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Trivia / Black Sabbath

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The Band

  • Creator Backlash:
    • Forbidden hasn't been very liked by the band, even at the time. Then-vocalist Tony Martin said in a later interview that it was mainly a "filler album" done to get out of a deal with the label.
    • Tony Iommi said in his book that Never Say Die is hard for him to relate to due to the album's disastrous creative process, such as Ozzy leaving and coming back, the freezing cold Toronto studio that was used, and having to come up with almost all of the songs at the studio instead of jamming and gradually coming up with stuff beforehand (this is why the album is so all over the place in terms of sound). He did however say that there was some stuff on the album he liked, but never specified what.
  • Executive Meddling: Black Sabbath is probably the most meddled with band in the history of mankind.
    • Paranoid was originally supposed to be called War Pigs, but the record company was afraid of protests by supporters of The Vietnam War (which the UK wasn't involved in, but officially supported at the time) and had the title changed. The original cover, a distorted picture of a man with a sword and shield jumping from behind a tree, was kept however. In his autobiography, Ozzy describes his annoyance at this:
      "The only problem was the album cover, which had been done before the name change and now didn't make any sense at all. What did four pink blokes holding shields and waving swords have to do with paranoia? They were pink because that was supposed to be the colour of the war pigs. But without "War Pigs" written on the front, they just looked like gay fencers".
      "They're not gay fencers, Ozzy," Bill told me. "They're paranoid gay fencers."
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    • Executives changed the title of Snowblind to Vol. 4 at the last minute due to the obvious drug reference. This was not necessarily a bad thing.
      • Similarly, "Snowblind", the song that was originally going to be the Title Track, was meant to have "Cocaine!" shouted at the end of every verse; A compromise with the label was made, and the studio version ended up with a single whispered "cocaine" after the first verse. However, the band's live performances of the song have always included the "cocaine!" shouts.
    • Iommi says their manager Patrick Meehan "grew an ego" and slapped on a "Produced by Patrick Meehan" for Vol. 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath despite the fact that they were self-produced.
    • The Seventh Star was supposed to be Tony Iommi's first solo album, but the record company pressed him into putting the Black Sabbath name on it. Likewise, the Born Again album with Ian Gillan was not intended to have been a Black Sabbath album.
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    • The We Sold Our Souls for Rock 'n' Roll compilation and the muddy, inaudible Live at Last album were released without the band's consent.
    • Then there's also the case of their managers cheating them off most of their money. Sure, they got cars and fancy houses... Only to later find out they didn't actually own any of it.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The majority of the Tony Martin era albums excluding The Eternal Idol haven’t been remastered or reissued on digital or physical platforms after their initial release. This isn’t too bad for the studio albums which go for reasonable prices ($11-$15 at best)...but then there’s the Cross Purposes Live CD release which goes for $50 to $100 on its own due to it being part of a bundle with the concert on VHS.
  • Market-Based Title: The self-titled album was released in Japan as "黒い安息日" which is a literal translation of the band's name (although it can be more accurately translated as "Black Sunday").
  • Meaningful Name: Sabotage got its name after the band was getting ripped off back and forth after the release of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and were spending more time with their lawyers than they were recording a single damn song together.
  • Name's the Same: The song "Bible Black" off The Devil You Know has nothing to do with King Crimson’s "Starless and Bible Black", nor the Bible Black animenote .
  • Throw It In: In the music video for No Stranger to Love there's a short clip of the camera going round a corner. A man is seen walking around the corner, and seems to back away as soon as he notices the camera, implying he wasn't supposed to be there.
    • The original title of "Cardinal Sin" was "Sin, Cardinal, Sin," but a printing error left off the first word. The band decided not to bother protesting.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • "Warning" was originally recorded with an incredibly long Tony Iommi solo rumoured to last over 30 minutes, which producer Rodger Bain cut out most of in order to actually fit the song on the album.
    • "War Pigs" was originally called "Walpurgis" and was based on the occult instead of warfare. It was changed due to being too Satanic. Rough demos and bootlegs reveal the original lyrics to reference bodies being burned to ash, rats being eaten, priests being burned alive, churches being destroyed and Satan himself leading the Black Mass. "War Pigs" is one of the greatest anti-war songs ever, but a proper studio recording of "Walpurgis" could have been the greatest song about the occult.
    • According to Tony Iommi's autobiography, Cozy Powell was originally meant to stay on for Dehumanizer, but there was still bad blood between him and Dio from their time in Rainbow.
    • Dio was originally going to remain part of the band when they accepted to open the last two shows of Ozzy's first retirement tour in 1992 but he declined as he felt that this would lead to a reunion with Ozzy and drummer Bill Ward (which it did in the final show, see below) and as a result departed, resulting in Rob Halford to briefly replace him for those two dates.
    • Robert Plant and David Coverdale were at one point considered for the lead singer spot after Dio left for the first time.
    • In relation to the above, the 1992 reunion of the classic lineup following the final show of Ozzy's first retirement tour was going to be a long-term project but Ozzy wasn't interested at the time, so it was scrapped and Tony Martin was reinstated as lead singer instead.
    • The band recorded an album in 2001, which would've been the first album to be recorded by the classic lineup since Never Say Die but it was never released as Ozzy was called away to finish tracks for Down to Earth.
    • After "The Devil You Know", the Heaven and Hell line-up considered doing a second album. Needless to say, Dio's unfortunate passing shattered any hope of this ever happening.
    • Dave Walker (Savoy Brown, briefly Fleetwood Mac) joined the band in 1977, with Ozzy having quit. He lasted until 1978, at which point Ozzy was back in. No official recordings were made with Walker, but they appeared on a BBC radio show with him, performing "War Pigs" and an early version of what was to become "Junior's Eyes" (featuring different lyrics and vocal melodies).
    • Michael Bolton may or may not have auditioned to replace Ronnie James Dio in the early 80s - Tony Iommi says he remembered Bolton being one of the prospective singers, but Bolton has denied it (though he was originally more of a Hard Rock singer, and his old band Blackjack once opened for Ozzy).
    • A follow up to 13 was considered but it was ultimately scrapped due to the band's focus on their farewell tour.
  • Working Title: Two songs on Headless Cross, "Devil and Daughter" and "Call of the Wild," were renamed because they coincidentally had the same titles as two recent Ozzy Osbourne songs ("Devil's Daughter" and "Hero" respectively.)

The Film

  • Acting for Two: Boris Karloff plays both himself (as the host) in the wraparounds, and Gorca in The Wurdulak.
  • Production Posse: Bava's father Eugenio created and sculpted the head for the ghost in The Drop of Water as well as the severed head for the segment The Wurdalak.
  • Re-Cut: The AIP version, which reorders the segments, adds new wraparounds with Karloff, changes the score and removes the lesbian angle from The Telephone while adding a supernatural element.
  • Same Language Dub: Boris Karloff is looped by Aldo Silvani in the Italian version.
  • Uncredited Role: The child actor playing Ivan in The Wurdalak isn't listed in the credits, and to date their identity remains unknown. Same goes for the director of the re-shot wraparound segments in the AIP cut.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Les Baxter recorded the AIP version's entire score in a single day.
  • What Could Have Been: Had the film not underperformed, Mario Bava would've directed an adaptation of "The Dunwich Horror" for AIP, starring Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee. As it stands, the film was made in 1970 without Bava, Karloff, or Lee's involvement.


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