Saturday, September 29, 2012

Never Say Die! - Black Sabbath

When I first found out about this album I thought it was a joke. When I was younger, like 8th grade, I used to search the internet (google, wikipedia, etc.) for album art. I still look for it sometimes. I love it. At that time my all time favorite album covers were by a art design group from the UK known as Hipgnosis. They worked on album covers such as Dark Side of the Moon, Houses of the Holy, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the classic 1974 album Phenomenon by hard rock band UFO, they even did Paul McCartney's 1982 album. Well I thought that this album cover was very bizarre, and at first stupid. Well I have come to actually love this album cover. I think that it's really cool, and I think it's a good representation of the last "real" Black Sabbath album with Ozzy. This album was released on September 28th, 1978 and it didn't do very well. Well I'm heard to back this bitch up. Why?... Cuz I like it. These songs were I guess written after Ozzy quit and they got the singer of Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac, singer Dave Walker to replace him. And if what I read is right it says that the songs were written while he was there. They even performed an early version of Juniors Eyes on a BBC program with Walker. Well when Ozzy came back he ended up rewriting some of the stuff with the band and then they recorded the album. In an interview Ozzy said that he, pretty much, thinks that this is the worst thing that he ever recorded. And well Let's just say that this is a trip.
  1. Never Say Die: This song gives a good energy to start off the album. The drums a kind of loud, but still, it's a good song. I don't think the lyrics are amazing, but it's kind of a catchy song. There is like a breakdown and the guitar sounds like it's picked. I think it's pretty cool sounding.
  2. Johnny Blade: The beginning of this song reminds me of Lay Down Your Love off the 1980 Super Trouper album by ABBA. That song is pretty heavy if you actually listen. The keys in the song have a total Purple Lagoon-esque vibe to them. That's a song off FZ's 1978 Zappa in New York. I don't think this song is as good as either of those two songs, but I still think it's a decent song. The "breakdown" with the big riff reminds me of a part in Punky's Whips off that same Zappa album. There is a pretty cool synthesizer flourish "fill" right before the solo. The solo is a pretty, though it starts out kind of rocky, gets pretty cool. It kind of reminds me a little of something like Deep Purple. I don't think the solo is as accurate as it was supposed to be though. It sounds like he's stumbling there a little. None the less, it's a pretty cool solo.
  3. Junior's Eyes: This song and the last song flow. This song starts out with an intro that reminds me of N.I.B.'s intro off their Feb. 1970 self titled debut album. And that intro is continued for the main part of the song. Like that's the main part. This song was originally written by Sabbath with Dave Waker and not Ozzy. When Ozzy left, Dave came along and wrote some songs with them. Ozzy came back then said he wouldn't do any songs that they wrote with Dave. So Ozzy changed the lyrics to reflect the then passing of his father. There is a cool sounding acoustic guitar playing along with the electric guitar solo. The acoustic guitar though it pretty audible.
  4. A Hard Road: I've heard this song about a dozen times. And honestly It doesn't really do much for me. The solo is kind of cool sounding.
  5. Shock Wave: This is a total 80's Priest riff in the beginning. Either that or a late 70's Priest one. Nothing really stuck out in this song for me. The solo is pretty cool, but It's not amazing.
  6. Air Dance: Great Scott we found it. No but seriously, this is one of my favorite Sabbath songs. This song is ahead of it's time. The main riff to this song sounds like a riff that would be on some 80's song. If could see this being a song from the 80's, but not so much. It has this 80's/70's eeriness to it. I hope that makes sense. When I hear the intro to the song I think that this is something new, never been done before. Thought I had it has been. This song is also so "open"  the name fits it perfect. The solo is awesome, it's not overdriven, but more quiet. I really like the clean sound to it, and the keys in there too. Then there is another solo kind of and the tempo changes and the guitar and synthesizer sound like a Frank Zappa-esque solo, as where the piano and drums sound like The Story in Your Eyes off the 1971 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Moody Blues. Awesome ending.
  7. Over To You: I don't like this song as much as some of the others. For most of the song it's pretty dry. It's like a dry rewrite of Air Dance, but not as exciting at all.
  8. Breakout: This song kind of startout with a feeling of this is gonna be a good/sick solo. There are horns in there and it's kind of cool sounding. There is also a sax in the song and I think the sax sounds cool. I could see this being in a movie where someone important is coming in. I could kind of see this in a Tarantino movie.
  9. Swinging The Chain: This song, and the last song, flow. This is, to my knowledge, the only song that Bill Ward sings lead on. I think Bill's voice is actually pretty cool. This song ends with them kind of chanting. I don't think it's amazing, just a nice change.
This gets a 6.7/10. I finished up the review with my 1st full listen of this album and I have to say that this is a million times different than anything that Sabbath has ever put out, at least up to that point in their career. I honestly like this more than Master of Reality of even Vol. 4 or 1980's Heaven and Hell. I have to mention that I have heard all but I think two song before, but out of order. This album has a whole Pre-80's tone to it. I don't think it's as good as 1970's Black Sabbath or 1970's Paranoid, but that's because they are planets apart. This album is also more piano driven, so to say. Though it's not amazing, check it out, just to at the least say you did. Part of the reason it's probably different thought it because of Dave Waker's influence from writing with them. I also kind of feel some of the song were a little long. I think the back cover is kind of cool to.

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