Black Sabbath: “The Eagles were recording next door, but we were too loud for them”

Album by album with the Midlands metal pioneers

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Vertigo, 1971
The band’s last with Rodger Bain. Slow, heavy – a downtuned stoner’s choice.

TONY: We had to come up with stuff on the spot – we’d been touring so much on the Paranoid album, by the time we’d got to the studio we’d not had much time to come up with stuff.
OZZY: By that time, we were all so stoned I can’t really remember it. People often say to me, what advice would you give to young bands? I always say write as much shit as you can. If you get a hit – you’ve then never got enough time to write any stuff.
GEEZER: We were all doped out of our heads by then. That’s how we formed. When I first met Tony and Bill, Bill asked me, “Do you know where I can get any dope?” and I said, “It just so happens I’ve got a big lump of it in my pocket.”
TONY: Ever since I had my finger accident, I’ve had to experiment to develop things. So downtuning was another example of that. I went through a period of trying different tunings. It was a bit of a breakthrough.
GEEZER: The third album took us about 10 days to record. I thought it was the heaviest album we’d done so far. We knew we were accepted: we were big in the States, big in the UK. It just gave us more confidence.
OZZY: We used to smoke dope before we became successful – a five-bob deal, and we’d just go behind the shed and smoke a joint. But we all tried to stay away from heroin, cocaine and all that.


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