ARTIST: Black Sabbath
TITLE: Master of Reality
YEAR RELEASED: 1971
CHART ACTION: #8 US, #5 UK
SINGLES: After Forever, Children of the Grave, Sweet Leaf
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Into the Void
LINEUP: Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A Sabbath album marked by the detuning of guitars down, making the sound more sinister.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After writing a song about the horrors of heroin on their second album, Sabbath starts off this record with an ode to marijuana, beginning with a cough on a tape loop before plowing into a classic Tony Iommi riff.
This is darker sounding than their previous albums, mainly due to the guitar sound. The subject matter is on par, with religion, drugs, the occult, you know, the usual Sabbath subjects. It seems slighter, though, with two instrumental transitional pieces and “Solitude”, which is another mellow oddity from the band.
“Children of the Grave” is the classic cut of all of the cuts here, and you can tell that Blondie copped a few ideas for “Call Me” based on this, whether they want to admit it or not. The religious got all up in their business as well because “After Forever” mentioned seeing the pope on the end of a rope – not realizing that lyricist Geezer Butler was Catholic.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The original vinyl release had the title in embossed black printing. Also, in the US, several songs have subtitiles, but those are really superfluous.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Outtakes and early versions.
GRADE: A-: This seems to be padded a bit, but there’s some solid, solid sludgy goodness here