What can be said about Black Sabbath that hasn't been said already? They weren't the only, or even the first, band to "invent" heavy metal (think Iron Butterfly, Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, etc.). But they inarguably invented metal more than any other band did -- if only by (perhaps inadvertently) downplaying loud rock's blues element for a noise at least as indebted to horror soundtracks as to Muddy Waters, thereby sending rock's evilness quotient through the roof.
They did this most audaciously on their first few albums, especially their self-titled 1970 debut and 1971's massively riffed matched pair, Paranoid and Master of Reality. Those three, and their other five '70s LPs fronted by Ozzy Osbourne's unholy howling (through 1978's Never Say Die!), have finally been added to Napster's catalog, along with three comps of the band's early work: the venerable 1976 best-of We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll, the 16-song 2006 anthology Greatest Hits 1970-1978 (which will do double duty as a playlist alongside this post) and the eight-disc box set Complete Studio Albums 1970-1978.
Here, we give you a chronological primer not only on Sabbath-with-Ozzy's first eight, but also on the band's most significant post-Ozzy albums, Ozzy's best-loved post-Sabbath solo sets, and a couple where they got back together, culminating in last year's highly regarded 13. Alright now -- won't you listen? Iron man lives again!
Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath, Paranoid
Black Sabbath, Master of Reality
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4
Black Sabbath, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Black Sabbath, Sabotage
Black Sabbath, Technical Ecstasy
Black Sabbath, Never Say Die!
Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell
Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Oz
Black Sabbath, Mob Rules
Ozzy Osbourne, Diary of a Madman
Black Sabbath, Live Evil
Ozzy Osbourne, Bark at the Moon
Black Sabbath, Born Again
Ozzy Osbourne, The Ultimate Sin
Ozzy Osbourne, No Rest for the Wicked
Ozzy Osbourne, No More Tears
Black Sabbath, Reunion
Black Sabbath, 13