Sunday, July 20, 2008

Top 40 at 40 #18

#18 Black Sabbath Jack the Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots 1970

You didn't think I would leave out The Ozzman, did you? Black Sabbath invented Heavy metal.....way back before the Cookie monster vocals,the pointy guitars and the blurry hands speed scaling the necks of them....there was these four gentlemen from Birmingham....Geezer, Tony, Bill and, Ozzy in a band called Earth. These guys hated the psychedelia of the late 60's and would rather stomp flowers up and snort them than wear them in their hair.(although Ozzy was a HUGE Beatles fan)...they wanted to play HEAVY blues based rock....and took their own variation on a theme started by bands like Blue Cheer and Steppenwolf....and made it darker,harder...ominous. They had to Change their name because another band in England was called Earth as well and chose the name to a Boris Karloff movie "Black Sabbath". For the youngsters...Boris Karloff was a monster movie George Clooney in Frankenstein make-up.
The name sounded (D)evil-ish and they began to write music that sounded like they supported that theory. But really, the only thing they worshipped was bludgeoning riffs and substances....YEAH.
This band was nothing before OZZY Osbourne fact they had a saxophone player in a very early incarnation....they still haven't found his body.....Ozzy's grey to black lyrics mostly about the war in Vietnam, fear of God and drugs propelled by his warm banshee tenor and pure insanity shot these guys into the rock stratosphere. I like Ronnie James Dio's vox better.....but nobody touches OZZY in influence..under or over....he is the Prince of Darkness. He is one of the reasons I became a singer in the first place.......
Back again to my Dad's stack of records.....he had Paranoid(The fact that my Dad had Paranoid, makes him cooler than your Dad....HORNS UP, DAD!) and I listened and listened to songs like Paranoid, the fantastic War Pigs, Planet Caravan and Electric Funeral.....and Fairies Wear Boots. I used to sing this song while checking out the spooky purple-red man on the cover with a sword and helmet...jumping out from behind a tree. It didn't sound like anything I was listening to as a 10 year old......I could never necipher most of it...epecially the "went to the window, was suprised what I saw....Fairies with Boots a dancin' with a DWAFF!" What was a dwaff? I had to know, a spaceship? A smoking device? Was it the otherworldish sword that the man held on the cover?
Years later, and Way before OZZY added several syllables to any word he spoke...I found the lyrics....he said DWARF! The fairie was dancing with a dwarf! Eureka.....another drug song! It all made sense.
Besides Ozzy...we have the one and only Tony Iommi on guitar. Who really made this band special.....his iconic guitar playing was heavy AND different, often with three or four difficult parts to play within one song...brilliant ,heavy,ethereal and the guy was missing a tip of one of his fingers! His riff catalog is a bible for riff monsters.....he has more than Angus Young and Jimi Hendrix combined.He put the solo on a high pedestal as well.
The bassist Geezer Butler is also an icon. A very busy bass of the first to take the bass to a new level with chords and solos.................and sooooo louuudddd!
I once saw a T-shirt that said simply "Listen to Black Sabbath". Better advice I have not often taken............

Top 5 Black Sabbath Songs 1) Fairies Wear Boots 2)Supernaut(Sabotage) 3)Sabbath Bloody Sabbath(Sabbath Bloody Sabbath) 4)Into the Void(Master of Reality) 5)War Pigs(Paranoid)
08 Jack the Stripper_Fairies Wear Bo.m4a
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