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Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I will be serving up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others off the Sabbath Family Tree!

Paranoid is the second studio album by Black Sabbath that was released in September 1970. The album contains several of Sabbath’s signature songs, including “Iron Man”, “War Pigs” and the title track. It’s considered by many as a very influential album in the development of heavy metal music. Originally titled War Pigs, the record company changed it out of fear of a backlash from supporters of the ongoing Vietnam War. The band’s label also felt the title track was more marketable as a single. Ozzy said in a 1998 interview. “What the f*** does a bloke dressed as a pig with a sword in his hand got to do with being paranoid, I don’t know, but they decided to change the album title without changing the artwork!

Last December the band released the Paranoid: Super Deluxe Edition which included among other things a rare 1974 quad mix of the album folded down to stereo!

In 2013, Geezer Butler told Mojo magazine that the song “Paranoid” was “about depression, because he didn’t really know the difference between depression and paranoia. It’s a drug thing; when you’re smoking pot you get totally paranoid about people, and you can’t relate. There’s that crossover between the paranoia you get and the depression afterwards.” A lot of the “Paranoid” album was written around the same time as Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut. They supposedly recorded the whole thing in about 2 or 3 days, live in the studio. And the song “Paranoid” itself was written as an afterthought. The band needed a 3 minute filler for the album, and Tony Iommi came up with the riff. Geezer quickly did the lyrics, and Ozzy was literally reading them as he was singing. And the rest as they say was hard rock and heavy metal history!

The song “Iron Man” was originally titled “Iron Bloke”. Upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, Ozzy remarked that it sounded “like a big iron bloke walking about”. Bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler composed the lyrics. He wrote a story about a man who time travels into the future and sees the apocalypse. In the process of returning to the present, he is turned into steel by a magnetic field. Rendered mute, unable to verbally warn people of the impending destruction. His attempts to communicate are ignored and mocked. This causes Iron Man to become angry and have his revenge on mankind, causing the destruction that was seen in his vision. (Deep stuff)

Again, many rock critics have cited Paranoid as “one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time”, which “defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history”. Blender said it was “the greatest metal album of all time”. And nearly every heavy-metal and extreme rock band of the last three decades, owes a debt of gratitude to Iommi’s “crushing” guitar riffs! In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine voted it the greatest metal album ever! And to me if you had to choose on Sabbath album out of their entire catalog this in my opinion is the one that matters the most!


Throughout the entire month of ‘Sabb’tember I will be serving up songs from significant releases by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Dio, Black Label Society and others off of the Sabbath Family Tree!

“One More for the Road” is the opening track from Master of the Moon, the tenth and final studio album by the band Dio. It was released on Sanctuary Records, September 7, 2004 and was produced by Ronnie James Dio. The album marks the return of guitarist Craig Goldy, who had performed on Dio’s (1987) Dream Evil album as well as 2000’s Magica. It also features Jeff Pilson on bass, best known for his work with Dokken, Simon Wright of AC/DC fame on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards. Scott whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with on the Monsters of Rock Cruise last year. That man’s got some killer rock n’ roll stories!) was a member of the groups Warrant, Keel, Berlin and Heaven & Hell. Today he is part of Dio Disciples, which includes surviving members of the final line-up of Dio, along with former Lynch Mob vocalist Oni Logan. He also plays in the band Hellion, alongside fellow Dio Disciples member Simon Wright. This song can also be found on 2012’s The Very Beast of Dio Vol. 2. compilation.

“Concrete Jungle” kicks off Shot to Hell, the seventh studio album by Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society. It was released September 12, 2006 and was the band’s first and only record to have been released by Roadrunner Records. According to Zakk, the band “just went in the studio and started knocking it out. That’s how you make records.” The cover art was originally of three nuns with shotguns (as seen in the advertisements handed out at Ozzfest 2006), but the artwork was deemed inappropriate and was changed to three nuns playing a game of pool. The version with shotguns was used as the cover of the Concrete Jungle single. This album drew the usual comparisons to bands such as Alice in Chains, Pantera, and Corrosion of Conformity. So if you like them, you will definitely like this album!


It’s a Labor Day special tonight in BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ.

“Labor Day, is a public and federal holiday that’s always celebrated on the first Monday in September. The Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend and it is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. It became official in 1894.

“Killing Yourself to Live” is the fifth song on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the fifth album by Black Sabbath, released in December 1973. Kirk Hammett of Metallica called it his favorite Sabbath song, saying “A lot of people gravitate toward the album’s title track, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, but for me this is the stand out cut on the album.”

“Working Class Hero” is a song originally written and recorded by John Lennon for his 1970 album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, his first solo album after the break-up of the Beatles. Ozzy recorded this version for his 2005 all covers collection appropriately titled Under Cover. It also appears on the Prince of Darkness box set, released that same year. The song itself, is a commentary/criticism on the difference between social classes. It tells the story of someone growing up in the working class. According to Lennon in an interview with Rolling Stone in December 1970, it is about working class individuals being processed into the middle classes, into the machine.


Tonight I am serving up two tracks from different eras of Sabbath!

Tyr is the fifteenth studio album by Black Sabbath. It arrived in stores on Aug. 20, 1990. In Norse mythology, Týr is the god of single combat and heroic glory, and the son of Odin. The album title, and several of the song titles, allude to Norse mythology, which led many to call Tyr a concept album, although many of the songs may seem loosely related, very little has anything to do with mythology and it was not intended to be a concept recording. At the time guitarist Tony Iommi, was still the only remaining founding member of the band and the rest of the line up was rounded out by singer Tony Martin, bassist Neil Murray (previously of Whitesnake) powerhouse drummer Cozy Powell (formerly of Rainbow) and keyboardist Geoff Nicholls.

Tyr represents another dramatic departure from Sabbath’s traditional sound, with only traces of it found in the occasional riff. It’s also the most reliant on keyboards.

Among rock critics, opinions were mixed. And perhaps the biggest legacy of Tyr was just how quickly it was forgotten – or rather, overshadowed – when, not even two years later, Iommi reunited with Ronnie James Dio, drummer Vinny Appice, and founding bassist Geezer Butler, for the Dehumanizer album and tour. Still, I feel this album is an underrated gem in the Black Sabbath catalog and by far one of the better overall albums featuring Martin on vocals!

Past Lives is a Black Sabbath double-disc live album that was released in Aug. 20, 2002. The first disc was previously known as Live at Last, an album that was not technically put out by the band’s record company, and therefore it was considered not an official Black Sabbath album. However it was considered a much coveted bootleg. The second disc of this set consists of recordings made for television and radio, previously only available on bootlegs. In my opinion it is a must own for die-hard fans.

This live version of “Symptom of the Universe” was recorded at Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey, supposedly on Aug 6, 1975.

In 2001, Comedy Central’s “TV Funhouse” imagined Black Sabbath as an animated “Lost Cartoon” from 1974.


Tonight we’ve got a couple of important birthdays to celebrate!

First up, Robert John Arthur Halford (born 25 August 1951), best known as the ‘Metal God’, famed for his powerful wide-ranging voice as the lead vocalist for Judas Priest! Halford was born in Sutton Coldfield, but raised in Walsall, a town to the northwest of Birmingham (where the four original members of Sabbath hail from) in England’s West Midlands.

The band Bullring Brummies is made up of Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, vocalist Rob Halford (not long out of Judas Priest), Obsessed/Vitus guitarist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Fight guitarist Brian Tilse and Jimmy Wood on harmonica. Their cover of “The Wizard” on the first volume of the Nativity in Black, Black Sabbath tribute album that came out in the 19994 is their only recording, the musicians coming together specifically for this recording. According to Tony Iommi at the time, it was intended to be him / Butler / Ward on the track with Halford, as they had laid down tracks for the song. However I.R.S., Tony’s label at the time would not permit him to be included so he thought the project was dead. Gloria Butler, however, proceeded with Weinrich and Tilse being brought in to replace Iommi on the track. Upon discovering this, Iommi fired Gloria Butler, prompting Geezer Butler to quit Black Sabbath yet again.

Exactly two years after Staley’s body was found (April 20, 2004), Zakk Wylde‘s Black Label Society released ‘Hangover Music Vol. VI’ — a much more mellow affair than BLS usually produces. One of the songs contained within was titled ‘Layne,’ in honor of the AIC vocalist. Perhaps the eeriest part of this track is the sound of door-knocking at the end — which has been speculated as a symbolic representation of both the police knocking on Layne’s door prior to discovering his body and possibly himself knocking on heaven’s door. Also you hear a cat at the end of the song or what sounds like guitars mimicking a cats meowing, which supposedly represents Sadie, Layne’s cat, who was found in the apartment alive and well despite not eating for approximately two weeks and is now owned by Jerry. he knocking is when they come to check on Layne and ultimately find him.

Layne Thomas Staley (born 22 August 1967) was the lead vocalist and occasional rhythm guitarist and co-songwriter of Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. The band became known for Layne’s distinct vocal style, as well as the harmonized vocals between him and Cantrell. Staley was also a member of the supergroups Mad Season and Class of ’99.

By mid-1996, he was out of the public spotlight, never to perform live again. Layne struggled for much of his adult life with depression and a drug addiction, culminating with his death on April 5, 2002. And the rock world has never quite been the same, he is greatly missed. Another great taken too soon.


Ozzy Osbourne is set to perform “Bark at the Moon” during the Solar Eclipse at Moonstock 2017!

Moonstock is a four day Rock Festival (which is currently underway) at Walker’s Bluff in Carterville, IL. that leads up to the 2017 Solar Eclipse that will take place tomorrow. On August 21, 2017, a small portion of the United States will witness a type of total solar eclipse that hasn’t been visible in nearly forty years. To commemorate this event multiple KILO rock bands are performing in the festival or have already performed like Kyng, Saliva and Black Stone Cherry who kicked it off on Friday. Then yesterday Texas Hippie Coalition, Pop Evil, Theory of a Deadman, and Halestorm performed. Today and tonight Otherwise, All That Remains, Hellyeah and Five Finger Death Punch will take the stage. And tomorrow at approximately at 1:20 pm Eastern Standard Time, when light fades to darkness, the Prince of Darkness himself; Ozzy Osbourne will kick off his live set with the song Bark at the Moon! And his concert will wrap up Moonstock 2017!

“Waiting for Darkness” is the final track off of Ozzy’s third studio album Bark at the Moon (U.S. Edition) which was originally released in November of 1983. The album of course features former Mickey Ratt and Rough Cutt guitarist Jake E. Lee, who replaced guitarist Randy Rhoads after he was killed a year earlier in a plane crash. Bark at the Moon is also the only Ozzy studio album to feature drummer Tommy Aldridge, who just celebrated a birthday by the way. On Tues. Aug. 15 he turned 67. He was a fixture of Ozzy’s live band for several years in the early to mid-80s. He was fired after the recording of the album and replaced by the legendary Carmine Appice, (the brother of Vinny Appice who also played with Sabbath and Dio) Tommy returned mid-tour after Appice was removed by the Osbournes. The Bark at the Moon album peaked at number 19 on the Billboard album chart and within several weeks of release was certified Gold for over 500,000 sales in the United States. To date, it has sold over 3,000,000 copies in the US. The album was remastered on CD in 1995 and again (with a different mix) in 2002.

“Bark at the Moon” is the title from Ozzy’s 1983 album of the same name. And again it will be the song he plays to kick off his live set tomorrow at exactly the same exact time that total solar eclipse is scheduled to take place, at approximately at 1:20 pm Eastern Standard Time!


Tonight, in honor of Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes Birthdays (both are former Sabbath singers) we go Deep Sabbath!

Ian Gillan, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist for Deep Purple was born on 19 August 1945 and he also was a lead singer for Black Sabbath, replacing Ronnie James Dio for one album only, 1983’s Born Again. When Black Sabbath recorded the album in May of 1983 at The Manor Studio in the Oxfordshire countryside Ian Gillan actually live outside the house in a marquee tent. Ian put up a big, huge tent that had a cooking area and a bedroom and whatever else. Ian also brought an immediacy to the songwriting process that was uncommon for Sabbath at the time. His tongue-in-cheek, double entendre lyrics were about sexual things or true facts, even about stuff that happened at The Manor right there and then, which was quite a departure from Geezer Butler’s and Dio’s lyrics.”

In 1984, Ozzy Osbourne actually stated that the Born Again album was the “best thing he’d heard from Sabbath since the original group (which included him) had broke up”.

Glenn Hughes, who’s been dubbed by many as “The Voice of Rock” was born on 21 August in 1952. He too is best known for being a bassist and vocalist in Deep Purple, and was also briefly the lead singer for Black Sabbath in the mid-80’s and recorded on the Seventh Star album, released in January 1986. As was the case with its predecessor, Born Again, this album was not intended to be a Black Sabbath record. It was originally written and recorded to be the first solo album by Tony Iommi, seeing as how he was the sole member left in the band. However, due to pressures by Warner Bros. Records and manager Don Arden, it was billed as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi due to the belief that it would sell more records with the already famous band name. Because of this, the album is a drastic (and intentional) departure from the trademark Sabbath sound! Many of the songs are very 80’s hard rock style, while some contain a bluesy feel. Musicians Eric Singer (now with KISS) and Dave Spitz contributed to the album, playing drums and bass, respectively. Additionally, this was the first Sabbath album to feature the band as a quintet, as keyboardist Geoff Nicholls was confirmed as an official band member the year prior.

There was a tour for the album, but Glenn Hughes only performed at the first few shows. He was fired five dates into the tour due to his intense cocaine addiction, and replaced by Ray Gillen, who completed the North American and European legs of the tour, though several dates in the US were cancelled. W.A.S.P. and Anthrax were the supporting acts on their North American tour.

Glenn Hughes currently fronts the supergroup Black Country Communion with Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham and over the years he worked on several solo projects with Tony Iommi as well as his own.


Tonight I am serving up another couple of KICK ASS SABBATH Covers!

Adrenaline Mob’s “Black Sabbath Medley” is a medley of the following Black Sabbath songs, Into the Void, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sweet Leaf, Killing Yourself to Live, and Electric Funeral. It comes from their album ‘Dearly Departed’ that was released in February of 2015 and is actually a mixture of both covers and a few rarities from the Adrenaline Mob vault. And the band is no stranger to Sabbath covers as they have also covered the Black Sabbath track, The Mob Rules as well as Dio’s Stand Up and Shout on their 2013 Covertà EP that consisted entirely of cover songs!

And if you aren’t familiar with Adrenaline Mob, they are a heavy metal supergroup that was orignally formed in early 2011 by singer Russell Allen (Symphony X), guitarist Mike Orlando and drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater). Over the years, the band has had a revolving door of musicians pass through it’s ranks. John Moyer, the bassist for Disturbed was also a member of the band for about two years, and Portnoy was later replaced by drummer A. J. Pero of Twisted Sister, who sadly on March 20, 2015, was found unresponsive on the band’s tour bus. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead from an apparent heart attack at the age of 55. And unfortunately tragedy has struck the band again! On July 14, 2017, the band’s RV was hit by a tractor trailer in Micanopy, Florida, while they were travelling to St. Petersburg for a concert. They had pulled off I-75 due to a flat tire. Their new bass player David “Z Rock” Zablidowsky (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Jeff Scott Soto band) was killed. Mike Orlando, Russell Allen, and Jordan Cannata were also seriously injured in the accident. To continue his legacy, a David Z. Scholarship Fund has been created for the music school at Brooklyn College. The band had released a new album titled ‘We The People” back in June and as of right now they have kept pretty quiet after the incident most likely taking some much needed time off to heal and of course process what they have been through. Hopefully this hasn’t completely derailed them and they will recover soon and get back out there and do what they love to do… ROCK! Here’s wishing them well and hoping for the best!

Machine Head’s frontman Robb Flynn recorded and released, free an online cover of Black Sabbath’s Die Young, in honor of Debbie Abono and Ronnie James Dio’s passing! The song originally appeared on the Black Sabbath album ‘Heaven and Hell’, the first to feature Dio. Debbie Abono, was a well-respected and much-loved manager and promotional machine behind some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s strongest metal bands (POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, VIO-LENCE, SKINLAB) She was basically a Bay Area Metal Legend and she actually managed Robb Flynn and Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel when they were members of the band Vio-Lence. She too passed away after a battle with cancer on the same date as Ronnie James Dio (Sunday, May 16, 2010) She was 80 years old.


Black Sabbath’s ‘Sabotage’ Album Turns 42!

Sabotage is the sixth studio album by Black Sabbath, released on 28 July 1975. The title Sabotage was chosen because at the time the band were being sued by their former management and felt they were being “sabotaged all the way along the line and getting punched from all sides”, according to guitarist Toni Iommi. He credits those legal troubles for the album’s angry, heavier sound. In 2001, bassist Geezer Butler explained in an interview that, “We found out that we were being ripped off by our management and our record company. So, much of the time, when we weren’t onstage or in the studio, we were in lawyer’s offices trying to get out of all our contracts. We were literally in the studio, trying to record, and we’d be signing all these affidavits and everything. That’s why it’s called Sabotage – because we felt that the whole process was just being totally sabotaged by all these people ripping us off.” Geezer claimed the band suffered through 10 months of legal cases and admitted, “music became irrelevant to me. It was a relief just to write a song. And in his autobiography I Am Ozzy, singer Ozzy confirms that “writs were being delivered to us at the mixing desk” and drummer Bill Ward “was manning the phones”.

“Symptom of the Universe” has been cited by many critics as one of the earliest examples of thrash metal, which emerged in the early 80’s and of course championed by “The BIG 4”, consisting of Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer! Iommi describes the song’s dynamics in his autobiography Iron Man: “It starts with an acoustic bit. Then it goes into the up-tempo stuff to give it that dynamic, and it does have a lot of changes to it, including the jam at the end.” The final part of “Symptom of the Universe” evolved from an in-studio improvisation, created very spontaneously in a single day and the decision was made to use it in that song.

Sabotage is a mix of heavy, powerful songs and softer experimental tunes. The album opener ‘Hole in the Sky’ and the crunching ‘Symptom of the Universe’ illustrate that! For all their problems, Sabbath’s power remained undimmed on what many consider one of their finest offerings.”

The album’s front cover art has garnered mixed reactions over the years and is regarded by some as one of the worst album covers in rock history. The inverted mirror concept was conceived by Graham Wright, Bill Ward’s drum tech who was also a graphic artist. The band attended what they originally believed was a test photo shoot for the album cover, thus explaining their choice of clothing. Said Ward, “The only thing we didn’t discuss was what we’d all wear on the day of the shot. Since that shoot day, the band has survived through a tirade of clothing comments and jokes that continue to this day”. Ward, in fact, was wearing his wife’s red tights in the photo. The original plan was for each member to appear on the cover dressed in black and had been instructed to bring some stage clothes for preliminary photos, but when they arrived no black costumes had been laid out by the designers and “the original concept had been overruled.” The designers “carried on with the shoot, explaining they would superimpose the images at a later stage and that it would look great, honest. The session was unbelievably rushed, and the outcome was far from what had been originally envisioned … Ironically, the sleeve design that was intended to illustrate the idea of sabotage had instead become a victim of sabotage itself. By the time they saw it, it was too late to change.”


Dio’s ‘Dream Evil’ Album Turns 30!

Originally released on July 21, 1987, Dream Evil was the fourth full-length album from Dio, the band led by former Rainbow and Black Sabbath frontman (and all-around metal legend) Ronnie James Dio. This was the first Dio album without guitarist Vivian Campbell and it features former Rough Cutt members Craig Goldy (who replaced Campbell) and Claude Schnell. It was the last Dio album to feature mascot Murray on the cover and the last to feature drummer Vinny Appice until the 1993 album Strange Highways. It was also the last album to feature bassist Jimmy Bain until the release of 2000’s Magica.

While it’s not as influential as Holy Diver or Last in Line, it’s hard to see Dream Evil as anything other than an essential heavy metal album. It’s a timeless, powerful Dio album, and one with some of his most enduring songs. Dream Evil is a must-have for true Dio fans, and a definite “should have” for just about any fan of the classic heavy metal era.

Dream Evil is a more than worthy continuation of the Dio legacy. Goldy and Dio together were a great combination, both in terms of songwriting and in the way their talents complemented each other. They carry forth the overall Dio sound while at the same time recapturing some of the magic of those early Rainbow albums. As a matter of fact the song “Night People,” that appears on the album, Ronnie had been fooling around with since his days in Rainbow. The album’s first half contains several classic tracks that range from high-speed metal to metal anthem to even a mournful epic. And while the second half isn’t quite as strong, it has a few monster songs and the single “I Could Have Been a Dreamer” which remains a fan favorite.

Dio’s Dream Evil is a must-own for any fan of the late legend and it received a remastered deluxe edition re-release, in 2013 that featured an extra disc featuring 15 bonus tracks. You get the studio song “Hide in the Rainbow” from the Dio EP (and the Iron Eagle soundtrack), the single edit of “I Could Have Been a Dreamer” as well as a full 12-song live performance from the 1987 Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington. It also includes an expanded booklet loaded with vintage photos and notes by British metal journalist Malcolm Dome, which was endorsed by Ronnie’s widow, Wendy. It’s a fantastic reissue all around! Yes, it’s a bit pricy, but it’s worth every penny! It does not disappoint.