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"The First Metal Band"

(Polls were open from July 15 - August 6 1997.)

The polls have closed and ONE band stands alone head and shoulders above the rest. A band that has since bound all that have followed. Emerging from the musical quagmire of the late 1960's and early 70's was a band that lead the way to what we now call heavy metal. In 1968 that band went under the moniker "Earth" and began by playing charged blues. Soon the band evolved and became BLACK SABBATH. Based on all the votes sent in, Black Sabbath is by far the first metal band!!

According to the votes no other band even deserves an honorable mention. A couple of you sent me your comments along with the vote, some of which were quite interesting and thoughtful. Since so many of you have agreed upon this question I've decided to provide a brief early history of the band below courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.....enjoy.


"Formed in Birmington, England in 1968, the four man powerhouse know as Black Sabbath pioneered a bone-crunching rock and roll assault that laid the foundations for the heavy metal revolution that swept popular music in the 70's and 80's. While the band's blistering machismo and mysticism set a standard for countless groups to follow, the 1970 self-titled debut album remains on of the most innovative and influential long players in rock history.

Comprised of Ozzy Osbourne (vocalist), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums), the quartet was initially know by the name Earth and took their hometown pub-and-club circuit by storm with a high energy blend of blues and rock. Schoolmates from a working class Birmington neighborhood, the group earned a fervent following throughout the English Midlands and in 1968 changed their name to Black Sabbath. The new moniker reflected the band's penchant for moody, dark-hued music that matched supernatural themes with supercharged ensemble playing. In 1969 they entered the recording studio to cut their first album.

The result is the landmark 'Black Sabbath.' Produced by Rodger Bain, 'Black Sabbath' highlights five original compositions from the band. In addition to such classic cuts as "The Wizard," "Wicked World" and their signature song "Black Sabbath," the album contains two other outstanding tracks, blending road-tested material into eerie, extended song suites. The medley "A Bit of Finger," "Sleeping Village" and "Warning" clocks in at over fourteen minutes, while a ten minutes-plus mix of "Wasp," "Behind The Wall of Sleep," "Bassically" and "N.I.B." remains one of the most powerful and propulsive cuts in the group's recording history.

Black Sabbath eventually reached the top ten on British charts where it remained for three months and earned the band a devoted cult following on both sides of the Atlantic."

This is but the first chapter of the Black Sabbath saga which is STILL being written today with three of the original members (everyone but Bill Ward for some reason) performing together for a short set on this summer's OzFest tour.


(This page: August 6, 1997.)