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Shane’s Music Challenge: BLACK SABBATH – 1976 – Technical Ecstasy

| 2 April 2014 | Reply

BLACK SABBATH – 1976 – Technical Ecstasy


Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy cover

Oh most loathed of the Sabbath albums, why doth thoust taunt me so…?

Well… I THOUGHT I hated this album.

I bought it on vinyl back in my teens whilst doing my completist thing – even if it wasn’t as good as those first 5 or 6 records from the band most likely to have invented metal, it can’t be ALL bad, can it?

I sure thought so at the time. The only two songs I ever heard of them playing live were Rock n’ Roll Doctor and Dirty Women, both of which are amongst the most innocuously generic songs the band ever released (until their late 80’s nadir, perhaps)

In actual fact, listening through now, many years after the last time I heard it from start to finish, Technical Ecstasy isn’t as bad as I recalled, by a stone’s throw.

That’s not to say it’s particularly GOOD, per se – but with the benefit of time and more musical understanding, I can see what Tony Iommi especially was shooting for with his compositions referencing jazz as much as rock, and even incorporating symphonic elements on She’s Gone.

Bill Ward’s drumming is far more impressive than many would give him credit for in later years, and he even sings a song – It’s Alright. Maybe Ozzy had passed out that day?

You Won’t Change Me, Gypsy, All Moving Part (Stand Still) and the uber-ballad She’s Gone are all better than RnR Doctor and Dirty Women – so who knows why they persevere playing one or the other of them live over the years.

A word about the cover: Created by the rather incredible Hipgnosis crew, it’s all about technical ecstasy. Literally. To the point that Ozzy Osbourne described it as “two robots shagging on an elevator.” Suffice to say it did not help the cause, what with punk burning down the dinosaur rockstar idols…

Overall though, not a horrible album at all, which surprised me considerably!

By Shane Pinnegar

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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