On July 28, 1975, "Black Sabbath" released their sixth album, "Sabotage".
The name of the album (Sabotage) was not chosen by chance, it symbolized the difficult period in which the band members were at that time. Tony Iommi explained this in his book "Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath", as follows: It felt like we were "sabotaged all the way along the line and getting punched from all sides".
Indeed this was more or less the case. The album was recorded at the height of the band's legal battle with former manager Patrick Meehan. There is no doubt that the pressure the band was under during the legal procedures affected the recording process, the content, its heaviness, and also the album title. Iommi attributed the legal issues to the heavy and angry sound of the album.
The song "The Writ", which seals the album and was written by Ozzy Osbourne, also refers to the relationship with the band's manager, and includes the following lyrics:
"All of the promises that never came true, You're gonna get what is coming to you
"Are you Satan, are you man? You've changed in life since it began"
Drummer Bill Ward noted in an interview from 1976 that this is probably the only album recorded with lawyers in the studio. Bassist Geezer Butler said that after the release of the album "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" the band found out that its manager and record company were just stealing them. So, most of the time, when the band was not on stage or in the studio, they were in law firms' offices trying to break out from all the contracts they had signed. He noted that the band tried to record and right in the studio they signed all sorts of documents and affidavits to handle the lawsuit. However, as a result of the legal battle with the band manager, the four "Black Sabbath" members moved on to manage themselves.
The album's musical style differs from the band's rooted sound on their first albums, and it ranges from the band's familiar heavy metal to experimental, psychedelic, and even progressive, to softer, quieter songs.
The instruments used by the band during the recordings included piano, synthesizers, organ, and even harp, and it is enough to teach about the distance the band has made from their first albums and their root sound.
What best illustrates the band's experience of new styles on this album, is the track "Supertzar" - a special and beautiful instrumental section in which the London Philharmonic Choir participates.
However, this album still has the old and familiar "Black Sabbath" and the heavy metal roots, in songs like: "Hole in the Sky" and "Symptom of the Universe" - which in our humble opinion one of the greatest songs in metal, yes, ah and it also happens to be one of the band's favorites, who is also considered one of the influencers in the development of the thrash metal genre.
Other notable songs are "Am I Going Insane (Radio)" and "Megalomania" which is the longest song on the album and one of its most complex and surprising.
Upon release, the album received positive reviews. Particularly noteworthy is "Rolling Stone" magazine's review of a September 25, 1975 issue that read: "Not only is it Black Sabbath's best album since Paranoid but it's perhaps the band's best album."
Ozzy by the way thought the album could have been perfect had it not been for "Supertzar" and "Am I Going Insane (Radio)", which are his least favorite excerpts from the album.
By the way, if you were wondering what is the word "Radio" in the song "I Am Going Insane (Radio)", then it is not the version of the song that was intended for radio as we also thought, but a slang for "mental", according to Bill Ward.
In our opinion, this is the last good album the band released in its classic era. What will happen next, is a slow decline until the departure of Ozzy Osbourne and the resurgence of the band with singer Ronnie James Dio.