Vol. 4 CD (1989)

Artist: Black Sabbath

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Product Overview


Label Wea/warner Bros.
SKU 60147065
UPC 075992725927
UPC 14 00075992725927
Format CD
Release Date 3/9/1989
Author Black Sabbath
Compilation Appearance Dazed & Confused
Compilation Appearance Detroit Rock City
Compilation Appearance Dio Anthology: Shut Up And Shout
Compilation Appearance Prince Of Darkness
Compilation Appearance Late Night Tales
Compilation Appearance Ozzfest 2001 The Second Millenium
Associated Artist/Work Czech String Quartet (The)
Associated Artist/Work Iommi, Tony
Artist Influence Blue Cheer
Artist Influence Cream
Artist Influence Elf (Band)
Artist Influence Iron Butterfly
Artist Influence Jimi Hendrix
Artist Influence John Mayall
Artist Influence Screaming Lord Sutch
Artist Influence The Beatles
Artist Influence The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Artist Influence The Kinks
Artist Influence The Who
Artist Influence The Yardbirds
Artist Influence Vanilla Fudge
Artist Influence Yes
Artist Contemporary Alex Harvey (Rock)
Artist Contemporary Alice Cooper
Artist Contemporary April Wine
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Artist Follower 45 Grave
Artist Follower A Perfect Circle
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Artist Follower Zeni Geva
Technical Info
Engineer Colin Caldwell; Vic Smith; Colin Caldwell; Vic Smith
Producer Black Sabbath; Patrick Meehan; Black Sabbath; Patrick Meehan
CatalogID 2-2602
Lable Name Warner Bros.
Released 04/26/1988
Original Release 1972
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 42m : 38s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00075992725927
Album Notes and Credits
Black Sabbath: Geezer Butler (bass instrument); Bill Ward (drums); Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi.
Personnel: Ozzy Osbourne (vocals); Tony Iommi (guitar).
Audio Remasterer: Ray Staff.
Liner Note Author: Hugh Gilmour.
Recording information: Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA (09/1972).
Photographers: Ross Halfin; Chris Walter.
Arranger: Black Sabbath.
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
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.
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..."
Disc 1
1 Wheels Of Confusion / The Straightener
2 Tomorrow's Dream
3 Changes
4 FX
5 Supernaut
6 Snowblind
7 Cornucopia
8 Laguna Sunrise
9 St. Vitus' Dance
10 Under The Sun / Everyday Comes And Goes

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