Black Sabbath
1969 Demo


2.5
average

Review

by John Marinakis USER (29 Reviews)
June 11th, 2013 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The humble beginnings of a Rock ‘n’ Roll juggernaut.

It was just a few days before Sabbath’s new album would become available online, when I discovered these very early recordings. Dating back to 1969, these songs were recorded during a transitional period when the band’s name was still Earth. So, for all of you who are interested in Sabbath’s backstory, this offer is intriguing to say the least.

Regarding these early recordings, Tony Iommi said:
We didn't write those songs. They were written by a chap named Norman Haines. At the time we were managed by Jim Simpson, who was a local Birmingham guy. He insisted that we record these songs. We just wanted to play, so we recorded them. We wanted to write our own songs and make our own record, but this was just an initial effort. We had never been in a recording studio in our lives before that.

So these demos are indeed Black Sabbath’s baby steps. Their very first attempt at becoming a studio band. Seeing that this work is not a result from a band who has set their goals, do not expect the doomy ‘n’ gloomy kind of music that followed just a few months later. Even if there are some foreshadowing elements, the overall feeling is that you’re listening to a typical 60’s British Rock band. If we put aside Thomas Jane, (I will make a reference in just a few lines), the rest of the recordings sound happy, naïve and really cheesy for a band that, only a few months later, forged the noisy and loud Heavy Metal genre.

Apart from Tony Iommi, who’s lead guitar playing really steals the spotlight, Butler and Ward seem to be confined. Ozzy’s voice is surprisingly good in these demos. His signature off key-wails were unwoven at the time. The twenty one year old Iommi acts like a leader. The fluidity of his playing doesn’t surprise me at all as he was an active guitarist since 1963-1964, playing with local bands in various pubs and clubs around his neighborhood. Sure, he wasn’t an accomplished musician yet, but he was an experienced guitar player already. His bluesy, imaginative solos are not that different from what you hear on the first Sabbath record. Finally, we have two guest players. Norman Haines who, according to Iommi, was the original composer of these songs plays keyboards on The Rebel and Jim Simpson, the manager of the band, plays Trumpet on Thomas Jane.

The Jazz-influenced Thomas Jane is easily the band’s best effort. It’s like King Crimson meets Black Sabbath. An epic-eight minutes long instrumental, it opens with some classic doomy riffs played from Iommi and then, after one minute, his guitar cease so that we can be properly assaulted by the twin attacks of Simpson and Butler. In what is undoubtedly his most shining moment in these demos, Butler transforms into the bassist we all know, playing 3-4 notes rapidly, thus creating the backround for Simpson’s Trumpet. The song ends in a rather spooky way, with Iommi playing a Black Sabbath reminiscent riff. Overall, the song is not anything special, it’s just interesting.

To summarise, these demos are nothing more than a low budget attempt by a bunch of kids trying to exploit their first studio opportunity, disclose their potential and enjoy themselves at the same time. Little did they know for what fate had in store for them. Unbeknownst to them at the time, they would shake the very foundations of Rock music like no other band had done before.

Recommended track:
Thomas Jane (Again, it’s nothing special, but futures those classic doomy riffs from Iommi and the closing riff is surprising).



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
rockandmetaljunkie
June 10th 2013


3855 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It had to be done.

NeoSpaz
June 10th 2013


4519 Comments


the rebel is fucking amazing

Titan
June 10th 2013


5775 Comments


excellent review and extremely informative....pos'd

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2013


4458 Comments


I didnt even know this existed. I'll check this out tonight after I'm done with my review for 13- it will be nice to go from their lastest to the very first.

POS'd.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 10th 2013


3855 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@NeoSpaz
Yeah, it's funny and all that.


@Titan
Thanks man.


@SgtPepper
Didn't know either. I stumble upon it simple because someone posted it here in Sputnik. Whoever was
I thank him for that.


"after I'm done with my review for 13"

Sweet, can't wait to read your review man.

YoYoMancuso
June 10th 2013


11222 Comments


awesome choice for a review. pos.

Spec
June 10th 2013


27298 Comments


69


omg... that's so fucking funny






omg

facupm
June 10th 2013


8582 Comments


never checked this, even when i listened every single album by them, including all tony martin era

scissorlocked
June 10th 2013


3511 Comments


that's crazy stuff man!!

pos hard

ps. that is some good writing!

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

VinesOvThorn
June 10th 2013


198 Comments


hmm I was unaware about this album.

This is gonna be a cool listen

rockandmetaljunkie
June 11th 2013


3855 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks for the feedback guys.

@YoYoMancuso
Yeah, I wanted to do this because "13"'s release.

@facupm
Check it out, it's not a great dig but an interesting one nonetheless.

@scissorlocked
Thanks for the kind words dude.

@VinesOvThorn
"This is gonna be a cool listen"
Indeed

Antonius
June 11th 2013


248 Comments


well written and pos'd man! Indeed its excellent to see the origins of Sabbath's self-titled song. And secondly, the rebel is a very interesting song!

manosg
June 11th 2013


6700 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Very well-written review man, pos. Interesting fusion of flower-power and the blues.

I think there's some more Sabbath demo material on The Ozzman Cometh.

Digging: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell

Rastapunk
June 11th 2013


771 Comments


Review is damn good!

Never heard of those recordings I will definitely check them out!

TheSmashBro
June 11th 2013


258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I liked these demos, even if they aren't entirely Sabbathy.
Good review, too.

YUJOS
June 11th 2013


954 Comments


Nice work again man.

Digging: Skaphe - Skphe

rockandmetaljunkie
June 11th 2013


3855 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Antonius
Indeed, that track came as a complete surprise to me.

@manosg
I'll check it out then.

@Rastapunk
Any time you like man, these demos are essential for all Sabbath freaks.

@TheSmashBro
3.5 ? That's too high man...

YUJOS
Thanks man. I'm wondering when I'll see your first review. :-P

YUJOS
June 11th 2013


954 Comments


^ Don't prizoneis me my friend hahahahaha.

TheNotrap
June 14th 2013


8132 Comments


"To summarise, these demos are nothing more than a low budget attempt by a bunch of kids trying to exploit their first studio opportunity, disclose their potential and enjoy themselves at the same time."
Haa rock 'n roll, precious garage days.

Have a double pos for reviewing this.

Digging: Funebrarum - The Sleep of Morbid Dreams

RunOfTheMill
June 27th 2013


1555 Comments


Good review dude. I remember hearing The Rebel and Early One Morning a few months back, and they weren't all that great, but Thomas Jane sounds like it's quite something.



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