July 10, 2024

How did Black Sabbath invent Heavy Metal 5 decades ago?

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Friday the 13th is a date that many around the world will fear due to superstition as it is thought to be incredibly unlucky within the Western part of the planet, however Black Sabbath decided to try and do something that ultimately led to a huge amount of success and changed the music scene forever.

The group, which consisted of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Tony Ward as original members, decided to release their debut album that had gone by the band’s name on the date back in February 1970 as they wanted to capitalize on the fear that Friday the 13th has whilst also using the album’s look and sound to amplify the unsettling vibe provided.

Indeed, the album proved to be a huge success when it was launched, with many loving the band’s take on “heavy metal”, whilst a number of other legendary bands followed them after having taken inspiration from what they had been able to achieve and used it to generate their own success.

Actually, that love for Black Sabbath would continue to grow over the years and remain as high as it is to this very modern-day, showing that whilst five decades have since passed following their debut album, they remain incredibly popular.

Ozzy Osbourne, in particular, would be able to go on to achieve a huge amount of success as a brand and as a personality, as he was able to have various TV shows following his life, become a brand that could instantly sell various pieces of merchandise with him, his band or even his moniker, “The Prince of Darkness”, plastered all over it whilst he has also appeared on a slot game that bears his name on it, with those playing online slots in Pennsylvania able to enjoy all the fun!

Black Sabbath had a massive influence

Whilst artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Led Zeppelin had spent the majority of the late Sixties edging their music towards the dark side of the industry in regards to the lyrics and style of music played, Black Sabbath were the ones to be able to push it even further as the Seventies started.

Indeed, groups such as Metallica have mentioned in the past that they took inspiration from the music that Ozzy and co were producing, with some suggesting that if they had not, then Metallica would not have had the blueprint to be able to write and produce their hit “Enter Sandman”.

It is also suggested that other bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Slayer may never have existed in the capacity that they did if it were not for Black Sabbath’s decision to approach music differently from anyone else at the time. Judas Priest were already around at the time, but it would have been difficult to suggest that they would have sounded anything like they did if the British heavy metal group were not around to influence them.

“Heavy Metal” was not originally what Black Sabbath called their music

Naturally, there would have been some discussion about the term that would be used to describe the band’s music style, especially when it was first heard as it was completely different to what the world had heard before.

When many had settled on the idea that the genre should be named “heavy metal”, it seems it was a term that took some time getting used to for one member of the band. Ozzy Osbourne would typically describe their style of music as “depression rock” in the early days and throughout the middle of the Seventies, with each of the band members allegedly denying the new term to begin with, as well.

It was only until they got a bit older that they decided to accept the label and ran with it, thus helping to turn it into the success that it is today.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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