Black Sabbath Vol. 4 Song by Song Thread

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

  1. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach
    I think it refers to the last section, the outro of the song. That guitarist likes to name every thing he does, even if it is only seconds long.
  2. Paulette

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

    Thank you
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  3. Paulette

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

    Thank you
    Zoot Marimba likes this.
  4. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach
    The name "The Straightner" sounds like one of those gruesome tools the Catholic Church used to torture people with during the Inquisition.
  5. bare trees

    bare trees Forum Resident

    "Wheels Of Confusion" kicks off Volume 4 with a bang. The five sections that comprise the song fit together so well that the song seems to go by more quickly than it's 8 minute running time would lead you to believe.
  6. yarbles

    yarbles Too sick to pray

    In English English, 'straightener' has been used as name for an alcoholic (or possibly even powdered) pick-me-up, or relaxant. Somewhat archaic now.
  7. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Seabrook, TX, USA
    Wheels Of Confusion/The Straightener
    I love that the song starts with a very nice Bluesy string banding from Tony (can feel the emotion in it) and then moves to a crunchy, punishing riff. And Bill's fills between the verses are great! Do wish I could hear Geezer better in the mix, though. Then Tony transitions to a boogie riff at 2:26, and plays some cool figures while Bill bashes away along with him. It's so cool that Tony has tied three very different sections together (if you count the opening string bending, which I do) in the first three minutes that work well together, keeping things interesting. Then at 3:35 he delivers one of my favorite riffs, which includes a short pick slide (resident musicians, is THAT what I'm hearing?), and more fills from Bill. Ozzy bellows over Tony and Bill, and then Tony returns to the original crunchy riff, and later we get the Straightener - which include some great soloing from Tony. There was a time I'd call this my favorite Black Sabbath song, and I still love it. The multi-section structure is the closest they got to prog, and I like to play it for people that think Sabbath is just dumb sounding, if I think they can see the light. 9.6 out of 10.

    Bill's playing in this song is a good example of what Bill said once about how he's not a timekeeper: "When I hear Tony play a piece of music, for example, I answer back. I actually do accompany him, but in way that complements what he does."
  8. Doggiedogma

    Doggiedogma Forum Resident

    Wheels Of Confusion lyrics:

    Long ago I wandered thru my mind
    In the land of fairy tales and stories
    Lost in happiness I knew no fears
    Innocence and love was all I knew
    It was an illusion
    Soon the days were passing into years
    Happiness just didn’t come so easy
    Life was more than fairy tales and daydreams
    Innocence was just another word
    It was an illusion
    Lost in the wheels of confusion
    Running thru valleys of tears
    Eyes full of angry delusion
    Hiding in…
    Lost in the wheels of confusion
    Running thru valleys of tears
    Eyes full of angry delusion
    Hiding in everyday fears
    So I found that life is just a game
    But you know there’s never been a winner
    Try your hardest, you’ll still be a loser
    The world will still be turning when you’re gone
    Yeah, when you’re gone

    Songwriters: Frank Iommi / John Osbourne / Terence Butler / William Ward
  9. ruben lopez

    ruben lopez Forum Resident

    Barcelona Spain
    Lots of talk about WHEEL OF CONFUSION,but THE STRAIGHTENER is for me the best thing Sabbath ever did.:)
    I could listen to it all day!
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  10. Zoot Marimba

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

    I definitely love it.
  11. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Checkin' in
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  12. SonicBob

    SonicBob Forum Resident

    West Virginia
    The opening track of Wheels of Confusion displays a number that is layered, well constructed and Iommi, Ward and Butler simply smoke on this and the attached coda of "The Straightener" adds another layer to what was just heard, making a strong beginning for the album. I love Ward's headbanging rhythms during the number's middle section and I dare say his playing throughout the album might be his best performance on record. 8 out of 10 or an A rating for Wheels/Straightener. Fantastic start!
    CBackley, 100423, izombie73 and 2 others like this.
  13. Paulette

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

    Me too me too!
    We have to wait, though
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  14. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident

    Chicago suburbs
    The album has grown on me over time, didnt like it as much as s/t, Sabotage and SBS ar first. Wheels of Confusion is fantastic, only song better on the album is Snowblind
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  15. WOC
    My fave song on the album, and my fave BS song ever. Masterpiece
    giantleech and Zoot Marimba like this.
  16. izombie73

    izombie73 Forum Resident

    Wheels of Confusion

    I have never listened to this album and if I do know any of the songs I wouldn't know them by name, only if I heard them. I not a huge Sabbath fan because by the time I could appreciate them Ozzy was solo and pretty well established. I liked Ozzy's stuff a lot. Hell, I wasn't born til 73 and even though my parents were rockers, I don't remember much Black Sabbath ever being played. So my take on this album will be based on those few prerequisites.

    Anyways, Wheels start off cool and sounds like a decent rocker but man do I love that thing the do towards the end of the tune! I am going to listen to it a few more times and see if it grows because it feels like one.
  17. izombie73

    izombie73 Forum Resident

    Makes sense, got to have a little straightener before you head on your way.
    mark winstanley and Zoot Marimba like this.
  18. Murph

    Murph Somewhere...under heaven

    This riff always comes to my mind too. Just a monster.
  19. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    Wheels of Confusion sets the tone, not sounding like a typical opener in terms of energy, more like a deep cut. I'm not saying it doesn't work as an opener, more that the band is setting the tone for how they want the album heard. Also if you were listening to the albums in the released sequence, you're informed right away that this album will have mid range unlike its predecessor. The song that follows would be a more conventional opener, and IMO is a better track, I think most will agree. Wheels of confusion a dead on classic, with changing tempos and maybe the 1st time Keyboards are heard on a Sabbath album (Correct me if I'm wrong)
  20. Murph

    Murph Somewhere...under heaven

    Early 70’s Viagra? :D
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  21. munjeet

    munjeet Forum Resident

    I discovered the first three and SBS way before I first heard Vol. 4. I had a cassette of the old 1977 Greatest Hits - the one with the Brueghel painting on the cover. “Tomorrow’s Dream” wasn’t on any of the albums I had up to that point. I needed to track down the album that song appeared on, hoping for more like it! I wasn’t disappointed. It’s long been my track-for-track fave Sabbath album, even though I’m not much into four of the ten tracks (most of ‘em probably obvious). The remaining six are Sabbath at their finest. Love this album.
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  22. tinnox

    tinnox Forum Resident

    This is a great album and one hell of a way to follow up Master Of Reality it shows the band on a natural progression and expanding their doom laden sound on this release, You Know what your getting when Wheels Of Confusion takes off, I love it and every track on this LP.
    100423, izombie73, BDC and 1 other person like this.
  23. lesterbangs

    lesterbangs Forum Resident

    I think it has more to do with the vast amount of blow that was snorted during the making of the album.
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  24. Mark J

    Mark J Forum Resident

    Boca Raton, FL USA
    Exactly! You can definitely hear where Soundgarden was listening, but I don't think they were ever able to recreate this magic. I used to listen to Sabbath a whole lot back in my teen years in the 80s, especially this LP and Master of Reality. Even when I sent most of my metal LPs to the Salvation Army I kept the first 5 Sabbaths and when I'm in the mood for something heavy Vol 4 is usually where I start. This is the perfect beginning to a great album, a band working together at their peak to create something special that still sounds fresh more than 40 years later.
  25. fave Ozzy Sabbath record - more on this later!
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