Supernaut (song)

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Song by Black Sabbath
from the album Vol. 4
ReleasedSeptember, 1972
GenreHeavy metal
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward
Producer(s)Patrick Meehan, Black Sabbath

"Supernaut" is the fifth song from the album Vol. 4 by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

In an interview with Q magazine, Beck Hansen named the "Supernaut" riff as his all-time favourite, equal with Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl." The song was also a favorite of Frank Zappa[1] and John Bonham.[2] When played live, the song frequently featured a drum solo.


Technical personnel

1000 Homo DJs version[edit]

Supernaut (EP).jpg
Single by 1000 Homo DJs
B-side"Hey Asshole"
Format12", CD
RecordedChicago Trax Recording Studio
GenreIndustrial rock
LabelWax Trax!
Songwriter(s)Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward
Producer(s)Hypo Luxa
1000 Homo DJs singles chronology

The song was covered by Ministry side project 1000 Homo DJs in 1990. It was released as a 12-inch and CD single. The CD version of the single also contains the songs "Apathy" and "Better Ways", from the band's 1988 debut single, "Apathy."[3]

Ned Raggett of AllMusic praised the cover, writing that "the title track is something else again, one of Al Jourgensen's best efforts at creating completely over-the-top industrial death disco. While it doesn't do much in the way of reinterpreting the original Black Sabbath number—no lyric changes, same basic pace—the amped-up guitars, huge drum fills, dancefloor-oriented pounding, and distorted lyrical screaming turn it into a massive, exhilarating crunch." Nevertheless, he stated that the b-side song, "Hey Asshole", was "consisting of little more than a shouted loop of the song title and a crunching rhythm as background for an extended rant by a character playing, indeed, an asshole of a cop"[3]

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails recorded the original vocals for the "Supernaut" cover.[4] His vocals were not officially used because Reznor's label TVT Records refused to allow his appearance on the release.[5] An oft-repeated story tells that instead of recording new vocals, the band's frontman Al Jourgensen merely altered Reznor's performance through a distortion effect to mask his identity.[3][6][7]

Both Reznor and Jourgensen dismissed this claim. In a 1992 Prodigy post regarding "Supernaut," Reznor said, "[I] finally told Al to redo it without me. The version that Wax Trax put out is Al, the version on the NIN [bootleg] single is me."[8] Jourgensen made a similar statement in a 2003 interview. When asked whose vocals appear on "Supernaut," Jourgensen replied, "That would be me on the original, on WaxTrax! The later version released on TVT was Trent Reznor... then the remixed version had my vocals on it."[9]

The version with Reznor's vocals was eventually released on Black Box – Wax Trax! Records: The First 13 Years compilation album. The Al Jourgensen version of song was also featured in Black Sabbath tribute album, Nativity in Black.

Track listing[edit]

12" single
  1. "Supernaut" – 6:42
  2. "Hey Asshole" – 8:09
CD release
  1. "Supernaut" – 6:42
  2. "Hey Asshole" – 8:09
  3. "Apathy" – 4:36
  4. "Better Ways" – 5:23


  • Count Ringworm – vocals on "Hey Asshole"
  • Al Jourgensen (as Buck Satan) – bass, guitar, vocals, vox organ on "Supernaut"
  • Ike Krull – guitar on "Supernaut"
  • Officer Agro – drums, vocals, vox organ on "Hey Asshole"
  • Wee Willie Reefer – drums on "Supernaut"
  • Viva Nova – vocals on "Hey Asshole"
  • The Temple Of Drool Choir – vocals on "Hey Asshole"
  • Trent Reznor – vocals on "Supernaut" (uncredited)
Technical personnel
  • Critter – engineering
  • Frisky – second engineering

Other cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Black Sabbath Vol. 4 2009 reissue booklet, page 11
  2. ^ "Bill Ward Talks About Legendary Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin Jam Session -". 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  3. ^ a b c Raggett, Ned. "1000 Homo DJs - Supernaut". AllMusic. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  4. ^ Weisbard, Eric (January 1995). "Black Box – Wax Trax! Records: The First 13 Years". Spin. Vol. 10 no. 10. p. 72.
  5. ^ Bains, Jon. "Nine Inch Nails". Convulsion. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  6. ^ "Nine Inch Nails Biography". Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-22. TVT ordered Reznor's vocals removed from ["Supernaut"], but Jourgensen actually just altered them slightly and said he'd re-recorded it.
  7. ^ "Ministry FAQ: 1000 Homo DJs". Retrieved 2007-10-22. No matter what you hear, Trent sings on all the versions of Supernaut out there. … Al went back into the studios and just distorted Trent's vocals to confuse the lawyers, label and so on...
  8. ^ "Trent Reznor's Posts on Prodigy". The Nine Inch Nails Article Archive. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  9. ^ Warren, James (2003-05-21). "Ministry Interview: 20 Questions with Al Jourgensen". (official Ministry website) via Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  10. ^ Sheffield, Rob (December 1992). "Ministry". Artist of the Year: Runners-Up. Spin. Vol. 8 no. 9. p. 60. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Jeffries, David. "Cover Up – Ministry". AllMusic. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  12. ^ Mariano Prunes. "Dos Bandas y un Destino: El Concierto - Los Coronas,Arizona Baby | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-01-14.

External links[edit]