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Rat Salad: Black Sabbath: The Classic Years 1969-1975 Paperback – 1 Mar 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New Ed edition (1 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844139255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844139255
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,002,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I wish somebody could write a book about contemporary art that was half as emotionally accurate, fearless, clear and thoughtful, and alive to life, as this book about the gods of doom" (Matthew Collings)

"Black Sabbath were the ultimate - and perhaps the only true - purveyors of Metal at its heaviest and most grimly gothic. In Paul Wilkinson they have at last found their very own Ian McDonald" (Barney Hoskyns)

Book Description

Nick Hornby meets Spinal Tap meets Revolution in the Head in a winning account of Ozzy Osbourne's Black Sabbath in their early, glory years.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It makes a change to read a music related book that doesn't follow the same cliched patterns as their subject matter. You know the story ... Fresh faced youngsters produce great original music, downward spiral into drugs, depravity and despair, saved by God/Gym/Guru/Betty Ford/whatever - who cares. Hey! here I am/he is folks either dead or clean. I/he did it so you don't have to, now give me your cash!

This is much more interesting and is about the author and his love affair with his favourite band. He examines the era in which the music was created and the events which may or may not have helped shape it. This is intertwined with his own story.

The book takes a look at the classic and most interesting era 1970-76 Sabbath albums, discuss the merits or not of each individual song. It reminded me of the discussions we had at school, although this is much more intelligent and considered than "name the the heaviest songs ever written". If you've read Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald you might recognise the format. However, to me this book seemed a little more personal and less like an essay. Before they invented Playstation, Xbox, Computers, and all the other teenage distractions music was really all us working class kids had to alleviate the boredom. Not a complaint I might add, a blessing that enhanced my life considerably.

I might not always agree with the authors opinions but I felt I could relate to them. I have my own story and fave songs. The book is written with sincerity and passion and that really struck a chord (sic) with me. Often passion is what is sadly missing in many of the books written about bands and even though the author is an ardent Sabbath supporter he is also only too aware of the bands limitations as musicians and human beings.
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Format: Hardcover
At long last, a decent book on Black Sabbath! Wilkinson avoids the much told stories of drug abuse, bat biting, and the rest and concentrates on the most important thing - the music. Very close in spirit to Ian MacDonald's 'Revolution in the Head' (by far, the best book out there on The Beatles), 'Rat Salad' is an excellent, entertaining and informative read and is not only the best book out there on Sabbath (the others don't even come close) but is one of the best books on rock I've come across. Beautifully written and truly heartbreaking in places, the book has 'cult classic' written all over it.
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Format: Hardcover
In short - the best Sabbath book I've ever read. Highly recommended, whether you're a fan of the group or just of a good read. When's the sequel, Paul?
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Format: Hardcover
Not the kind of book I would normally read but being trapped on a family holiday with nothing else to do I borrowed it off my dad and was massively surprised. It's great. A true feast of a book and, since my knowledge of Ozzie was previously restricted to watching his TV show, it was a real eye opener. An intelligent read. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read so many books over the years that claim to be 'unputdownable' - this is the only book that I've read that would fit that description. I have to admit from the outset that I am a dyed in the wool Black Sabbath fan but if anything I'm probably harder to please than the casual reader of rock literature.

Black Sabbath was the first album I ever bought - shortly before my 14th birthday. My mum though I was into a strange satanic cult - I was just completely and utterly blown away by the music. Paul Wilkinson took me right back to when I was fourteen, sitting in my bedroom with my record player turned up to full volume and watching the hypnotic Vertigo label as it spun around at 33 and a 1/3 rpm.

I loved the way he weaves world events together with the lives of the band members and the detail he gives on each song on the six albums they released over the period.

In virtually every instance I have identical views about the songs - most of the songs are awesome although there are a small number of turkeys.

I have to disagree with one of the other reviewers who suggests a sequel - this book says it all - there would be no point in covering BS after 1975 because for the true Sabbath fan that's when it all sadly came to an end. I do like the author's style so I hope he finds another subject to write about - I'll definitely buy his next book!

Congratulations to Paul Wilkinson on a fantastic book - one which I will cherish and re-read whenever I'm feeling nostalgic.
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Format: Hardcover
Great read. Reminded me of growing up with my two older brothers who would play Sabbath endlessly - at that time, not a fan!
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Format: Hardcover
An EXCELLENT book, humorously written, packed full of fascinating detail and brimming with the author's enthusiasm for the band. Yoo will NOT find a better book on Black Sabbath than this, and even if you're not a fan of the band this is a ripping read. Older, more established Sabbath freaks will read this and go back to the records with fresh ears, hearing and understanding new things about the music. A truly sensational achievement from an astounding author. The best book on rock I have ever read.
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