Thursday, September 5, 2013
Oddly enough, the first time I heard Black Sabbath anywhere was back at the Blue House, when Dad played "Paranoid" off of a Ronco compilation album called Power Rock. It was hard, fast and loud, and I thought it was pretty interesting, but that was all I heard by them....until this point. Red Fred was a huge fan; indeed, one of his very first tattoos on his arm was the band's name, which I thought was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. With his influence, some of the Black Sabbath albums in the house were beginning to get played with some regularity. The first one I'd heard almost all the way through was Paranoid. All I can say is that, standing almost in front of the stereo while the album was playing, that was quite an experience that hot summer day. Some of the music was downright frightening, let alone some of the lyrics that were going into my fragile little mind...not quite the kind of stuff for a four-year-old...but I was fascinated by it. This was the next one I'd heard. The cover was pretty scary to look at, but I found the music within to be just as interesting as what I'd heard before. This one was more complex, with synthesizers going on in some of the songs, and an instrumental ("Fluff") that sounded unlike anything they'd done before. This one really did it. Dad played it one gloomy afternoon, and I had no idea who it was at first. As the rain and tolling bells were going on, I suddenly recognized that cover with the witch on it. I saw it back at the White house, and thought it was pretty scary-looking, and couldn't imagine what something like that would sound like. Soon, the crashing riff came down, and it almost felt like I was in the presence of Satan himself...pretty unnerving. The vocalizing was pretty ominous, and when Ozzy wailed "Oh, no-o-o-o-o-!", that was it--I ran into the kitchen. I stayed there for the rest of the song, but I couldn't take my ears off of what I was listening to. I would be a couple of years before I could listen to this one without being frightened by it, but it was on hell of an introduction.