Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Black Sabbath--Master of Reality, thoughts.

Just finished this book--it's one in a series of books called 33 1/3, which are really intense reviews of certain recordings. I became interested in this series through the first one I read, a review/recap of Slayer's Reign in Blood. What struck me was the track by track breakdown of each song, with comments from the band and from the producers. It takes the listening experience of these albums to a very high level.

The Black Sabbath book is slightly different. It's from the point of view of a teenager who is placed in a psychiatric hospital when he is 17 after he attempts suicide. However, he is not suicidal, just depressed with his home life and doesn't know how to process it. So, as soon as he gets abducted from school and is admitted into this hospital, all he wants to do is retrieve his backpack, which the doctors took from him, and listen to Master of Reality. For 90 pages, through a series of journal entries, he describes this album and every riff, drum beat, lyric and vocal. BUT, it is done with a certain desperation that elevates his commentary from heavy metal puppy love to religious fervor. It is fascinating to hear how each track resonates with him and how he interprets this incredibly misunderstood recording.

Bottom line: Ozzy and his mates are preaching love and peace. On every song. Well, one song is an anti-war song, but the rest, aside from two instrumentals, are about searching for happiness. Oh, and the one about pot (Sweet Leaf). I've re-listened to it three times in the last two days and it has quickly jumped up to one of my favorite heavy metal albums. Listen to Geezer Butler's bass and it sounds like something from another planet.

1 comment:

  1. Gabe's lists of favorites are impressive. However, if Little Voo wishes to validate himself as an authority on complex subjects such as skateboarding, snowboarding, and BMX, he needs to first aim his intellect at becoming an authority and fan of the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Bears. Until he succeeds in this endeavor his lists are meaningless. .... voo