Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
by Joel McIver

Sabbra Cadabra - how The Wizards did their tricks

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is a cautionary tale about a band that worked hard, played hard and got ripped off by everyone: a warning to read all contracts, employ a solicitor, not take the purple acid and trust nobody. Rock and roll! In his trawl through almost four decades of line-up changes, stints in rehab, reformations and legal bullshit, McIver goes into encyclopaedic detail, but misses some of the colour one might expect from a story involving Ozzy Osbourne. Five albums into their career, Sabbath had been so mismanaged they didn’t own a brick between them. They’ve also been through more band members than the average groupie (many of whom weren’t actually told they were sacked until their replacement turned up at rehearsal), yet there are no fights and no one has a bad word to say about anybody. The problem is, despite Ozzy’s wild man image and the mock Satanism of their records (mock elf-ism during the Ronnie James Dio years, of course), Black Sabbath are just an amazingly affable bunch. No more of a threat to society than Spinal Tap, but, unfortunately, not quite as amusing. Chapter Six starting on page 66 is a nice touch, though.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Omnibus Press | ISBN 1844499820

Reviewed by Suzy West
<< Back to Issue 332