ROIO of the Week
[Recordings of Indeterminate Origin]




Click on the panels to download artwork

Black Sabbath
Asbury Park NJ, Aug 5, 1975 [no label 2CD]

Muthafucker. The best live recording of Black Sabbath from their glory days emerged on the internet only in 2001. It was a stereo soundboard recording that was made for broadcast on the popular ‘70s radio show, The King Biscuit Flower Hour. Recorded in August 1975 at the start of the Sabotage tour, the band was Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. The original and best version of Black Sabbath.

Asbury Park was a triumph in many ways. Black Sabbath was different from the heavy bands of the ‘70s in that they traded in Satanic images and invited the glare of the guardians of public morality. Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple were mild compared to the "hidden message" of Black Sabbath. The band don’t disappoint either.

Straight off you can hear Ozzy shout a couple of "fucks", hardly ever heard on a Led Zep, Uriah Heep, Free or Deep Purple concert from that period. For good measure, Ozzy even calls for a "muthafucker", something accepted in movies today and also in gangsta rap but this was ancient 1975 in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where Bruce Springsteen was honing his skill as the man born to run. By Ozzy’s own account, there were countless times they had a hard time while touring the American heartlands with an act that enraged Christians.

Tony Iommi lets rip on two long guitar solos, the extended Zabbra Cadabra [20 mins plus a Bill Ward solo] and the instrumental jam that includes Orchid and Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor. Asbury Park also offers very tasty renditions of Black Sabbath classics War Pigs, Iron Man, Snowblind and Children of the Grave. Mostly the gig was to showcase their previous album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and the new one, Sabotage, not yet released at the time of the concert.

Like proto-punks, Black Sabbath lyrically were anti-war and anti-authority. It is to their credit that they survived the ‘70s long enough to establish heavy metal as something beyond just loudness, guitar riffs and posing. Children of the Grave and War Pigs were message songs and Black Sabbath’s satanic image was a mirror that reflected the anti-war message. No other metal band from that period took such risks with message-laden songs.

Try to imagine wearing black in $ingapore, playing heavy metal and saying "muthafucker" on stage while playing anti-government songs and you will know what Black Sabbath had to go through for their music to be accepted. It’s a pleasure then to hear Ozzy work the crowd for the encore, a classic rendition of their only hit, Paranoid.

Asbury Park is the full, unedited show that finally arrived on bootleg under such titles as Heaven And Earth, Sabotaged, Accidental Overdose, Let Slip The Pigs Of War and Dying To Live. This version is a fan thing, compiled from the bootlegs but eliminating several unrelated jams that are probably not even by Black Sabbath. You can finally put away the official live albums - the unwelcomed Live At Last which was released without Black Sabbath's approval and the Ozzy-less Live Evil from 1982, long after rigor mortis had set in. By the way, Past Lives, the double CD Black Sabbath released in 2002, includes three songs from the Asbury Park show and the entire Live At Last on disc 1.

Okay, let’s hear Ozzy say "muthafucker" one more time because you will never hear him say it with the same meaning ever again. - Michael Cheah

How The Show Surfaced

This is what was reported in sabbathlive.com: A highly respected Sabbath collector contacted King Biscuit to inquire about the full release of their 1975 show, which was thought to be from Philadelphia by most people at the time. King Biscuit had been taking requests for future releases, so this was a completely legitimate request. Their initial response was that the show "wasn't good enough". But once the KB engineers had a listen to the tapes, they quickly discovered how wrong their assessment was. One of them even asked the collector to identify a song for them. It turned out to be "Spiral Architect"! Also, the tapes were identified as being from the Asbury Park show, NOT Philadelphia as previously thought. [Note: However, the engineer did claim the date was still 8/6/75, although the Asbury Park show has been proven to be a day earlier. Sabbath performed in Philadelphia on 7/31/75.]

The King Biscuit kindly sent the collector a complimentary copy of the show, since there were now plans to release it officially. But when he tried to follow up on this release a few months later, the King Biscuit employee no longer worked there and the release was apparently nixed. And it was from this 'advance promo' that the current slew of Asbury Park bootlegs originated from.

For more, visit sabbathlive.com.


Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality, stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kibit/s). As far as we can ascertain, apart from Hole In The Sky, Symptom of the Universe and Megalomania, none of the tracks have been officially released.

The tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at mybigo@bigozine.com if you want to download these tracks at a later time.

 
Disc 1
Track 01 Supertzar/Killing Yourself To Live (8.4MB)
Track 02 Hole In The Sky*
Track 03 Snowblind (8.2MB)
Track 04 Symptom Of The Universe*
Track 05 War Pigs (10.5MB)
Track 06 Intermission (1.0MB)
Track 07 Megalomania*
 
Disc 2
Track 01 Zabbra Cadabbra (including jam, guitar solo and drum solo) (27.9MB)
Track 02 Supernaut (3.2MB)
Track 03 Iron Man (8.6MB)
Track 04 Instrumental Jam
(including Orchid, Rock'n'Roll Doctor and guitar solo II) (12.0MB)
Track 05 Black Sabbath (9.3MB)
Track 06 Spiral Architect (6.2MB)
Track 07 Children Of The Grave (7.7MB)
Track 08 Paranoid (5.6MB)

'Note: *Hole in the Sky, Symptom of the Universe and Megalomania are available on Past Lives, which was released in 2002.

Click on the link to order Black Sabbath albums, including Past Lives.

+ + + + +

Bill Ward's Straws

 
On Oct 8, 2002, Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward offered Straws, the single from the album, as a free MP3 download on his website, http://www.billward.com.

Ward quotes: "The song represents my fear towards yet another violent escalation of arms, and what seems to be an inevitable war with unaccountable consequences. I stand with my wife, and children, and loved ones across the globe, and with my friends, in affirmation that peaceful solutions must be sought at all costs."

The song, however, is no longer available for download.





For more... email mybigo@bigozine.com with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."


 









 
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