Daily Dose: ‘Sweet Leaf’ by Black Sabbath

Do you remember Black Sabbath? Of course you do, Black Sabbath were absolutely amazing. Anyway, apparently Sharon and Ozzy Ozbourne (of this parish) have split up, so I can look forward to that dominating entertainment news cycles for a bit. I’d been meaning to talk about this song anyway, as one of the tracks that doesn’t get quite as much play as the really famous ones (basically anything off of Paranoid), and that brouhaha has given me a perfect chance to do so. But seriously, what a stunning song by a sensational band. In the seventies, was they’re anything cooler than four lads from Birmingham with long hair, leather jackets and the occasional horseshoe moustache? The answer is no. No there was not. This was the first track from their third album, Master of Reality (1971, or “the follow up to Paranoid“), and it’s got some fairly heavy references to the Marijuanas in it. Supposedly, that coughing sound at the start of the track is Tony Iommi having a coughing fit after Ozbourne handed him an enormous joint, which is kind of the least metal thing I can think of and I love it. They probably all played it stoned as well, it’s known to enhance musicianship, after all. If this is an example of stoner rock, it’s a pretty good thing to have associated with it; it’s the sort of song I’d want representing me, for sure, with the signature bluesy riff and powerful bottom line providing a serenade for those predisposed to the alternative lifestyle. Christ could Bill Ward, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler play, though. These kids playing metal today, they could learn a thing or two from these cats, y’hear.


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