Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zoot Marimba, Mar 12, 2018.
Live in 2012:
Love this album, it was the first Sabbath album I heard, just a killer record. Here's a pic of my UK vertigo original being cranked.
Marvelous. Swirl label is phantastic!
Sabbath is true to themselves on this first track. It's the classic sound we expect from them, but when Iommi does the entire verse of "Wheels"using just one chord, my jaw drops at the talent it takes to make it interesting. Not many bands that could pull that off (need a good drummer and an interesting melody line- enter Ward and Osbourne), but somehow Sabbath makes it sound easy. Love the tempo changes throughout this intro piece especially in The Straightener, but the accent notes in the chorus of "Wheels" are great too just before it digs back down into the plodding one chord verse. Just F***ing Wow!
Before getting too far, a little bit about the album's title. This from Wikipedia, "The liner notes thank "the great COKE-cola" and, in his autobiography, Osbourne notes, "Snowblind was one of Black Sabbath's best-ever albums – although the record company wouldn't let us keep the title, 'cos in those days cocaine was a big deal, and they didn't want the hassle of a controversy. We didn't argue."
This album is my bible. Very on it own. Wheels of Confusion great song. Great singing by Ozzy. The whole thing is weird and off key and f in awesome. Dark and rockin'. Like the lyrics, just nowhere, no narrative. Great song.
My favorite Sabbath album, and one that could make an argument for them being a progressive metal powerhouse if they had continued in this direction. The opening has a definite 1960s space-rock vibe, but when that Mellotron kicks in at the end, it just makes the whole song feel tripped out and psychedelic while Iommi rips over it. Great opening to a great album.
Whenever I’m on a Sabbath Roll, I usually get an Amon Düül II listening session going on over the same period, and vice versa
My favourite Sabbath listening is always to start with Vol 4, even though it obviously wasn’t the beginning.
I’d say SBS has a fair amount of progginess to it.
Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener
Out-freaking-standing classic Sabbath. 5+ out of 5.
Wheels of Confusion
With Iommi leading the charge, the album opens with Wheels of Confusion and wow what a great song. I absolutely love Bill Ward on this track. I love at 2:32 how he thrashes that cymbal. Very typical of Sabbath to change the tempo out of nowhere too. Around the 3 minute mark we are treated to some otherworldly sounds. As the Straightener comes in the band seems to elevate to a higher plain with Iommi going to town on his guitar. Great opener.
Agreed, I just don't think they kept up after that.
Volume 4 was my entry into post-Paranoid Sabbath. They definitely took on a more psych vibe and I like that they stretched their arrangements a bit with this LP.
Looking back, songs like ‘wheels’ are where bands like Soundgarden found the template for their most popular sound.
Iommi is a master at welding together all those cool riffs and sections with Bill Ward holding them down with his blasts of rhythm.
I read somewhere that the coda section idea ran in parallel to Golden Earring’s ‘Vanilla Queen’ from the stellar Moontan album... I’m not sure who inspired who... Regardless, ‘Wheels’ is a phenomenal deep cut that shows the band can emote beyond the assault of Paranoid and Sweet Leaf. Great opener.
Not one of my fav 'real Sabs' albums; out of the classic first 6, the only one it beats is the debut. The good stuff on 4 is very good, but like the debut (side two, specifically), there's too much filler IMO.
Wheels Of Confusion: there are more awesome riffs in this song alone than many bands had in their entire careers. But the one that kicks in at 3:33 is one of their very best.
On the first vinyl I had of this (WWA), WoC just faded out, so when I heard my mate's NEMS copy, I was amazed to hear the brief echoey reprise for the final 10 seconds. Never heard an early Vertigo, so no idea which version was on the original...?
By quite a wide margin I prefer the second three Sabbath albums (4, SBS and Sabotage) over the first three. They might have been coked out and lost but with Vol. 4 their talent and uniqueness smashed into their weirdness and creativity to create three straight albums that no band (including Sabbath themselves) could ever hope to copy.
Also they seemed to be riding a complete lack of self consciousness. I feel like my review of Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener will basically come down to, nothing else every sounded like THAT!
The instrumental interplay is Doors-like in that they sound completely in synch with each other and no other four guys could dance around each other and create this sound. And I say four because I generally consider the voice to be an instrument and nobody ever sounded like Ozzy Osbourne. The voice of the apocalypse.
These guys pushed and pulled through a song so perfectly. I think Bill Ward was as important a drummer as the great John Henry Bonham!
You all are using musical terms. I understand some of them but fear I will have trouble articulating things in the same way as all here.
The intro makes me feel nostalgic. Like I was there and just so desperately want to go back.
The rest of the song doesn't move me. Except the coda. Wow. It feels cold and very matter of fact not like the beginning at all.
Snowblind would have been a fitting name, because the whole album sounds so cold. Even Under The Sun brings no warmth for me.
What does being the straightener mean?
I think it refers to the janitor. Said person who straightens? Maybe...
I love this album, but then again I have been fascinated by the first 4 sabbath albums probably more than anything else i've heard. Honestly I usually skip past changes... I have an original US lp and the CB mastered 2009. Various digital versions. Cannot say how much Wheels of Confusion is one of my favorites. I think it's Ozzy's best vocal ever to boot.
I guess what I mean is, is it actually part of the title? Or is it referred to as that for some musical reason?
Excellent question. I am not exactly sure. I wonder what musical reason or term there could be for this title? Could be like a second movement or another change in the music which required a new title to seperate it from the other part. Probably you would be able to feel this change in musical style?
Changes is the first song my wife and I danced to at our wedding. Oddly enough we are now divorced.
Great ****ing album though. Tomorrow’s Dream might be my favorite Sabbath tune.
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