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, 1976
Recorded at Criterion in Miami, scaring the Eagles along the way.

OZZY: We tried to march forward but we didn’t know how. We’d been beaten up by our own drug abuse and alcoholism, and the music was paying off our tax demands.
GEEZER: It was getting harder and harder to come up with something new and different. It’s not like now: if you’re a heavy metal band, you put out a heavy metal album. Back then, you had to at least try to be modern and keep up. Punk was massive and we felt that our time had come and gone.
TONY: It was the first time that we asked a keyboard player to join us: Gerald Woodroffe. Then we shipped all the stuff to Florida and recorded it. The Eagles were recording next door, but we were too loud for them – it kept coming through the wall into their sessions.
GEEZER: Before we could even start recording we had to scrape all the cocaine out of the mixing board. I think they’d left about a pound of cocaine in the board. But we we had a good laugh on that album.
TONY: It was like paradise there. You’d be on the beach and you’d say, “Are you coming down the studio?” and they’d say, “In a couple of hours.”
GEEZER: The nearest pub was a strip bar: a lot of old blokes with dirty macs on hanging around outside in the 90° Florida heat. It was walking distance from the studio so we’d go down and have a beer. There’d be completely nude women dancing in front of you. It seemed quite weird to us. That’s where “Dirty Women” came from.


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