We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll

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The Best From Metal's Dark Lords

Jul 18, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Awesome guitar riffs. Classic songs.

Cons:The CD has omitted two tracks from the original release.

The Bottom Line: An excellent "greatest hits" CD from one of rocks most influential bands.


Any survey of the early roots of heavy metal invariably leads to the music of Black Sabbath. With their dark, heavy, power-chord laden tunes, this English quartet inspired an entire generation of rockers. Their album We Sold Our Souls For Rock ‘N’ Roll is a “greatest hits” compilation, and represents a collection of the bands finest offerings.

Tracks:
1. Black Sabbath
2. The Wizard
3. Paranoid
4. War Pigs
5. Iron Man
6. Tomorrow’s Dream
7. Fairies Wear Boots
8. Changes
9. Sweet Leaf
10. Children Of The Grave
11. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
12. Am I Going Insane (Radio)
13. Snowblind
14. N.I.B.

(Omitted from the CD version: “Warning” and “Laguna Sunrise”)

Musicians:
Ozzy Osborne – Vocals
Tony Iommi – Guitar
Geezer Butler – Bass
Bill Ward – Drums

Breakdown:
Beginning guitar players are often guided to various songs to learn certain basics. The easiest way to keep a beginner’s attention and interest in the instrument is to have them learn how to play something – anything – that sounds cool and they can show off to their friends. One example that comes to mind is the Deep Purple classic, Smoke On The Water - simple to play and can be taught in less than five minutes.

It is probably because of this reason that Black Sabbath has been cited by many musical artists as being so influential to their early development. The simple, yet incredibly memorable guitar riffs that pervade their music has become fodder for guitar teachers and their students everywhere. I know that as a teen, upon joining my first band, the very first song I learned to jam to was Paranoid. I hadn’t been playing the bass guitar for even three months, and already I was rocking out as though I had been playing my whole life. Eventually, I was encouraged to move beyond this one song and check out other Sabbath tunes, learning to learn and appreciate the finer details of their music.

This album is a collection of their finest tunes, and indeed, is also a collection of some of the best rock music ever made. It is quintessential Sabbath – dark, scary, horrific music conjured from the netherworld. The songs are compiled from their first six albums. The copy that I have has actually omitted two songs that could be found on the original double length vinyl and cassette versions, in order to fit onto one CD. Even still, their absence is barely noticed and doesn’t detract from the quality in the slightest.

Hot Spots:
Black Sabbath - The opening track can only be described is pure evil. It is a dark, nightmarish song about going to hell and confronting Satan himself. The guitar is eerie and dissonant, with wide-open spaces for increased dramatic effect. Ozzy’s vocals really carry a sense of dread and despair.

Paranoid - This simplistic two-chord rocker has almost become a musical clich, despite its status as a rock standard. Even today, no Ozzy concert is complete until this song is played. And perhaps the most memorable aspect of the song is it’s opening line: Finished with my woman cause she couldn’t help me with my mind. (And for that rare musician who doesn’t know how to play this song…the chords are E and D)

War Pigs - Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest anti-war songs ever written. Sure, when you think the term “anti-war music”, one probably calls up imagines of pot-smoking, acoustic guitar wielding hippies dancing in the mud at Woodstock. But heavy metallers, despite the charges of glorifying violence in their songs, can be equally conscious of the value of peace. Classic lines like: “Generals gathered in their masses / Just like witches as black masses / Evil minds that plot destruction / Sorcerors of death’s construction” ; and “Politicians hide themselves away / They only started the war / Why should they go out to the fight / they leave that all to the poor” really showcase the bands anger about such calamities.

Iron Man - Any beginning guitar student that is not shown how to play the main riff from this song has been defrauded by his instructor. This is one of the most identifiable songs ever, and could be picked out of a line up by even non-rock fans. It has a great middle section where the band breaks it down into a free-for-all jam session, showcasing that band has great improvisational skills and musicianship.

Changes - To provide some stark contrast, this song is a ballad, played on the piano, no less. It’s a remorseful song about lost love. It shows that Sabbath was about more than heavy guitar riffs and satanic lyrical themes.

Overall:
We Sold Our Souls For Rock ‘N’ Roll
is a classic album that every rock music lover should own. If one already owns the individual albums these songs are taken from, then there is no reason to buy this, unless one wants to have all their classics in one spot. But if you do not own any Sabbath, and need one CD to buy, then this one should be it. The songs are all from the Ozzy Osborne years, so those who may have be fans of the band during the Ronnie James Dio years may want to look to elsewhere, perhaps the album Live Evil. But this CD is still worth five stars.


Related Reviews:

Ozzy Osborne – The Ultimate Sin

Dio – The Last In Line

Dio – Sacred Heart


Recommend this product? Yes

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