9 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Never Say Die! is the last Black Sabbath studio album to feature Ozzy Osbourne on lead vocals until 2013’s 13. (Osbourne went on to record Blizzard of Ozz with guitarist Randy Rhoads, while Sabbath teamed up with Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio and released Heaven and Hell.) Osbourne had even left Black Sabbath after his father’s death and been replaced before returning for the recording sessions of Never Say Die! in Toronto. While only the title track gained momentum as a noted Sabbath anthem, songs such as “Johnny Blade,” “Junior’s Eyes,” and “Shock Wave” were decent updates of the Sabbath sound. However, by 1978, the world of heavy metal that Sabbath practically invented had changed so dramatically that even Sabbath were unsure how to deal with it. “Air Dance” is a piano-based ballad that sounds nothing like the band’s previous output. “Swinging the Chain” features lyrics and lead vocals from drummer Bill Ward, with Ozzy credited with harmonica. In the Sabbath tradition, there's also an instrumental: “Breakout.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Never Say Die! is the last Black Sabbath studio album to feature Ozzy Osbourne on lead vocals until 2013’s 13. (Osbourne went on to record Blizzard of Ozz with guitarist Randy Rhoads, while Sabbath teamed up with Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio and released Heaven and Hell.) Osbourne had even left Black Sabbath after his father’s death and been replaced before returning for the recording sessions of Never Say Die! in Toronto. While only the title track gained momentum as a noted Sabbath anthem, songs such as “Johnny Blade,” “Junior’s Eyes,” and “Shock Wave” were decent updates of the Sabbath sound. However, by 1978, the world of heavy metal that Sabbath practically invented had changed so dramatically that even Sabbath were unsure how to deal with it. “Air Dance” is a piano-based ballad that sounds nothing like the band’s previous output. “Swinging the Chain” features lyrics and lead vocals from drummer Bill Ward, with Ozzy credited with harmonica. In the Sabbath tradition, there's also an instrumental: “Breakout.”

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