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.”

Apple Digital Master

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.”

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
80 Ratings

80 Ratings

Skullchild ,

Alright

Not their best album by far, but still good. Best tracks are "Never Say Die", "Johnny Blade", and "A Hard Road".

Sticta ,

Very Underrated

When I purchased this back in the mid eighties I gave it a listen and thought it was weak for a Sabbath album. But the reason it sounded weak was because I had been listening to all the early Sabbath albums and the Dio and Ian Gillian era albums (Born Again is another highly underrated abum IMHO). Once my musical appreciation began to mature I gave the album another listen with fresh ears and all I can say is it's a MUST for anyone who calls themselves a Sabbath fan. A fine piece of work if I say so myself!!!

chicago1969 ,

Underrated Sabbath

If you like Sabbath you'll like this album, it's weak for the band but still better than 99% of music out there.

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