Never Say Die
Label: Rhino/Warner Bros.
With 1978's Never Say Die! the original Black Sabbath sputtered to an end (before their 1997 reunion, that is). Considered the classic line-up's worst outing (certainly inferior to the reconstituted outfit's first two LPs featuring Ronnie James Dio on vocals), it's a schizoid menagerie of frosted metal and synth-laced experimentation. There are moments when the quartet actually sounds more like Thin Lizzy (the title track) or Rainbow ("Johnny Blade") than they do Black Sabbath. Having said that, "Air Dance" and the Bill Ward-sung "Swinging the Chain" both possess a deliriously unique charm.