Black Sabbath Vol. 4
|Black Sabbath Vol. 4|
|Studio album by Black Sabbath|
|Released||25 September 1972|
|Recorded||May 1972 at Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles, Snowblind/Tomorrow's Dream backing tracks recorded Jan/Feb/March 1972 at Marquee Studios, overrdubs, mixing, mastering, at Olympic/Trident Studios, UK, June 1972)|
|Producer||Patrick Meehan, Black Sabbath|
|Black Sabbath chronology|
In June 1972, Black Sabbath reconvened in Los Angeles, California to begin work on their fourth album at the Record Plant Studios. The recording process was plagued with problems, many due to substance abuse issues. While struggling to record the song "Cornucopia" after "sitting in the middle of the room, just doing drugs", Bill Ward feared that he was about to be fired from the band. "I hated the song, there were some patterns that were just horrible", Ward said. "I nailed it in the end, but the reaction I got was the cold shoulder from everybody. It was like 'Well, just go home, you're not being of any use right now.' I felt like I'd blown it, I was about to get fired". However, the seeds were planted for what would eventually be the demise of the classic Sabbath lineup. As Butler told Guitar World in 2001: "Yeah, the cocaine had set in. We went out to L.A. and got into a totally different lifestyle. Half the budget went on the coke and the other half went to seeing how long we could stay in the studio... We rented a house in Bel-Air and the debauchery up there was just unbelievable." In the same interview, Ward said: "Yes, Vol. 4 is a great album, but listening to it now, I can see it as a turning point for me, where the alcohol and drugs stopped being fun."
Music and lyrics 
Vol. 4 demonstrates Black Sabbath beginning to experiment with the heavy sound they had become known for. Although some of the album's songs are in their trademark style, others demonstrate a more sensitive approach which the band had never attempted before. This is best exemplified by the song "Changes". Written by Tony Iommi, it is entirely in the form of a piano ballad with mellotron. Although the band had used piano on some songs previously, it had played only a minor role in the songs.
At least two songs on the album reference the use of cocaine, with the lyrics and title of "Snowblind" being an example of this. "Cocaine" is whispered quite audibly after the first verse, approximately 41 seconds into the song. (During live performances Osbourne would typically scream the word at the top of his lungs after every verse.)
The album cover features a monochrome photograph of Ozzy Osbourne with hands raised, taken during a Black Sabbath concert. The album's original release (on Vertigo in the UK, on Warner Bros. in the US and on Nippon Phonogram in Japan) features a gatefold sleeve with a page glued into the middle. Each band member is given his own photo page, with the band on-stage (and photographed from behind) at the very centre. The reissues on WWA and NEMS duplicated both the gatefold sleeve and, unusually, the pages.
A subsequent version of Vol. 4 was released with different cover art under the name "Children of the Grave". This alternate version of the album contained the same tracks as the original along with a live version of "Children of the Grave" as a final bonus track.
The album's original cover art has proved iconic, and is parodied on the 1992 Peaceville Volume 4, the 1992 Volume Two EP by the band Sleep, the 1994 Planet Caravan EP by Pantera and the 2007 album Vol. 1 by the band Church of Misery. In the liner notes of Vol. 4, Black Sabbath thank "the great COKE-Cola Company", another blatant drug reference. Also during the Vol. 4 era, bassist Geezer Butler sported a sticker on his white bass that stated "Enjoy CoCaine", a parody of the slogan "Enjoy Coca-Cola."
Release and reception 
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Vol. 4 was released in September 1972, and while critics of the era were dismissive of the album, it achieved gold status in less than a month, and was the band's fourth consecutive release to sell one million copies in the United States. It reached number 13 on Billboard's pop album chart and number 8 on the UK Albums Chart. The song "Tomorrow's Dream" was released as a single but failed to chart. Following an extensive tour of the US, the band toured Australia for the first time in 1973, and later Europe. Black Sabbath also appeared on the UK's Top of the Pops in 1973, sharing the stage with such diverse acts as Engelbert Humperdinck and Diana Ross.
The album had been reissued twice as a budget release called Children of the Grave with a live version of said song.
In June 2000, Q magazine (6/00, p. 69) placed Vol. 4 at number 60 in its list of The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever and described the album as "the sound of drug-taking, beer-guzzling hooligans from Britain's oft-pilloried cultural armpit let loose in LA." In an interview with Q magazine, Beck Hansen named the "Supernaut" riff as his all time favourite, equal with Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl." Frank Zappa had also identified that song as one of his all time favorites. Supernaut was also one of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham's favorite songs by Sabbath.
Track listing 
All music written by Black Sabbath (Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward); all lyrics by Geezer Butler. Note that the song subtitles "The Straightener" and "Every Day Comes and Goes" do not appear on original North American pressings of the album and all the remastered editions.
|1.||"Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener"||8:02|
|8.||"Laguna Sunrise" (instrumental)||2:56|
|9.||"St. Vitus Dance"||2:30|
|10.||"Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes"||5:53|
Cover versions 
- In 1999, thrash metal band, Overkill for their Coverkill album.
- Sampled by rapper Eminem on the song "Going Through Changes" for his Recovery album.
- A new version with altered lyrics appeared on Prince of Darkness with Kelly Osbourne and Ozzy singing a duet version.
- Hell Is for Heroes covered this song as a B-side to their single "Night Vision".
- Fudge Tunnel covered this song on Earache's Masters of Misery compilation.
- Japanese melodic punk band Hi-Standard covered this song on their Making the Road album.
- In 1999, thrash metal band, Overkill for their Coverkill album.
- British sludge metal band Iron Monkey on the rarities album Ruined By Idiots.
- New York City-based grindcore band Brutal Truth on In These Black Days: Vol. 2.
- Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura on their live album Under a Pale Grey Sky (main riff played before "Cut-Throat").
- Alternative metal band System of a Down for the Black Sabbath tribute album Nativity in Black II. This version also appears on The Osbourne Family Album, as a B-side of "Aerials" vinyl and on "Lonely Day" single.
- Converge live on their EP Y2K.
- Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society on Alcohol Fueled Brewtality.
- Stoner metal band Sleep on Masters of Misery-Black Sabbath: The Earache Tribute and later on a re-issue of their album Sleep's Holy Mountain.
- Rock band Pigboat on their 2009 release Float.
- 1000 Homo DJs on their Supernaut single, and for the Black Sabbath tribute album Nativity in Black. An alternate version featuring vocals by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails appears on the Black Box – Wax Trax! Records: The First 13 Years compilation.
- Coalesce on the 2007 reissue of their Led Zeppelin tribute EP entitled There is Nothing New Under the Sun and also on the Hydra Head Records Black Sabbath tribute album In These Black Days: Vol. 3.
- Ministry on their 1992 Psalm 69 tour, and on their album Cover Up.
- O'Connor (from Argentina) for Hay un Lugar (1999).
- Turisas for a cover CD issued by UK magazine Metal Hammer.
- The joint venture of Los Coronas and Arizona Baby covered the song in their 2011 live album Dos Bandas y un Destino.
"Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes" 
- Soulfly for the Black Sabbath tribute album Nativity in Black II.
- Bongzilla for Stash.
- Entombed for Family Favourites.
"Wheels of Confusion" 
- Estonian band Rondellus on their tribute album Sabbatum, sung by two female voices accompanied by a frame drum. Their version has lyrics translated into Latin, and the song has been retitled "Rotae Confusionis".
- Doom metal band Cathedral on the tribute album Masters of Misery - The Earache Tribute.
"Tomorrow's Dream" 
- Seattle band Screaming Trees as the b-side of their 1992 single "Dollar Bill".
- Canadian band Sheavy on their Untitled 3-song 7".
- Ozzy Osbourne – vocals
- Tony Iommi – guitars, piano, mellotron
- Geezer Butler – bass guitar, mellotron
- Bill Ward – drums, percussion
Sales accomplishments 
See also 
- Rosen 1996, p. 73
- Rosen 1996, pp. 73–74
- Circus Raves No.119, October 1975
- Black Sabbath Vol. 4 inner LP gatefold, page 6
- "Geezer Butler live onstage with Black Sabbath, 13 January 1973.". Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- Huey, Steve. "Review Black Sabbath, Vol. 4". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
- Clark, Tom (7 December 1972). "Review Black Sabbath Vol. 4". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- "Black Sabbath: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
- Ruhlmann, William. "AMG Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
- "AllMusic Billboard albums". Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "UK chart history - Black Sabbath Vol. 4". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Billboard Black Sabbath chart history". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
- Hotten, Jon (21 January 1989). "Black Sabbath 'Vol. 4'". Kerrang! 222. London, UK: Spotlight Publications Ltd.
- "Rock List Music". Rock List Music. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- Black Sabbath Vol. 4 2009 reissue booklet, page 11
- "Overview Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live!!". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
- "Overview Masters of Misery-Black Sabbath: The Earache Tribute". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- "Overview: Stash". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- "Entombed Lyrics". DarkLyrics.com. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
- "Black Sabbath songs covered by medieval music band Rondellus". Retrieved 12 March 2010.
- "sHeavy Cover Songs". Retrieved 17 February 2011.
- "RIAA Gold & Platinum database". Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "CRIA certified awards". Retrieved 8 February 2009.
- Rosen, Steven (1996). The Story of Black Sabbath: Wheels of Confusion. Castle Communications. ISBN 1-86074-149-5
- Chow, Jason (2006). In Dimery, Robert. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Quintet Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5 Unknown parameter