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It was the summer of 1976 and I was 11 years old. Tommy, my neighbor, ran up to me and said "Billy, you got to hear this album I just got." Having nothing better to do I agreed to listen, and my life has never been the same as we arrived at his place and he pulled out We sold our Soul for Rock N' Roll and put it on. Besides having the grammatical flaw in it's title this is a classic piece of doom history. From the opening sounds of the storm I knew this was going to be something different, something daring, something scary as hell. I was a christian kid when I heard this and thought up til that point bands like Kiss and Blue Oyster Cult and the like were heavy. They weren't shit compared to the almighty Black Sabbath. These tracks and their original albums scared the hell out of me and put the fear of god in my heart.
The precursors to today's Black Metal? Maybe. One of the founders of Doom and stoner? Hell yeah. When I first heard Ozzy sing " My name is Lucifer, please take my hand." it gave me nightmares. This put Alice Cooper and his nightmares to shame. Even the insane laughter at the end of Am I going Insane? was new and scary at the time. And I was instantly hooked.
Jump ahead to 1979 and I'm stoned and cutting school when I run into my friend Eric. He's like " Bill I got a bag and tunes at the pad, wanna pop over?" And I replied " Hell yeah, whatcha got?" And he replied " A half and some Black Sabbath." And along we went to his pad. He broke out a bag, his bong, fired up the stereo and proceeded to play songs at random.
We coughed along with the beginning of Sweet Leaf and sang along with the pro-marijuana lyrics. Changes( A decent piano ballad) came on and I remembered how I played the song and sang along when my girlfriend, Kathy, broke up with me. I real good breakup song. Least it was good before Kelly Osbourne killed it.
As we got higher I remembered how I first felt at hearing songs like Paranoid, Iron Man and Children of the Grave. We talked about the songs on this double album set and both agreed this was some of the best shit we ever heard. This was the way doom was meant to be played, fuzzed, distorted, downtuned and desperate. And scary. Doom needs to have that feeling of danger, that fear inducing feeling that steadily gnaws at you because deep down we like to be scared and possibly need it too.
Jump to today and I'm high listening to these tunes and remembering long past daze gone bye. My youngest son is 18 and I am a Grandfather now and my how things have changed. Ozzy is doing commercials and Black Sabbath is basically history at the time of this review (March 8th-2011) and Songs like Paranoid, War Pigs and Iron Man are played daily on the local classic rock station.. I have not seen Tommy or Eric in ages and I owe them both a big thanks for introducing me to these sounds. My youngest is in the Living room playing Warriors of rock on the X-Box. The song Children of the grave is coming at me as he plays it flawlessly. And we are still living in scary times with the same fears and new ones. And these songs still hold up, timeless they shall remain to entertain us and dare I say, still scare.
This is a good greatest hits package and a good starting place for those who want to know what true doom is and for those who like to be scared. "Oh noooooooooooooo, please God help me!" Accept no substitute, this was one of the originals and I would have to say best doom band and deserves to be in any fan of the genre's collection. With every song a classic on this collection you can do no wrong by getting it. Or better yet buy the original albums the songs came from. Either way add these metal gods to your collection if you have not done so already. You will be glad you did.
Keep it Heavy.