Black Sabbath (8:24)

Cover of Black Sabbath

From Black Sabbath and 106 other releases

“Black Sabbath” is a song by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, written in 1969 and released on the band’s debut album, Black Sabbath.

According to the band, the song was inspired by an experience that Geezer Butler had related to Ozzy Osbourne. In the days of Earth, Butler painted his apartment matte black and placed several inverted crucifixes on the walls. Osbourne gave Butler a book about witchcraft. He read the book and placed the book on a shelf before going to sleep. When he woke up, he claims he saw a large black figure standing at the end of his bed. The figure disappeared and Butler went to get the book, only to find that the book was gone. He then told Osbourne, who wrote the lyrics to the song.

A version of this song from Black Sabbath’s first demo exists on the Ozzy Osbourne compilation album The Ozzman Cometh. The song has an extra verse with additional vocals from Osbourne, right before the bridge into the fast part of the song.

The main riff, a retarded variation of Gustav Holst’s main theme from “Mars, the Bringer of War” (“The Planets, Op. 32”), is constructed with a harmonic progression including a diminished fifth. This particular interval is often known as ‘diabolus in musica’, for it has musical qualities which are often used to suggest satanic connotations in Western music. The song “Black Sabbath” was one of the earliest examples in heavy metal to make use of this interval, and since then, the genre has made extensive use of diabolus in musica.


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What is this that stands before me?
Figure in black which points at me
Turn around quick and start to run
Find out I'm the chosen one, oh nooo!

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • AdvocatedApocal

    listenning to this with headphones kills your left ear, this is the true left hand path !

    23 Jul 2:48am Reply
  • HayleighRayment

    Ozzy Osborne

    20 Jul 8:30pm Reply
  • GhostFame

    Your balls would've exploded if you would've listened this in 1970.[3]

    19 Jul 8:26pm Reply
  • Adder2857

    in the field

    12 Jul 4:31am Reply
  • Schlockischlo

    how fucking awesome is that solo/outro part?!!

    17 Jun 3:46pm Reply
  • NEGRAtheband

    dong dong donnnggggggggg

    1 Jun 2:29am Reply
  • cerealkiller_x

    44 years later and heavy metal bands are still unable to replicate the ferocity and menacing atmosphere of this song [2] sad but true

    28 Apr 6:20pm Reply
  • IBrokeTheOath

    I would love for someone to do a good black metal cover of this.

    25 Apr 6:26pm Reply
  • rOnieAirhead

    yo guys we are bored so we want to invent doom fucking metal yes because we can.

    23 Apr 9:23pm Reply
  • rafael_freitas

    Black Metal ? How cute...

    18 Apr 3:38pm Reply
  • juuniorlel


    17 Apr 2:52pm Reply
  • robsonyoroku

    Still waiting for the day when someone will find out where Iommi hid his time machine. He was far ahead of his time, he's still ahead of our time.

    10 Apr 12:26am Reply
  • Slayer-Fan

    Three fucking notes of pure darkness

    15 Mar 10:46am Reply
  • vinman76

    I seen the 13 tour in Detroit at the DTE Theatre in Aug 2013 ,They played this song..It sent chills down my spine! It was one hell of a show!!!! To bad Bill Ward wasn t with them.

    12 Mar 2:29pm Reply
  • acrdj


    4 Mar 12:02am Reply
  • xhopeboone

    Your balls would've exploded if you would've listened this in 1970.[2]

    25 Feb 12:29am Reply
  • parys_pl

    Can't imagine listening to this in 1970. Still today one of the heaviest songs ever. [1]

    14 Feb 2:06pm Reply
  • deathsdemise123

    What a voice...

    10 Feb 11:24pm Reply
  • Taiteki


    7 Feb 2:28pm Reply
  • AwesomeMatthew

    44 years later and heavy metal bands are still unable to replicate the ferocity and menacing atmosphere of this song.

    31 Jan 11:43pm Reply
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