Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

It's a first for The Weekend Playlist this week, as we focus on songs all by the same artist.

After years of hoping and speculation from fans, Black Sabbath eventually announced their reunion last Friday, coinciding with the confirmation of a Download Festival 2012 headline set.

To celebrate the return of Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward), we've put together a mixtape of some of our favourite songs by the forefathers of heavy metal.

As always, the playlist can be found right here. To keep things simple, we're not including songs after Never Say Die, rescricting the list to Ozzy Osbourne's time in the band.

1. Black Sabbath

This was the first song on the quartet's debut, and their innovation was displayed earlier on.

The gritty, haunting music (supporting by genuinely creepy lyrics) makes good use of diabolus in musica. a riff that contains qualities to suggest Satanic connotations.

2. Iron Man

There will be a few predictable choices in this list, if only because they're obvious for a reason.

This is one, taken from Paranoid - the riff has become iconic, forever immortalised in rock and metal history.

3. Never Say Die

Taken from the album of the same name, this was the last time Ozzy was heard on a Sabbath album.

The track sees a Thin Lizzy-esque and punk-rock influence on the band's sound, and shows the real talent Ozzy had (and arguably still does).

4. Paranoid

Considering it was written and recorded in an afternoon as album filler, it's remarkable how much it shaped Sabbath - their sophomore release was named after it, and 'Paranoid' became one of the most famous songs.

Intended as filler or not, the riff is fantastic, and Ozzy's wails about paranoia fit perfectly with the punk-influenced rocker.

5. After Forever

A track that shows the slightly softer side to Black Sabbath, it's an excellent riff-driven track written by Iommi.

More up-beat (musically) than much of the quartet's material, it was a nice moment on their Master of Reality record.

6. Symptom of the Universe

Although Ozzy has been outspoken about the direction the band started to go in from Sabotage onwards, this is still a fantastic song.

Considered a pioneering track of the thrash metal genre, Obsourne still manages to make the acoustic section at the end sound heavy and hard.

7. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

Despite being reported as including the "riff that saved Black Sabbath" (after a period of writer's block on the part of Iommi), 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' has been dropped from their sets in recent years.

Combining blues influences, metal ideologies and pop sensibilities, it proves the diversity and innovation of Sabbath's sound.

8. N.I.B.

Despite many fans for years trying to work out the meaning behind the acronym, one of Sabbath's songs is actually named after Bill Ward's beard (although the lyrics are about Satan falling in love and becoming good).

The opening bass solo showcases the funk influence on the band, and kick-starts a fantastic track.

9. Fairies Wear Boots

Geezer Butler has said that this song was inspired by an encounter with skinheads, mocked in this by being referred to as fairies.

From instrumental opening 'Jack The Stripper', the instrumentation itself has a certain swagger, carried by Ozzy's great vocals.

10. It's Alright

This was actually song by Bill Ward, later covered live by Guns N' Roses.

It showed a softer, more tender side to Sabbath's writing, continuing their progression away from their heavy roots.

11. Changes

Recently sampled on Eminem's track 'Going Through Changes', this was an early departure from Sabbath's metal style, being a soft rock ballad without any percussion.

Ozzy's vocals shine on this extremely emotional record that, despite the poor duet with Kelly in 2003, stands up well as one of Sabbath's best.

12. War Pigs

As a vocalist and front-man, Ozzy Osbourne has become disregarded by many in recent years, but this opening track from Paranoid shows his true talent.

From the heavy, epic build-up, the air raid sirens and the sudden percussion-backed introduction of Ozzy, it's one of the most iconic album openers of all time.

That's us done for another week. Did we miss out your favourite Sabbath tune? Disagree with what we did include? Let us know below.

Female First - Alistair McGeorge (Follow me on Twitter @AlistairMcG)

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