Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Sabbath: "Behind the Wall of Sleep," from Black Sabbath (1970)

So here’s where things start to get a little sticky with this series, depending on which version of the album you have. The original European version has the third track as “Behind the Wall of Sleep.” The North American version that I grew up with jams this song and “N.I.B.” together as “Wasp/Behind the Wall of Sleep/Bassically/N.I.B.” I’m going with the European (at least for the next two tracks), because it makes way more sense.

On “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” we really start to see some psychedelic influence come out in the early going, on I guess what would be considered “Wasp” on the North American version. Then we drop back into the blues rock as Bill Ward lays down a fantastic, almost funky beat, and Geezer Butler’s bass line builds on it, perfectly complementing Tony Iommi’s bluesy main lick.

Though the song loses a little when it moves away from that main groove, it’s absolutely incredible when it’s locked in. Again, I’ll say probably many times in this series that while Iommi and Ozzy get a lot of the attention, they would have been far less without that tight-ass rhythm section of Butler and Ward. This song certainly proves that.

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