The Black Sabbath Song emerged from the mistake

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Rock n roll never gained popularity for its sophisticated genre of music. Many songs have well-crafted sections in their duration. But, there are just as many tracks that could make composers question how these self-titled “musicians” earn their living. Regarding Black Sabbath, their timeless songs frequently emerge from unplanned circumstances.

The band was a kind of similar to other evolving groups from the British blues scene, such as Cream and Led Zeppelin while composing their first set of songs. While the band had refined their sound with tracks like ‘Wicked World,’ Tony Iommi modified the course of rock history when he discovered the hook for the band’s title track.

Sabbath used the unsettling tritone sound and quickly created dark songs in just a 12-hour session for their first album, setting the stage for heavy metal. They didn’t make a significant impact until “Paranoid” was released because they toured continuously in most of 1970.

After giving some time, Sabbath released a dreadful lineup of songs, including heavy metal classics like ‘Iron Man’ and ‘War Pigs.’ Even though ‘Electric Funeral’ was one of the album’s less noticed tracks, Iommi recalls that the entire song originated from a technical mistake made by Bill Ward.

When discussing the song, Iommi recalled the difficulties of finishing the track.” Recalling in his book Iron Man, he said, “When we recorded ‘Electric Funeral’… Bill would play it differently every bloody time. He didn’t know how many times to come in, and at certain parts, he plays three instead of four. We kept the three. And to this day, we still play it that way”.

In contrast to the other songs on the band’s sophomore effort, the rhythmic variations are noticeable. Although, Ward was the well-known drummer at the time, his modest rhythmic style contrasts with Iommi’s hook. It consistently created a sense of suspense for the listener whenever they hear the track.

Considering the lyrical subject matter, it makes perfect sense to feel dazed. During the song, Ozzy Osbourne sings about a nuclear attack where innocent civilians witness bombs being dropped on them, and they are changed to ash amidst the debris. The song’s graphic lyrics, combined with the increasingly chaotic rhythm of the riff, vividly convey the sense of impending doom. It’s as if the song is falling apart, mirroring the dire situation faced by the civilians in the lyrics.

Ward may have purposefully used a confusing beat to summon a certain feeling. He believed in creating a unique atmosphere through his drumming, and with Iommi’s guitar skills, Black Sabbath became a heavy metal legend.

 

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