without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Feels Good to Me, also known as "that shit song from Tyr" is what we have before us here. There's not much one can say about the title track, especially which has not been already said by those other reviews here, its a shit song and doesn't fit the Sabbath canon or feel like a real Black Sabbath song in any way. If this was a one-track CD Single then I'd say don't even go near it with a barge pole.
But it isn't. On the B-Side are a couple of live tracks, namely "Paranoid" and (If you own the 12" or CD Single,) "Heaven and Hell". Now Paranoid is superbly performed, utterly wonderful, one of my favourite renditions of the song, including an evolution on the guitar solo and a few unusual quirks in the guitar parts which Iommi added in to keep things interesting. Tony Martin's singing is also top notch. As per tradition, it reprises into Heaven and Hell. Overall, this song is brilliant and document's Tony Martin's live performance with Black Sabbath. If only the same could be said for Heaven and Hell...
Once again, the whole band are on form, superb work by all the members of the band. It's at the production where I have a problem. As I am sure you know, Heaven and Hell has a part where it slows down through Iommi's first guitar solo, after which Tony introduces the band to the crowd (earning much respect for member Geoff Nicholls, top marks sir). Now, once this is done, the song gets to the part were it speeds back up to the "you say that life's a carrousel" bit, and they set it up excellently with it dropping off, and Tony (Martin) shouting "Listen!" wherein you expect to hear Mr Cozy Powell start smacking the shit out of his snare drum. But no, what do that do? Cut directly to "Paranoid", missing out best part of the song. This wouldn't be as bad if I didn't know that the ending of the song was actually fucking recorded, you can find it (and the whole concert) on YouTube (just look up Black Sabbath Live in Russia 1989 and have a field day). So in short, Heaven and Hell is mostly just the first verse, then a jam, and that's about it. It's not like, I dunno, you can't fit another three or four minuets on a fucking CD single!
But all in all, its probably worth getting if you adore Tony Martin's tenure with the band or are a completionist, we don't have any other official Tony Martin recordings that I know of, other than Cross Purposes Live which doesn't feature the excellent Iommi/Martin/Powell/Murray lineup and is as rare as finding someone who likes the title track to this single...
With the exception of the solitary single from the brief Glenn Hughes interlude that this band had a few years prior, this is the closest Sabbath ever got to morphing into a glam rock outfit, although the album that it came off of was anything but that style of music. It really has little to do with the various parts, but rather how the sum is presented in this particular single. The principle clean section during the verses are a somewhat simplified version of Iommi’s various ballad riffs in the vain of “Children Of The Sea”, “Nightwing”, and even a bit of the intro to “Anno Mundi”. Likewise, the chorus riff is vintage fair Sabbath of the sort that you might have heard on anything in the Dio or earlier Martin albums, with maybe a tinge of the mid 70s portion of the Ozzy era.
The principle reason why this might come off as a hair band power ballad is almost entirely due to the sappy plotline of the music video, which is all but a direct homage to Whitesnake, but with somewhat of a more philosophical sense to it and a cynicism that was nowhere to be found in Coverdale’s various personal odes to his supermodel significant other. However, things are helped along quite significantly by the intro guitar solo being slashed out along with a bit of the second solo too. What ordinarily would be a fairly drawn out affair with Iommi developing a good set of lead ideas turns into a straightforward rock ballad with some lead guitar window dressing, which is basically what every Aerosmith ballad since the 80s has amounted to.
The silver lining to this though, as well as the real reason why anyone would want to track this down is the live version of “Paranoid”. This is one of very few instances where Tony Martin is able to outdo Ronnie Dio, as the latter’s interpretation of the Ozzy era classic has always sounded a little too theatrical and not as twisted as it should. The guitar solo has been altered pretty significantly to account for Tony Iommi’s more technical lead approach at this juncture. But the kicker of the whole thing is that amazing finale where the reprise the intro to “Heaven And Hell”, and spend about a minute riling up the audience before finally ending the thing. I think at one point Cozy Powell actually starts banging a giant tam-tam in between doing the free time drum ad lib on his kit.
Since the release of “Black Sabbath – In Moscow” about 6 months ago, this has basically become obsolete for anyone who has a European compatible DVD player. But until it becomes available here in the states, my fellow American metal maniacs might want to think twice about passing this up if they see it in a bargain basket somewhere. It’s probably worth about $5 at the most, but it is something that you can’t really get anywhere else at the time being.
Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on May 8, 2009.
Well this has to be without doubt the wankest Sabbath song ever, it sounds like one of those piss weak power ballads Aerosmith have been making for the past couple of decades.
‘Tyr’ was without doubt an excellent Sabbath album and a continuation of the Tony Martin era resurgence. However, this song is absolute cheese and to be fair a lot of ‘Tyr’ or ‘Headless Cross’ was cheesy but in a “hell yes, sweet mullet Tony!” kind of way whereas this is just cringe worthy. This line up of Sabbath was undoubtedly of a high musical pedigree but even some over the top drumming from the late great Cozy Powell and a tasty guitar solo can’t save this abomination. Most of the second half of the ‘Tyr’ album dealt with an epic conceptual theme that had something to do with Norse mythology but this is just another power ballad love song almost indistinguishable from hundreds of others in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Sabbath hadn’t had a big hit in quite some time by 90 (in fact big hits were fairly elusive after ‘Paranoid’ anyway) so maybe the two Tony’s, Cozy, Neil and Geoff though “lets steal some of Whitesnake’s fan base” and came up with this complete dross of a ballad. The verses are bland, the bridge reminds me of all those horrendous Aerosmith songs that come on at the end of bad American films and the chorus’ continues that vibe. Aside from this song ‘Tyr’ is an epic and grandiose metal album proving that the band despite critical onslaught and only having one original member could still deliver some exceptional metal. But ‘Feels Good To Me’ showed somewhat of an Achilles heel, as even heavy metal Gods like Sabbath were susceptible to writing absolute crap in the hope of achieving that ever elusive big hit single.
Other potential puns I simply didn’t have room for in the review;
Tyred, Tyrd, Feels Like White Lion To Me, Tyr’s in the Attic, Tyrny Kitaen…I could go on.