review blog with.     In my charts, he is the ultimate music fan.  Compared to him, I am more fortunate.

 

And yes, Music, its in my blood too…

 

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