Graham Clark, Features Writer

Album Review - Black Sabbath- Technical Ectasy

Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy Super Deluxr (BMG Records)

Originally released in 1977, Technical Ecstasy saw Black Sabbath move away from their doom and gloom sound opening the band up to a wider audience by moving in a more commercial direction.

Recorded in Miami at the same time as the Eagles were recording Hotel California in the adjacent studios, the sound between the two albums could not be more different. Back home in England Punk Rock was taking off and I get the feeling that Sabbath were trying to update their sound to become more contemporary and commercial.
4 Stars

That’s not to say that punk influences are here, but it does sound like a band stepping out of their comfort zone.

Unexpected ballads such as She’s Gone and It’s Alright are tracks that broke the norm for Sabbath. There are some strange ideas for the lyrics too, All Moving Parts (Stand Still) is about a transvestite who becomes the President of the United States!

The band though end up sounding like a lot of other bands around at the time - Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor could even be Kiss. The fact is that around this time Sabbath began to lose their identity.

By moving in this new direction the band began to lose a lot of the faithful fans whilst the expected newer fans never arrived, as most people were used to hearing the Sabbath of old.

This new super-deluxe version comes in a 5 LP package including outtakes and alternate versions, plus versions of the songs played live on their 1976-77 world tour. Some might want to skip the long drum solo and guitar solo that take up most of one of the LP sides of the live versions.

Along with the package comes a 1976-77 World Tour replica concert book, a 40 page book with photos, a colour poster and artwork and liner notes.

If you liked Sabbath sounding more like a chart oriented band like I do then it really is a aural ecstasy, but for the die hard fans this still might be a step too far.