TITLE: Black Sabbath, Vol. 4
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #13 US, #8 UK
SINGLES: Tomorrow’s Dream
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Supernaut, Snowblind
LINEUP: Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Sludgy as normal, but Sabbath tries to extend themselves and it doesn’t quite work all of the time. Plus, cocaine.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: They originally wanted to call this album Snowblind, but the record company demurred. That would have been appropriate.
There was some traditional Sabbath sludge, a groundbreaking cut in “Supernaut”, the requisite Tony Iommi instrumental (this time with strings and mellotron) and then a couple of cuts that really could have been left on the floor, including (sorry folks) “Changes” which is a weepy, maudlin ballad that could have been recorded by Climax or Leo Sayer.
They tried to extend themselves a bit with tracks like “Snowblind” and “Cornucopia”, which were halfway successful. The excesses showed when they thought “Fx” was cool to put on the album. That’s a minute and a half you won’t get back.
Trim out a couple of cuts and it’s a fine record with great riffs. But I must take those two tracks into consideration.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They recorded this in LA, basically self-produced, and basically went through a ton of cocaine and other drugs.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B: Some great cuts but the weakest one yet.