Saturday, May 5, 2012

Black Sabbath - We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'N' Roll (1976)

(U.K 1968–2006, 2011–present)
Black Sabbath started out in the late 60's as Earth, consisting of Ozzie Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (Guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums).
Black Sabbath has been so influential in the development of heavy metal rock music as to be a defining force in the style. The group took the blues-rock sound of late '60s acts like Cream, Blue Cheer, and Vanilla Fudge to its logical conclusion, slowing the tempo, accentuating the bass, and emphasizing screaming guitar solos and howled vocals full of lyrics expressing mental anguish and macabre fantasies. If their predecessors clearly came out of an electrified blues tradition, Black Sabbath took that tradition in a new direction, and in so doing helped give birth to a musical style that continued to attract millions of fans decades later.
During December 1969, they went into the studios to record their first album entitled 'Black Sabbath'. It was at this point the band changed their name from Earth to Black Sabbath.
Their debut album sold and charted extremely well in countries such as France, Holland, Germany and Sweden. A few months later the album charted in the U.K and in June 1970, the album was released in the U.S and remained on the charts there for nearly 12 months.
It wasn't until their second album 'Paranoid' was released during 1970 that Black Sabbath charted in Australia with both the album and the single 'Paranoid'.
Five more albums, 'Masters of Reality', Black Sabbath Vol 4', Sabbath Bloody Sabbath', Sabotage' and 'Technical Ecstasy' were released with the original line up until the late 70's when Ozzie Osbourne decided to leave the band and pursue a solo career.
When Black Sabbath signed with NEMS, the label which would release their 1975 album 'Sabotage' in the UK and Europe, NEMS acquired the band's back catalogue and wasted little time compiling this compilation release. Although the band had six studio albums to its name at this point, this compilation drew heavily on the first four albums: this would also be a feature of most of the Osbourne-era compilations later released.
'We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll' was originally released on December 1, 1975 in the UK and then on February 3, 1976 in the U.S. (Warner Brothers Records 2BS 2923). Note that my Cassette Tape was released in 1980.
The original UK gatefold album, with a matte finish, had centre pages featuring shots of the band but this was omitted on reissues, which came in a glossy-finish sleeve. Additionally, the original record retained Geezer Butler's bass solo before "N.I.B", but this would be edited from later issues. Some U.S. copies of the LP do not actually include "Wicked World" on the label or on the record itself, though it does appear on the cover. In the UK, "Wicked World" had been only a B-side and was relatively obscure.
Despite the album being an official release, Iommi has been quoted as saying that the first time the band knew of it was when asked to autograph copies which fans presented after concerts!
Album Review
Now, this should have been the greatest Black Sabbath album ever. A double-album compilation of stuff from the first six albums? How could they possibly go wrong?
How indeed. Well, let me start by saying that what's here is great, no doubt about that. But the song choice is very, very bizarre.
Why does it contain 35 minutes from the first record, but only two tracks from 'Master Of Reality'? And more disappointingly, why does it only have one track a piece from 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' and 'Sabotage'? Where the hell is "Hole In The Sky"? And "Symptom Of The Universe," for Christ's sake? And how the hell could they have skipped over "Supernaut"? Can someone please explain what Warner Brothers was thinking!
Everybody already owns the debut album; so we don't need to hear it again here. My only guess is that maybe it was difficult to locate the first album in 1976, so they decided to give people a break by including most of it in this collection? One can only wonder but one thing is for sure - I wouldn't sell my soul for this compilation but I might be tempted to put a down-payment on it.
My cassette tape actually has 3 extra tracks to what was released on the single CD version - "Warning", "Wicked World" and "Laguana Sunrise" (these tracks were omitted to keep the release to a single CD).
One irregularity is that the back cover of the CD release only refers to 2 missing tracks (Warning and Laguana Sunrise), yet the double LP release also had Wicked World.
Nevertheless, I have been able to squeeze in an absolute must have track by Sabbath - "Supernaut" as a bonus track and I am also including "Wicked World" for those of you who may not have the studio track.
The CD release has come in many forms, with both a single and double CD releases, and there has also been a wide variety of front cover designs (see collage below)
This post consists of a 320kps rip taken from my cassette tape, but the track listing has been rearranged to follow the standard CD release. Artwork for all formats are included along with my bonus tracks "Supernaut" and "Wicked World", which were ripped from Vinyl.

.Track Listing
01. Black Sabbath
02. The Wizard
03. Paranoid
04. War Pigs
05. Iron Man
06. Tomorrow's Dream
07. Fairies Wear Boots
08. Changes
09. Sweet Leaf
10. Children Of The Grave
11. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
12. Am I Going Insane (Radio)
13. Snowblind
14. N.I.B.
15. Supernaut (Bonus)

Band Members:
Ozzy Osbourne (Vocals)
Tony Iommi (Lead Guitar)
Geezer Butler (Bass)
Bill Ward (Drums)
Guest Artists:
Gerald Woodruffe - Keyboards
Rick Wakeman - Keyboards on Track 11
Black Sabbath Link (181Mb)  New Link 05/05/2020


  1. There was always strangeness going on a Warner Bros. My sister and I bought individual copies of "MOR" and the song break down on the label was different between the two. Same for Jethro Tull's Aqualung (reprise records - a division of warner bros.) the song breakdown varied depending on the printing I guess.

  2. Great compilation of early stuff (Ozzie) File factory is on maintainence and won't download.

  3. I think the link has gone completely AWOL, so I've re-uploded it for you. cheers

    1. Thanks for that. Bought the first Black Sabbath album (on Fontana) in 1970 and have been a convert ever since.