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Vol. 4 (1972)

Artist: Black Sabbath
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Learn more about Vol. 4:

Format: CD
Sku: 60147065
UPC: 075992725927
UPC 14: 00075992725927
Release Date: 3/9/1989
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Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Wheels Of Confusion / The Straightener ~ Black Sabbath
2. Tomorrow's Dream ~ Black Sabbath
3. Changes ~ Black Sabbath
4. FX ~ Black Sabbath
5. Supernaut ~ Black Sabbath
6. Snowblind ~ Black Sabbath
7. Cornucopia ~ Black Sabbath
8. Laguna Sunrise ~ Black Sabbath
9. St. Vitus' Dance ~ Black Sabbath
10. Under The Sun / Everyday Comes And Goes ~ Black Sabbath

Album Notes and Credits

Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Black Sabbath: Geezer Butler (bass instrument); Bill Ward (drums); Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi.
Muze PNote Personnel: Ozzy Osbourne (vocals); Tony Iommi (guitar).
Muze PNote Audio Remasterer: Ray Staff.
Muze PNote Liner Note Author: Hugh Gilmour.
Muze PNote Recording information: Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA (09/1972).
Muze PNote Photographers: Ross Halfin; Chris Walter.
Muze PNote Arranger: Black Sabbath.
Muze PNote Vol. 4 is the point in Black Sabbath's career where the band's legendary drug consumption really starts to make itself felt. And it isn't just in the lyrics, most of which are about the blurry line between reality and illusion. Vol. 4 has all the messiness of a heavy metal Exile on Main St., and if it lacks that album's overall diversity, it does find Sabbath at their most musically varied, pushing to experiment amidst the drug-addled murk. As a result, there are some puzzling choices made here (not least of which is the inclusion of "FX"), and the album often contradicts itself. Ozzy Osbourne's wail is becoming more powerful here, taking greater independence from Tony Iommi's guitar riffs, yet his vocals are processed into a nearly textural element on much of side two. Parts of Vol. 4 are as ultra-heavy as Master of Reality, yet the band also takes its most blatant shots at accessibility to date -- and then undercuts that very intent. The effectively concise "Tomorrow's Dream" has a chorus that could almost be called radio-ready, were it not for the fact that it only appears once in the entire song. "St. Vitus Dance" is surprisingly upbeat, yet the distant-sounding vocals don't really register. The notorious piano-and-Mellotron ballad "Changes" ultimately fails not because of its change-of-pace mood, but more for a raft of the most horrendously clich?d rhymes this side of "moon-June." Even the crushing "Supernaut" -- perhaps the heaviest single track in the Sabbath catalog -- sticks a funky, almost danceable acoustic breakdown smack in the middle. Besides "Supernaut," the core of Vol. 4 lies in the midtempo cocaine ode "Snowblind," which was originally slated to be the album's title track until the record company got cold feet, and the multi-sectioned prog-leaning opener, "Wheels of Confusion." The latter is one of Iommi's most complex and impressive compositions, varying not only riffs but textures throughout its eight minutes. Many doom and stoner metal aficionados prize the second side of the album, where Osbourne's vocals gradually fade further and further away into the murk, and Iommi's guitar assumes center stage. The underrated "Cornucopia" strikes a better balance of those elements, but by the time "Under the Sun" closes the album, the lyrics are mostly lost under a mountain of memorable, contrasting riffery. Add all of this up, and Vol. 4 is a less cohesive effort than its two immediate predecessors, but is all the more fascinating for it. Die-hard fans sick of the standards come here next, and some end up counting this as their favorite Sabbath record for its eccentricities and for its embodiment of the band's excesses. ~ Steve Huey

Producer: Black Sabbath; Patrick Meehan; Black Sabbath; Patrick Meehan

Engineer: Colin Caldwell; Vic Smith; Colin Caldwell; Vic Smith

Artist Overview

Known worldwide as the embodiment of heavy metal, England's Black Sabbath enveloped the 1970s in a dense fog of apocalyptic imagery, monolithic guitar riffs, and horror-movie lyrics. When frontman Ozzy Osbourne left the band in 1979 for a highly successful solo career, the band soldiered on with a number of replacements, including Rainbow's Ronnie James Dio. In 1997, Ozzy and his former bandmates staged a much-publicized reunion. In the 2000s, when Ozzy got busy with solo recordings, Ozzfest, and his reality show THE OSBOURNES, Dio stepped in once again to front another incarnation of the band.
Artist Followers
45 Grave | A Perfect Circle | Accept | Acid Mothers Temple | Alice in Chains | Atreyu | Audioslave | Band of Susans | Biohazard | Black Flag (Punk) | Black Mountain | Blue Snaggletooth | Bolt Thrower | Boredoms | Boris (Japan) | Bulbous Creation | Candlebox | Cannibal Corpse | Carcass | Cathedral | Celtic Frost | Chevelle | Clutch | Coal Chamber | Coheed and Cambria | Cradle of Filth | Danzig | Dead Confederate | Dead Meadow | Death | Def Leppard | Deftones | Die Krupps | Dinosaur Jr. | Disturbed | Downset | Dream Theater | Dungen | Electric Wizard | Entombed | Faith No More | Fear Factory | Foo Fighters | Fu Manchu | Godflesh | Godsmack | Great White | Harvey Milk (Band) | Iced Earth | Isis | Killing Joke | King's X | Kiss | Korn | Kyuss | Lacuna Coil | Lamb of God | Laughing Hyenas | Lightning Bolt | Lordi (Finland) | Loudness | M?tley Cre | Machine Head | Manowar | Mastodon | Mercyful Fate | Metallica | Ministry | Misfits (U.S.) | Monster Magnet | Morbid Angel | Mother Love Bone | My Dying Bride | My Morning Jacket | Napalm Death | Neurosis | Nickelback | Nirvana (US) | Opeth | Orange Goblin | Otep | Overkill | Pantera | Papa Roach | Pelican | Poison the Well | Primus | Queens of the Stone Age | Queensr?che | Ratt | Rollins Band | Rush | Salome (Metal) | Samsara Blues Experiment | Saxon | Screaming Trees | Sepultura | Skin Yard | Sleep | Slipknot | Sodom | Soulfly | Soundgarden | Spinal Tap | Staind | Suicidal Tendencies | Sunn 0))) | System of a Down | Tenacious D | Tesla | Testament | The Atomic Bitchwax | The Cult | The Darkness | The Fucking Champs | Thrones | Toadies | Trivium | Twisted Sister | Van Halen | Venom | Voivod | W.A.S.P. | White Zombie | Wipers | Zeni Geva

Compilation Appearances

Muze Music Compilations Dazed & Confused
Muze Music Compilations Dio Anthology: Shut Up And Shout
Muze Music Compilations Ozzfest 2001 The Second Millenium
Muze Music Compilations Prince Of Darkness

Associated Artists and Works

Czech String Quartet (The)
Iommi, Tony
Seventh Star [PA] ~ Iommi, Tony
Iron Horse (Bluegrass)
Lounge Brigade (The)
Osbourne, Ozzy
Rockabye Baby!
Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Black Sabbath ~ Rockabye Baby!
Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions Of Black Sabbath ~ Various Artists

Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 04/26/1988
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 1972
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : 2-2602
Music Label Name Label : Warner Bros.
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00075992725927

Professional Reviews

Rolling Stone (12/7/72, p.63)
- "...Storms of liquid metal...the Sabs pour it on...The Sabs are genius..."

Q (6/00, p.69)
- Ranked #60 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "...The sound of drug-taking, beer-guzzling hooligans from Britain's oft-pilloried cultural armpit let loose in LA..."

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