On this day in 1972….

…..Black Sabbath’s fourth long player, the cunningly titled ‘Black Sabbath Vol.4’ was released. Featuring a monochrome image of Ozzy with outstretched arms, the album was given the working title ‘Snowblind’, referencing several songs that referred to the band’s fondness for the old ‘devil’s dandruff’…..

BLACK SABBATH Vol. 4: 1976 UK issue of the 1972 10-track LP, including Wheels Of Confusion, Tomorrow’s Dream, Changes & Supernaut, gatefold picture sleeve with integral photo booklet, more info here


Here’s a feature taken from LA Weekly where Bill Ward remembers the making of the album…

“Snowblind” in L.A.: Bill Ward Remembers the Making of Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4

Black Sabbath in 1970

So how loud was it inside the Record Plant — then located near the corner of 3rd Street and La Cienega Boulevard — as Black Sabbath recorded basic tracks, all in the same room, for Vol. 4, the only album the band’s original lineup ever recorded in Los Angeles?

“I think that question might be a little difficult for me because I’m on cans, on headphones, while we’re tracking. But I’m sure we played pretty fucking loud,” says drummer Bill Ward with a laugh. “I would walk into the studio when Tony was doing his [guitar] overdubs and man, it’s just like holy fucking shit, really loud. And that’s just doing overdubs. Or Geezer. The [speaker] cabs are flying, man, there’s no doubt about it.”

After recording their first three brilliant, heavy-metal-pioneering albums in England, in spring 1972 Black Sabbath — Ward, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and singer Ozzy Osbourne — were living in a rented Bel-Air mansion while working on the follow-up to their 1971 disc, Master of Reality.

This was the band’s most experimental music yet. The piano balladry of “Changes.” An orchestra on the haunting coke paean “Snowblind.” Cuban rhythmic influences on “Supernaut,” a track with such an infectious, powerful groove it “was one of John Bonham’s favorite songs, actually,” Ward says. And of course Sabbath’s hallmark mix of savage guitars, jazz-gone-wild rhythmic counterpoint and Osbourne’s eerie, melodic vocals.

“We had been working literally non-stop,” says Ward, a total English gentleman who now lives in Seal Beach. “At that point we’d been on the road I think for probably about four years and we hadn’t stopped. We’d visited L.A. when we played concerts here and all of us liked Los Angeles. We felt it was pretty laid-back here, so we probably were attracted to the fact it was a much slower pace here and we could actually relax.”
Read more at LA Weekly
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