Black Sabbath Vol. 4 Song by Song Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zoot Marimba, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Live in 2012:
  2. Soundhead

    Soundhead Forum Resident

    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.

  3. 303 Squadron

    303 Squadron Well-Known Member

    Marvelous. Swirl label is phantastic!
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  4. Spear and Magic Helmet

    Spear and Magic Helmet Forum Resident

    Nashville, TN
    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!
  5. 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."
  6. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    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.
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  7. stodgers

    stodgers Forum Resident

    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.
  8. BlueSpeedway

    BlueSpeedway overground | underground

    London, England
    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.
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  9. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    I’d say SBS has a fair amount of progginess to it.
  10. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident

    Maryland, USA
    Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener

    Out-freaking-standing classic Sabbath. 5+ out of 5.
  11. MusicMatt

    MusicMatt Quality over Quantity

    California, U.S.A.
    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.

  12. stodgers

    stodgers Forum Resident

    Agreed, I just don't think they kept up after that.
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  13. Haggis Wampovich

    Haggis Wampovich Professor of Dead Languages

    Three Rivers, USA
    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.
  14. yarbles

    yarbles Too sick to pray

    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...?
  15. SizzleVonSizzleton

    SizzleVonSizzleton The Last Yeti

    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!
  16. Terry

    Terry Forum Resident

  17. Paulette

    Paulette Your love for me has just got to be real.

    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.
  18. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach
    Snowblind would have been a fitting name, because the whole album sounds so cold. Even Under The Sun brings no warmth for me.
  19. Paulette

    Paulette Your love for me has just got to be real.

    What does being the straightener mean?
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  20. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I think it refers to the janitor. Said person who straightens? Maybe...
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  21. Opeth

    Opeth Forum Resident

    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.
  22. Paulette

    Paulette Your love for me has just got to be real.

    I guess what I mean is, is it actually part of the title? Or is it referred to as that for some musical reason?
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  23. zen

    zen Forum Resident

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  24. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    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?
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  25. Toddarino

    Toddarino Total Hunk

    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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