February 13, 1970. It was a Friday, of course. Because it makes all the sense in the world that Black Sabbath would release their debut album on Friday the 13th.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It’s arguably one of the most solid debut albums in rock history. It’s the album that launched heavy metal. Hell, it’s the album that launched doom metal (go back to the title track and you’ll hear what I mean). Black Sabbath is important and heavy and timeless and 50 friggin’ years old.
Of course, it wasn’t released stateside until June of 1970, so we can celebrate it again this spring. In the meantime, let’s take a trip to December of that year. By that time, the album had been out in the wild as had the band, touring extensively and getting better by the gig. Here they are in Paris at the Olympia Theatre, with a ripping version of “War Pigs.”
That first YouTube comment sums it up: “Bill Ward was beating those drums like they owe him money.” Happy 50th, Black Sabbath.