Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was Black Sabbath’s most intricate album to date. The band returned to Los Angeles, where they’d recorded their previous album, Vol. 4—but guitarist Tony Iommi, the man responsible for writing the band’s indelible riffs, encountered writer’s block. It wasn’t until the band returned to the U.K. and began rehearsing in the dungeon of Clearwater Castle that the vibe was right; the title track came to him, and the album began to flow. Again Iommi nailed it, with songs such as “A National Acrobat,” “Sabbra Cadabra,” “Killing Yourself to Live,” and “Spiral Architect” all featuring catchy but powerful guitar hooks that took Sabbath further than the first three albums. While bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward still played in lockstep, Iommi multitracked his guitar parts for greater effect. The acoustic “Fluff” showed their gentle side, while the addition of Yes’ Rick Wakeman on piano and mini-moog for “Sabbra Cadabra” created a new sound dimension never before associated with the band. The lyrics, however, were showing signs of the band’s condition after years of excessive partying.