* - Asterisk means I already had a good mp3 copy of this album, but threw up a few words anyway in the name of having an internet-based chronicle of all my legally-purchased, store-bought music


Black Sabbath (1970, Warner Bros.) - Hey, remember the Anthrax Gauntlet from back when we were still in the A's? Well, here's the Sabbath Gauntlet, which won't be the last time a single band has like ten CDs here. (Much to my eternal shame, the Motörhead Gauntlet won't be insanely long, because most of my Motörhead stuff was nefariously downloaded like ten seconds after I got high speed internet, but I'm working on it, dammit, I'm taking steps.) Anyway, I just remembered that time Dave Mustaine bragged about starting the trend of bands putting bells in their songs, (and now I can't remember which song off off Killing is My Business that it was) but not only were "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Hell's Bells" already out by then, but the song "Black Sabbath," by the band Black Sabbath, off the album Black Sabbath, starts with church bells, literally the first song off the first album by the first heavy metal band. How were we ever so young and innocent to not think that Dave Mustaine was full of dog shit?

Paranoid (1970, Warner Bros.) - OHHHH SHIT, IT HAD TWO CDS INSIDE, AND I FOUND MY COPY OF SOUND OF WHITE NOISE BY ANTHRAX AND YOU CAN GO OVER TO THE A PAGE AND SEE THAT NOW, YESSSSS. Anyway, much as Sound of White Noise was one of my first eleven CDs I bought from my cousin, this was one of my second dozen that  I got from Columbia House. Also, it was my first exposure to Black Sabbath beyond mere "best of" cassettes bought from gas stations, (I think I still have one of those somewhere, but the cover is long gone, possibly from as early as two previous owners ago) and was my first exposure to the fact that Ozzy's entire solo career is a moist turd from someone you don't like when compared to the first few Sabbath albums. Everything on here is amazing, even the wimpy hippy song with bongos that the Oklahoma City rock station played constantly, because even stations that are all "KATT: YOUR HOME OF THE ROCK!!!" are still just going to play the slow, quiet song, so as to not disturb the normals. Come to think of it, not only was "Planet Caravan" the only Black Sabbath song that station would ever play, but it was also the only Pantera song they'd ever play. Come on, you guys.

Master of Reality (1971, Warner Bros.) - There was a time back when I was still young and athletic, (as in fat and slow, but still young enough to have hope that things could change someday) I would watch Extreme Championship Wrestling every weekend on the crazy not-quite-public-access-but-close channel, (as part of the damnedest 6-plus hour block of wrestling ever assembled on a weekly basis, which is how I spent the time I was supposed to spend talking to girls) and have pie-in-the-sky dreams of one day becoming a rassler and going to ECW, (which was going to last forever with no chance of bankruptcy, because they were Extreme) and for some reason, I always envisioned "Children of the Grave" as my unlicensed ECW entrance music that they'd have to edit out of VHS releases. I'm 36 now, and all my dreams of concussion-based glory are dead, but this is still really great.

Vol. 4 (1972, Warner Bros.) - I mentioned Black Sabbath tapes from gas stations earlier, and I originall got this album in such a manner. The funny thing was that it was sold to me with a weird cover under the title Children of the Grave, even though I just mentioned that being off the previous album, and I guess to justify it, they tacked on the Live at Last version of that song at the end. Even though that was technically a legal release, it was still kind of bootleg as hell, and I'm sad that the death of physical media means that stuff like that doesn't happen anymore. No one gets to act like they're hot shit, because they have the older version of Ride the Lightning where the album cover is a square at the top of the tape with the title printed below, as opposed to the one with just the cover cropped into a rectangle, because it's all ones and zeroes now. I'm still really sad that I was too broke to grab all those Russian 2CD bootlegs of all the 80s Iron Maiden CDs that popped up at Hastings that one time. Anyway, this is probably the last fully-infallible Black Sabbath album, but as such, is fully infallible.

Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath (1974, Warner Bros.)- I remember being super excited when the Columbia House package arrived, because the title track was the best thing ever, even back when I only knew it as an Anthrax cover version. But it took me years to enjoy this beyond that and a couple other songs, which was jarring, because the previous four were just top-to-bottom greatness without a skipped track anywhere. And even what's good is kind of blandly inoffensive, and dudes, I am really struggling to come up with anything to say in the alotted time of ripping the CD, as set forth in the official rules, and Sweet Jesus, why is it taking so long. Is the CD scratched? Is my DVD-RW drive broken just a couple months after replacing the old one? Is this real? Am I dead? Are we all just figments of - Okay, CD's done.

Black Sabbath - Sabotage (1975, Warner Bros.) - I always thought this was a weird one, because "Am I Going Insane" is the song that's on all the greatest hits compilations, but "Hole in the Sky" and "Symptom of the Universe" are the ones that are actually good. Hearing "Hole in the Sky" for the first time as a dude who was way late for the bus for old Sabbath was traumatic for me, because I am pretty much the Sacred Reich dude, like I got shirts and posters and everything, and I'm pretty sure I liked Independent way more than TR00 METAL types are supposed to, and it turned out that "Crawling" pretty much shamelessly stole its first minute or two from that song. I mean, it's one thing when mid-period Megadeth would appropriate Metallica stuff, because Dave's an ass, but also might be the uncredited writer for the original, but Phil Rind should know better. He just seems so nice.

Never Say Die (1978, Warner Bros.) - This is the last O.G. Ozzy Osbourne era album, and man, I get it. The title track is great, and if I ever magically become a filmmaker, I'm going to craft a movie around the possibility of using it as the closing credits, but I literally remember nothing about the rest. I think these dudes were pretty much done in their present form at this point, and if I had the opportunity to kick Ozzy out and hire David Donato Ronnie James Dio, I'd have done it too. It's funny that in the triumphant final run for Black Sabbath, the album cover for this figured heavily into all the imagery and whatnot and T-shirts with the jet pilot guys starting popping up everywhere. I guess it was some sort of subversive way of saying "now that it's legally Sharon Osbourne's band, Dio/Tony Martin/etc. never existed, and we're picking up from the band's last album." Fuck Sharon Osbourne. I don't wish death on her or anything, but maybe just accidentally, non-fatally shot out of a cannon or something cartoonish. I dunno, I just always like the idea of people being shot out of cannons. (R.I.P., the concept of the circus.)

Heaven and Hell (1980, Warner Bros.) - It would be easy to just copy and paste the lyrics and tell you that this is the greatest, like a 99 on a scale of 1 to 10, so I'm going to do that.

Oh no, here it comes again
can't remember when we came so close to love before
Hold on, good things never last
nothing's in the past, it always seems to come again
again and again and again

Cry out to legions of the brave
time again to save us from the jackals of the street
Ride out, protectors of the realm
captain's at the helm, sail across the sea of lights

Circles and rings, dragons and kings
weaving a charm and a spell
Blessed by the night, holy and bright
called by the toll of the bell

Bloodied angels fast descending
moving on a never-bending light
phantom figures free forever
out of shadows, shining ever-bright

Neon Knights!
Neon Knights! all right!

Cry out to legions of the brave
time again to save us from the jackals of the street
Ride out, protectors of the realm
captain's at the helm, sail across the sea of lights
again and again, again and again and again

Neon Knights!
Neon Knights!
all right!

This is the greatest, like 99 on a scale of 1-10.

Live at Last (1980, NEMS - my copy was released by Power Sound 2001 in 1996) - Ahhh, I've jut been doing these in the order I grab them off the shelf, and this was in the wrong place, and it's going to bug me. But this is another weird bootleggish CD, where it got released without the band's permission on some weird label and then re-released by another even weirder label, (again, with a weird cover) where I found it on the cheap CD rack at Walmart. It was funny to think how clueless about the entire world I was at the time, because right after I picked it up, this girl from school, Ginger, saw me and said hi or whatever and asked what I was getting. And in my awkward attempt at human interaction, I said something about having never heard of this CD before and actually said something about hoping it was a good one with Ozzy singing "instead of Dio or whoever," all dismissively, and that horrifies me now, because now I'm older and wiser, and Ronnie James Dio was so much a better singer than Ozzy Osbourne you guys, seriously, it is insane. Anyway, this actually did have Ozzy, and I liked it, despite the entire world (and the band) having a hugely negative opinion toward it.

Mob Rules (1981, Warner Bros.) - Not only is the title track off this pretty much the secret second-best Black Sabbath song, ("Heaven and Hell" is the first greatest) but the scene from Heavy Metal where this song plays while ever goblin looking dudes are fucking the world up is the best combination of cartoons and heavy metal that exists, unless you count the full 90 minute run time of Transformers the Movie. Heavy Metal also had that scene where the WW2 bomber gets possessed by the evil orb thingy and zombie dudes are all decaying and evil and coming for that one guy, and even in the edited for TNT form that I originally saw it in, that scene screwed up my life for months, and thinking about it 20 years later is going to make me sleep with the lights on, because I have delicate sensibilities.

The Best of Black Sabbath (2001, Platinum Disc) - I got this off the same Walmart cheapo Cd rack that I got Live at Last from, and it's not so much the actual best of Black Sabbath so much as the best of the Tony Martin years, (or at least the best that trifling-ass Platinum Disc could get the rights to) aka The Version of Black Sabbath That No One Talks About. I should give this another try someday, because I think I just kinda barely skimmed through it and got disappointed that none of it was Ozzy or Dio, but I'm old as hell and open to new experiences now, so maybe Tony Martin is okay? There used to be an NFL wide receiver named Tony Martin, and I would put him in at running back for the Dolphins on Tecmo Super Bowl for no good reason, other than to prove that I could rush for 1,000 yards with Miami's #4 receiver.

The Dio Years (2007, Warner Bros./Rhino) - Man, fuck Sharon Osbourne. After they put this out with a new new Dio-based recordings, they were like "aw hell yeah, let's just do a whole new album," but since Sharon owned all the trademarks by then - she finally got Tony Iommi to sell it all off after he went broke by having fucking cancer - only Ozzy-fronted stuff could bear the Sabbath name. So that's why Heaven and Hell (the band) happened, because Iommi was no longer legally allowed to use his own band's name for his own band. They always have that ripoff of The View that Sharon is on playing in the break room at work, and every time I see it, part of me wishes that the Ozzfest crowd that booed her off the stage after she got Iron Maiden egged had just bum-rushed the show and torn her apart and gnawed on her bones like the High Septon. Okay, maybe that's harsh, and I didn't really mean it. Still, fuck her.

13 (2013, Universal) - Hey look, the first Black Sabbath record with Ozzy Osbourne in like 40 years happened, and it kinda sucked.


<<<<<<<OR GO BACK HOME<<<<<<<<<<