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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes me happy, Makes me cold
I found this album so confusing as a teenager - what the hell were piano lament Changes, boinging nonsense FX and cod-Flamenco Laguna Sunrise doing on it? How come I'd never heard them play monster track Wheels of Confusion live? Why could I not warm to Under the Sun or St Vitus Dance?

Years later, I appreciate Volume 4 for what it is - an essential bridge...
Published on 1 Dec. 2009 by Supertzar

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black Sabbath Volume 4: Black Sabbath - Wheels of confusion start to show
This fourth release from Black Sabbath's classic line up, Osbourne, Iommi, Ward and Butler, is a bit of a mixed bag and a little bit of a disappointment after the mighty Master of reality'.

It is well documented that at this time the substance abuse was starting to become a real problem for the band, and it is just starting to show in the work here. It would...
Published on 13 May 2011 by Victor


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4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome album but ruined by the song Changes., 6 Aug. 2008
By 
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
This album is brilliant. Ignore the negative reviews, this is a great album. The song Changes just reminds me of the awful cover by Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne so I do not like it, but the rest is brilliant. It's what you'd expect from the early Black Sabbath albums a great metal album with a bluesy feel to it. Best songs are Wheels Of Confusion/The Straightener, Under The Sun/Everyday Comes And Goes & Supernaut. Recommended to Black Sabbath fans. I like any Black Sabbath albums as I always enjoy Tony Iommi's guitar playing so no Black Sabbath album is bad. BLACK SABBATH ROCK!!!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally back together, Sabbath and vinyl!, 6 April 2001
By A Customer
Another one of the classic Black Sabbath albums rereleased on vinyl(180grms). Vol. 4 is a bit more experimental than the previous albums but losing none of the classic Sabbath sound. Highlights include "Wheels of Confusion", "Tomorrow's Dream" and one of the heaviest Sabbath song of all "Supernaut". Having Sabbath on CD is all well and good for playing in the car or on a personal, but if you have a record player the only way to really listen to the mighty Sab is with the big, black spinning disc. Rock on!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent stuff from the Masters of hard rock.............., 3 Feb. 2001
This review is from: Black Sabbath Vol 4 (Audio CD)
Every track on this cd is something special to plug into! I like my music 'hard',fast and loud.I certainly got all that and more. With each album Sabbath produce they come up with the goods.Ozzy as per usual lets rip turning the lyrics into something special.Iommi never fails to produce some incredible sounds and rifts that hit the ear drums with extreme force.'Snowblind' being a particular gem and favourite of mine. Not much else to say really,the album speaks for itself. Treat yourself!........
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4.0 out of 5 stars Changes, 20 May 2007
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
Plenty is said about this album already. Great tracks but for the bizarre FX. Much has been made out about the inclusion of the piano led 'Changes'. This is my fave song here - yes, it is simple in structure but after a couple of listens, it stays in your head and you find yourself humming it all day long. Shame Ozzy had to let his vocally challenged daughter destroy this song in more recent times. The rest of the album is standard high quality Sabbath.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rock-tastic!!, 26 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
This album seems to get overlooked somewhat in ruminations regarding the Sabbath oeuvre. I can't understand why. In my opinion it's just as great as the other more lauded offerings (except, of course, for the series of whines, clicks and farts which constitutes the track, "FX". If you're not that familiar with this album, buy with confidence, you won't be disappointed. Everything to love about Sabbath is there in spades.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inane?Yes.Plodding?Yes.Ridiculous?Yes....Magnificent?Yes, 19 Aug. 2001
This review is from: Black Sabbath Vol 4 (Audio CD)
The opener Wheels Of Confusion transforms from crunching power-chords into a glorious Sergio Leone pastiche,overlaid with rippling guitars.Elsewhere, Supernaut starts out as a highland reel, but Ward's manic drumming soon kicks into Latin overdrive, and it ends up as an infectious slice of salsa. Laguna Sunrise, a beautiful Spanish guitar instrumental, is one of two quieter pieces that ease the album's otherwise relentless pace; the other, Changes, a ballad built around a simple piano-motif, remains one of Sabbath's most affecting songs. One of Sabbath's best, if not THE best album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great album, good mix of styles, 2 Jan. 2011
By 
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
Black sabbath's fourth album for me was again an awesome achievement. Wheels of confusion continues their usual dark, heavy, satanic style and vocals, yet other tracks like laguna sunrise and changes have a more mellow and less heavy feel to them, this adds a nice fresh spark to sabbath's music and allows the feel to flow into their next album, the amazing sabbath bloody sabbath. Great album, essential metal
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5.0 out of 5 stars Antedote to the Blues, 18 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
Heavy Metal history in the making - before it was called Heavy Metal! For any current, or former headbangers out there, I absolutely defy you to play 'Supernaut' on a decent system with the bass turned up - and prevent yourself from involuntarily shakin' that swede out of it's socket. Old as you may be, this is cathartic stuff!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I know there's a God. And he's got a moustache., 29 Jan. 2006
By 
J. Stuart Myles "jacktastic" (Swansea, Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Black Sabbath Volume 4 (Audio CD)
Vol.4 was released in September 1972. The elder statesmen of Black Sabbath, Tony Iommi and Bill Ward, were 24 at the time. As twenty-three-year-olds, Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne were a full school year younger.
Eight years earlier three quarters of the band were going through the motions academically as teenagers, whist the remaining quarter was a genuine cause-for-concern. Their lack of academic flair saw them seeking opportunities in other areas: factories, abattoirs, burglary and so on. Ultimately music united the four and their subsequent adolescent years were invested in the pursuit of musical stardom.
So, by 1972, having shunned mundane shift work and nine-to-five tedium, Black Sabbath had 3 hit albums under their belts and were playing to large audiences both in Europe and the USA. As the teenagers matured into young men, their song writing matured with them, and this is the point where Vol. 4 rears its majestic and spellbinding head.
Tony Iommi began writing more complex tunes, stretching his bandmates’ considerably understated talent to match his seemingly unlimited scope.
On Vol. 4 there is a vast chasm of contrast between the dirtwater dirge of Iommi’s guitar and the rich, high-pitched register of Osbourne’s voice. This is Osbourne’s finest contribution to a Black Sabbath album, which is praise indeed considering the esteem in which their first six albums are all held. He drags ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’ up by the scruff of its neck as Iommi’s guitar refuses to get going, like a stubborn dog on a leash. It’s a well-planned effect and the song is wonderful for it.
There are no backing vocals on Vol. 4 and Osbourne’s voice is exposed to the harshest scrutiny imaginable. There were no clever production techniques available in 1972 to paper over any vocal cracks. Osbourne’s response to this challenge is as elegant as it is emphatic: unrestrained, he sings and wails with passion and precision, triumphantly reeling off complete songs in one attempt. On this particular musical landscape Osbourne is a lone predatory polar bear, and the rhythm unit of Iommi, Ward and Butler is the awe-inspiring, uncompromising tundra upon which he commandingly roams and thrives.
Iommi’s legendary status as an axeman is reinforced on Vol. 4. He has never relied on excessive speed or Van Halen-like guitar solos to carry songs. Instead he uses his guile and craft to construct neck-crunching riffs, embellished with with technically pleasing pertinent solos. The riff on ‘Wheels Of Confusion’ consists of a single note struck intermittently, then played over and over on a loop. Doesn’t sound promising does it? But that’s the measure of Iommi’s song writing creativity – initially this song attacks you on a subconscious level, unwittingly tapping your thigh as you quietly groove to it. Then you’ll start whistling Osbourne’s lines in the shower, and before you realise what’s happening the squash racquet will be out, and you’ll be screaming the song’s abject discovery of bitter betrayal: ‘IT WAS AN ILLUSION!’
‘Supernaut’, ‘Snowblind (lyrically, Black Sabbath’s best)’, ‘Cornucopia’, ‘St. Vitus Dance’, and ‘Under the Sun’ all ambush the senses in a similar way.
Vol. 4 is not simply an Iommi & Osbourne supershow. Ward, uncaring for the limelight and his own image, is obsessed instead with supporting and complimenting the efforts of the other three. He once said he couldn’t be doing with four-four timekeeping, instead he preferred to do whatever was necessary to drive a song forward. It’s an axiom most drummers would do well to follow. His drumming is the heartbeat of Black Sabbath, allowing Iommi and Butler to indulge in outrageous time changes and mood swings. It’s a percussion style whose DNA fingerprint reveals itself tellingly throughout the whole of Vol. 4.
Butler is an excellent rhythm partner for Iommi on this album. Whilst Iommi virtually always conjures the initial song ideas and structure, Butler seeks to add another layer to the music and doesn’t simply copy him. He puts his own baselines into the mix with subtle variations on the main riff, thickening the sound and adding depth. Listen to ‘Supernaut’, Butler steals the show, but to thrilling effect.
‘FX’ is the odd ‘song’ out on Vol. 4. Iommi taps his strings with his plectrum and runs the resulting noise through an echo-type effects pedal. What comes out of the amplifier is meaningless gibberish, and really has no place on an album of such profound magnitude. It’s inappropriate and out of place, like a football scarf draped around the Venus di Milo, or a tattoo on the Mona Lisa.
A piano and strings accompany Osbourne’s vocals on ‘Changes’. Many will enjoy this melancholic stroll through a broken heart, but a piano on a Black Sabbath record will never strike the right chord with me.
Even by today’s standards Vol. 4 is a masterpiece. Up and coming rock bands of the time must have had nightmares when it was released in 1972, since it changed the goalposts of heavy metal expectations.
Record after record Black Sabbath threw down the gauntlet to their peers and rivals: arguably none more forcibly so than Vol. 4. Few groups responded successfully to the challenges put before them. If you're one of the uninitiated and need to discover what Iommi, Ward, Butler and Osbourne were selling their souls for, then start here. Black Sabbath : Vol. 4. You won't regret it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great sound but..., 16 Oct. 2012
Look I've had this on vinyl for 25 years, but lost the original in a move, this is a very good reprint, but its not exactly sounding the same, and the vinyl skips, maybe my set up. It does sound fantastic, but i wish i could find my original as I feel this version does sound brighter. maybe it needs to age 20 years :)
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