Metal legend Rob Halford picks his favourite Black Sabbath album
Rob Halford just called in from San Diego to chat about his upcoming Vancouver show with his metal quintet Halford, and since he'll be opening for Ozzy Osbourne here, I wanted to know what his fave Black Sabbath album was. Most folks seem inclined to choose the breakthrough Paranoid disc, whereas I'm more of a Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath guy myself. But the 59-year-old Halford doesn't go for either of those, choosing instead the band's scary self-titled debut of 1970.
"It took 24 hours to make," he says, "believe it or not, but the sound is absolutely mindblowing. If you just listen to the sound, how they were able to do that work in such a short space of time is extraordinary.
"I think a lot of musicians agree that generally your first record is very, very important," he adds, "because you're really coming from a very pure, new, uncluttered source. You've got nothing to prove because you've proved nothing yet; you haven't really got a massive fanbase, so you're searching to build that. Your record company's not interfering with your music as they tend to do when you become successful—same with managers, agents, promoters. You're really coming into your existence at a different level.
"If you look back at the history of your favourite band, generally the first couple are the ones that really kind of grab you. So that's why I feel that first Sabbath album for me—much like Sad Wings of Destiny for Judas Priest—is a very important release."
If you ever wondered how Halford would sound performing a song off that first Sabbath album, like maybe "N.I.B.", check out this clip from 2004 where he joined Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward at a New Jersey gig after Ozzy came down with "an attack of bronchitis" and couldn't perform. Never mind the skulls.
For more from Halford—who plays Rogers Arena with Ozzy on Sunday, November 14—see next week's Georgia Straight.
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