Sabotage, the sixth album by Black Sabbath, is quite a mess – despite an abundance of good bits.
Impromptu acoustic intermezzos, overlong epic tracks (which are really just different songsections stuck together), songs that suddenly transition into acoustic jams, plus a weirdly inappropriate instrumental.
All this tends to distract from the quite outstanding musicianship and songwriting on the album.
SO…. as I am wont to do, I edited the album to my own taste, focusing on short, well-rounded songs.
Hole In The Sky was already perfect, so I only had pry it loose from the beginning of Don’t Start, the acoustic in-between bit.
On Symptom I put the acoustic jam at the end in the middle of the track, so It’s part of the song rather than an afterthought.
Am I Going Insane, being the single, should be at the front of the album, so I placed it behind Symptom.
Megalomania is the first of the longer, epic tracks. It consists of two sections that could be songs in their own right.
Let’s call the first, introspective part Leave Me Alone, and the second, heavier part Get Away.
I thought after the more contemplative Insane we should have a rocker, hence the placing of the heavy Get Away section after it.
Thrill Of It All is actually a three section song. An instrumental intro (which I removed), a section with short, clipped chords and a faster bit.The two latter bits were impossible to seperate because they’re not actual songs in their own right, rather just song-sections.
They work well together however, so I kept the rest of the song as is, bar some editing and splicing of verses and riffs to unify the songsections.
The second track is the introspective first bit of Megalomania, Leave Me Alone, which can stand on it own as a ballad of some sort.
The final epic track, The Writ, is again a two-section song. Let’s call the sections Just For You and Work Out Fine. With some editing, Just For You was transformed into a mid-tempo heavy rocker, without the boring solo bass bits. I emphasised one of the riffs to become the main riff of the song.
The second section, Work Out Fine, varies acoustic bits with heavier, riffy parts. I emphasised this dynamic by lengthening some
of the acoustic bits and some of the heavier sections.
Album July 1975
01. Hole In The Sky – 3:55
02. Symptom Of The Universe – 5:46
03. Am I Going Insane – 4:08
04. Get Away – 6:12
05. Thrill Of It All – 5:52
06. Leave Me Alone – 3:38
07. Just For You – 4:47
08. Everything Is Going To Work Out Fine – 5:43
So there you have it. In stead of a seemingly interminable mess we have eight well-rounded songs.
I like the album much better this way. In fact, it’s the only way I’ll still play it!