Black Sabbath to start off the week. Fans and collectors no doubt have any one of a number of incarnations of this session either on vinyl, CD or download. This is for the fans who are not familiar with the band during their early stages or fans who are just discovering them now.
I’m not 100% certain the date on this session is completely correct – April 26, 1970 is the date of a Peel Sunday Concert broadcast featuring Black Sabbath and Medicine Head – and the BBC Peel page lists this session as January 1, 1970. The excellent Ken Garner Peel Sessions book doesn’t list this session at all, but rather a session from 1969. I don’t think this is the Sunday concert (there’s no audience) and the track lineup on the 1969 session isn’t the same as this one. So, I am putting it out to Peel and/or Black Sabbath experts to either confirm this date or offer a correct one. Let me know. Your words of wisdom and research are eagerly sought after.
In any case – this session comes at a time when Black Sabbath were just starting to grab attention and be taken a bit more seriously than they had prior to this. In their early stages they couldn’t get arrested, as no label was remotely interested. And they did finally sign to the Philips, having one singe issued on Fontana and their debut album on the imprint Vertigo, they were picked up for release in the U.S. by Warner Bros and the debut s/t album was issued in February 1970. The band, however did not go over particularly well with critics who thought the perceived Satanic persona was something of a joke. The audience felt differently, and the album went into the UK top 10 and into the U.S. top 30. And so started a lengthy legacy for a band that couldn’t get off the ground at first, but couldn’t be stopped once they did.
In case you aren’t familiar, click on the link and have a listen – and listen loud.