Black Sabbath “Never Say Die!” (1978)

This was a pleasant surprise because I’d heard so many bad things about this album both from critics and the band themselves. Stories of being too drugged up to continue in the studio don’t seem to gel with the final product, which sounds crisp and well mixed to me, the spectacular drumming up front and Ozzy’s vocals not sounding in the least druggy. I guess there’s a lot to be said about post production. But the songs to me sound better and more musically adventurous than those on Sabotage or even the Dio era albums that followed. Particular highlights are the psychy, wah wah feel of Junior’s Eyes and Iommi’s riffage on Shock Wave. All in all, I really don’t think it was a bad album for Ozzy to bow out on. –Neal

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