Black Sabbath – Sabotage (1975, Warner Bros. Records)
1. “Hole in the Sky” … 3:59
2. “Don’t Start (Too Late)” … 0:49
3. “Symptom of the Universe” … 6:29
4. “Megalomania” … 9:46
5. “Thrill of It All” … 5:56
6. “Supertzar” … 3:44
7. “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” … 4:16
8. “The Writ” … 8:09
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward – Drums
Gerald “Jezz” Woodruffe – keyboards
Producer: Mike Butcher & Black Sabbath
Another Sabbath album from the Ozzy years that I picked up only after running through all of the band’s non-Ozzy years. I’ve read a lot about how Sabbath Bloody Sabbath started the band’s decline in quality and it amazes me that anyone could label both that album and Sabotage as missteps. Regardless of whatever what happening internally, the music they were releasing was still great heavy metal.
Apparently this album was a conscious effort to return to a more of a no-frills sound after some of the more experimental stuff that was on the previous release. The funny thing is that, according to Wikipedia, up to that point this was the most time-consuming and expensive Sabbath album and Ozzy has particularly noted this is when Iommi became “obsessive” with production. Well, whatever they did and however long it took, it paid off.
“Hole in the Sky” is nothing less than classic metal featuring a great riff and it’s a great way to start off the album. “Symptom of the Universe” and “Megalomania” fit into that same category as well. “Supertzar” is another favorite of mine (would’ve easily fit on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath) and I believe I read somewhere that this was often used to open their shows even long after Ozzy had left.
My only real gripes are that “Thrill of It All” comes across as filler and “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” is more synth-heavy weirdness that had popped up on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
Highlights: “Hole in the Sky”, “Symptom of the Universe”, “Megalomania”, “Supertzar”