Much of my life has been storm. Part of that was reflected in my music of choice as a teenager: heavy metal. After a while it became uncool to mention my headbanging roots, but time goes around and around, and in the end it turns out that some of the bands I liked have turned out not only to be cool, but to be seminal. Despite the critics hatred at the time, Black Sabbath is one of them. So there.
Last night, I watched this documentary about Black Sabbath and the making of their breakthrough album Paranoid. I was struck by a number of things. One was how sweet-looking Ozzy was when he was younger, another, the sheer musicianship of the band members. What stuck in my head particularly was how guitarist Tony Iommi credited part of Sabbath’s slightly ‘industrial’ sound to their roots in Aston, Birmingham. Industrial sounds still have me hooked, whether it comes in the form of metal guitar or deep bass dubstep and I think that speaks to the storm inside.
Here is the antithesis to all that -it is Sunday morning, after all. If you think you don’t like Black Sabbath, give this a listen – it’s sublime. The end of the track has Iommi jamming in a sleepily divine jazz, Django Reinhardt influenced style. The thing that links the two guitarists is that they both have lost fingers, or in Iommi’s case, their tips – in an industrial accident at work. Iommi said that in the aftermath, finding out that Reinhardt played with a disability inspired him to carry on playing. And as an added and unrelated bonus, if you are lucky, you might get the great ad that I did, with a Great Dane and some opera. Who could ask for anything more?