The sound was a bit different but it still did well.
The Grunge movement brought Black Sabbath back into the mainstream. Alice In Chains spoke of their love of Sabbath, so did Soundgarden and even Nirvana.
Kyuss/Queens Of The Stone Age also spoke of their Sabbath love.
So it was no surprise that Sabbath started selling records in the 90s.
Eventually in 1997, “Technical Ecstasy” received a Gold certification in the U.S.
It’s the seventh studio album.
Released in 1976 and produced by Tony Iommi. But he struggled with it to the point of anger against his band members who spent most of the time on the beach and on booze and drugs.
Ozzy mentioned in his book “I Am Ozzy” that recording the album in Miami was very expensive and he was confused as to why they had to sound like current popular bands. Maybe that was due to their label head Don Arden throwing his interest behind ELO during this time.
The writing was on the wall, as punk had broken through in the U.K and the Sabbath brand of doom was on its way out.
They are also in the midst of releasing a box set of this album, with all the extras that come with box sets.
Back Street Kids
The Intro/main verse riff has a similar feel to “Immigrant Song” and their own “Children Of The Grave” and I like it.
At 1.50 it goes into an excellent major key riff which reminds me of Styx/Free/ELO and acts like that.
The solo from Iommi utilizes the Major Pentatonic. It’s weird to hear happy leads.
You Won’t Change Me
The most doomiest riff starts the song off and their most melodic progression becomes the verse.
Check out the melancholic swirling organ riff from 4.11 and Iommi decorates nicely.
It’s a Beatles cut and it came out of left field but then again this album is all about expanding the sound.
Bill Ward wrote it and sings it.
Such an overused title in the 70s and 80s. I don’t recall the word being used much in the 90s and beyond.
Bill Ward opens up the song with a drum groove that reminds me of “Sympathy Of The Devil” from The Rolling Stones.
Iommi busts in with chords which further reinforces the Stones influence.
The Pre-Chrous riff is excellent and Ozzy brings out a vocal line that he used in “SATO”.
Then there is a section which I call the ELO section, with piano and distorted guitars.
The last minute is essential listening as Iommi wails away with his pentatonic leads. A perfect closer for Side 1.
All Moving Parts (Stand Still)
The Side 2 opener and what a great blues rock riff to kick it off. And Butler on the bass is massive.
At 1.40 it changes into something different and this is why I like Sabbath. The songwriting can be progressive with the arrangement and at other times the arrangements can be more mainstream like. You get the best of both worlds.
The vocal melody from Ozzy in the verses was used again within his solo career.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor
The Intro reminds of Uli John Roth and his Scorpions work.
But after that a “No Bones Movie” cut blasts out of the speaker.
I don’t know how much Randy Rhoads listened to this album, but goddamn the acoustic arpeggios on this song sound eerily familiar like the songs “You Can’t Kill Rock N Roll”, “Diary Of A Madman” and “Revelation Mother Earth”.
This is classic Sabbath. So many good riffs and Iommi’s solo is excellent.
The riff at 2.30. Check it out.
Straight after that it goes into this “2112” style riff and progression.
Overall, the album is really under appreciated. Most of the 70s music had variety on the albums because artists weren’t afraid to experiment. This one is no different.
A few stray observations if I may.
Ozzy mentioned in his book that he doesn’t like the album but this is the sound that made his solo career. Plus having Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake helped with the songs and Sharon Osbourne ran the party with an iron fist.
Bill Ward can carry a tune vocally which was a surprise. It was almost Queen like.
The synth work complements the songs. So I don’t know why so many reviews focused on the synths.
And what’s the go with two robots making out on the cover.
9 thoughts on “1976 – Part 2.7: Black Sabbath – Technical Ecstasy”
I don’t have this one and don’t remember if I’ve heard it or not. All I know is I need to get in the collection…maybe I need to start doing all these box sets…hmmm!
A Black Sabbath series. Ohhh there are some doozies in that catalogue.
I don’t know about a series any time soon. I am bitting off a lot right now with the next set of reviews.
This is a good album and I need to get back into it. In other words add it to the pile
What are you up to? 666
TE is much better than its reputation was in the 80’s. Yes, it’s not as heavy as Black Sabbath was considered and expected to be but yet there are some remarkable tracks and parts as you pointed out. I guess spectacular Heaven and Hell overshadowed and buried it.
BTW, what do you think of Bill Ward solo “Ward One: Along the Way”? To me it sounds like obscure but really interesting mix of TE and Pink Floyd. A truly hidden gem.
Thanks for bringing up Bill Ward. I haven’t heard it. But I like how you summed it up so over to YouTube for a listen.
It’s definitely worth a few YouTube sessions. I got carried away and wrote a brief review:
https://www.impe.fi/reviews/1/22282 (sorry, use browser translate FI to EN)
Nice I’ll check out the review