Day of judgement, God is calling. On their knees the war pig's crawling, begging mercy for their sins. Satan laughing spreads his wings, probably listening to the 135th most acclaimed album of all time. Oh lord yeah!
Individually, they've each amassed a musical legacy worthy of several daily spins. Yet according to radio, these terrific musicians are only worth one -- or on the outside chance, two -- songs each. As a result, they've become pigeonholed, and these 10 tracks have become (almost) insufferable.
When it comes to matters of taste and ranking (a particularly combustible combination), there is no pleasing everyone. In fact, there is no pleasing anyone, since the list makers themselves are invariably disappointed or frustrated. And yet...
Black Sabbath, during Ozzy's original tenure, had at least as much in common with the 1960s counter-culture that preceded them as they did with the waves of metal bands that followed them in the 1980s and beyond.
Ronnie James Dio kicked off the '80s by helming Black Sabbath after Ozzy Osbourne's departure. During the '80s, he routinely shunned temptation to soften or commercialize his sound. 20 years later, metal is immeasurably the better thanks to his efforts.
Begrand dives into metal fandom with the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, who discusses the Mighty Riff, the uneasy relationship between indie and metal camps, and the life experiences behind his new book on Black Sabbath's Master of Reality.
Together, the two discs compliment each other well in an odd and circular way. Both are representative of what Sabbath was in the '70s; if they weren't on, they were off and on the verge of destruction.