The birth of Heavy metal music started in Birmingham, Aston. It was started by 4 lads who were pipe fitters and general unemployed and was set to take over the world. Divisive, you’re either a Led Zeppelin fan or a Sabbath Fan, a small little article could never hope to outline this bands history, so we’ll just take a look at the start.
In 1968 the world of music was hippy. Flower power reigned, and the children of love waxed on about the age of Aquarius. For Tommy Iommi and Bill Ward this was not the kind of sound they wanted. They were blues players and they wanted a harder, louder edge to what they were playing at the time. In bassist Geezer Butler they found the drive and in Ozzy Osbourne they found the temperament and vocal capacity. Osbourne was an enigma even then, ready to become the scourge of every hotel room and luxurious Birmingham Serviced Apartment the band were due to stay in. If you fancy having a look at what Ozzy and the boys may have been tempted to destroy, accidentally of course, then have a quick look here http://www.8waterloostreet.co.uk/serviced-apartments-birmingham-city-centre.html. The band started out as the unworkable named PolkaTulkBlues Band. They soon changed it to Earth though it was not liked by all the band members and seemed to be playing up the hippy set they were looking to avoid. The last straw came when they found out another band called Earth were being confused with them. They needed a new name and to inspiration came from a source that would influence them forever.
In rehearsals one day Geezer Butler looked out of the window and saw a queue of people lining to see a film. That film was Black Sabbath an early 60’s horror film. It got Butler to ponder why it was that people were so into being scared and where also willing to pay for the privilege. Ozzy and Geezer set to work on creating a song around the films title. Both had read horror novels extensively but combining the stories with a disturbing dream that Butler had pushed the song into completion. Black Sabbath, the song, had dark lyrics“What is this that stands before me?…figure in black that points at me…” and Ozzy’s wailing pleading vocals, thunder, a tolling bell it was the complete opposite of the hippie movement more funereal. They had found the niche and the sound they wanted.
As with many bands it was the great John Peel that brought them to the public’s attention and the band did not disappoint. Many found the sound they had been looking for when Sabbath started to play. They had recorded their first album in two days. The album Black Sabbath was, brilliantly released on Friday the 13th, February 1970. It would define the decade and where popular music was going. For Black Sabbath it was just the start.