Black Sabbath – Sabotage

Sabs reissue programme, concluded with force

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By the time of 1973’s Vol 4, Black Sabbath were working with an exciting new collaborator, cocaine.

This partnership, as historians of rock excess will know, ultimately contributed to the demise of Sabbath Mk I, but it didn’t prevent the band’s final five albums yielding superb moments.

Vol 4 has “Supernaut”, but ’75’s Sabotage delivers an exhaustive clobbering, “Hole In The Sky” and “Symptom Of The Universe” achieving a heaviness born of growing studio mastery.

This mastery, alas, didn’t extend to the styling of the album cover – where the band are arrayed, in the words of Ozzy Osbourne, as “gay Chinamen”.

JOHN ROBINSON

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