Black Sabbath's 6th release 1975's: SABOTAGE
Many Sabbath fans consider this to be the last great album of the Ozzy era... But I see it as a mixed bag with a small number of outstanding cuts
some filler and some steaming excrement!
In many ways this continues the trend started with 73's SABBATH BLOODY
SABBATH...a little overproduced, a little prog-rocky, and treading water in parts. On the other hand Ozzy's singing has never been better, vocally
it's the peak of his long,long career as a rock singer.
The album opens with a convincing rocker in the classic Sabbath style
"Hole in the Sky", with a very abrupt ending it goes into track 2 the now expected (because it's been done on EVERY Sabbath record) accoustic
Iommi guitar piece "Don't Start".
Then comes the high point of the disc and the last true gem of the Ozzy
years "Symptom of the Universe"...a genuine classic, with performance
peaks for both Ozzy and Bill Ward, who just plain kills it on this song!
Track 4 is the multi-layered "Megalomania". If the record stopped there it would be a blessing... but unfortunately it does not.
Track 5 "Thirll of it All" isn't bad but you can hear the band running out of ideas, then "Supertzar", an insturmental track that should have been half as long and sounds as if it's from a badly dubbed Italian horror film.
(Sabbath used it as a pre-recorded opening to their concerts for years)
Cuts 7 and 8 shouldn't have been aloud to be released..."Am I Going Insane" is a failed attempt at pop, and the final song "The Writ" is
just awful (despite Ozzy's very good vocal) and sounds familiar because Iommi uses part of the same main riff from "Superstzar", one that he briefly
touched on in "Thrill of it All",takes a tour through Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed" as if it were recorded by Supertramp...what a mess!
And if you really,really turn up the volume you'll hear the coda of Ozzy singing a country tune complete with honky tonk piano.
So SABOTAGE is split 50/50 between very good and very bad. If you are a Sabbath fan you'll like it... but if not...