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Ozzfest - Black Sabbath & Judas Priest: Antiwar Music Live Today!

Two of heavy rock's original pioneers and anti-war bands--Black Sabbath and Judas Priest--will perform at White River Amphitheater in Washington this evening.
Both bands originated from economic and physical ruins of post-WWII Birmingham, England in the late 1960's. Following in the wake of the progressive blues movement that spawned other seminal rock groups like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, Black Sabbath were the first group to break from the "peace and love" mantra of its day and address the world from a different perspective. With the war in Vietnam raging at its height and the popularization of drugs in pop music, Black Sabbath used power chord structures, innovative pick-up and amplification techniques, and lyrical subject matter that painted a harrowing picture of drugs, poverty, and warfare. Songs alluded to political manipulation and the sacrifices of the poor (i.e. "War Pigs"), nuclear holocaust (i.e. "Electric Funeral" or "Into The Void"), and the madness of warfare with disturbing images of napalm, bombardments, and analogies to Hell. Greatly influenced by the Beatles,

For this reason, the band was quickly villified by the press and tagged as Satanists. Ironically, this label probably created even more interest in the press and allowed their music to reach an even larger audience who identified with the message in their music--one of rage against a world that is so horrible for so many and so wonderful for so few. The success of Black Sabbath by 1972 allowed one of their contemporaries from Birmingham's dark side to rise as well. Judas Priest added another dimension, however, becoming the first band to have two lead guitarists who would trade leads and harmonize each other. Their music dwelled more on the struggles of poverty ("Tyrant," "Genocide," "Beyond The Realms of Death") and grew into increasingly science-fiction subject matter, but the central theme of their blue collar roots was not diminished until the mid-1980's when they became extremely popular in America and began catering to larger audiences. Judas Priest singer, Rob Halford, would eventually make public his homosexuality and participates in a number of gay rights activities in Phoenix, which is now his principal residence.

The music of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest is still an incredible testament in rock history and in many of their songs, some of the most striking anti-war/establishment statements ever made in music.

Recommended Listening:

Paranoid (1970) *
Master of Reality (1971)
Volume 4 (1972)
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) *
Sabotage (1974) *
Heaven and Hell (1980)

Sad Wings of Destiny (1974)
Stained Class (1977)
Unleashed In The East (1979) *
Screaming for Vengeance (1982)

* Highly Recommended

follow me, says the poser... 27.Jul.2004 10:46

in rags.

yeah, 'after forever'. the wizardree of bs has held millions under the spell of deception. hudge piggy profits from the horrors of humans, and the ultra-privaledge that comes along with it. tinkeling bells or ear bashing power chords, its the same master. will bs followers ever "change" their lives? hypocrates only see hypocracy in their competitors never in themselves.

Child of OZ 27.Jul.2004 11:24


OZ, hit it right when he said " THe people who have crippled you, you want to see them burn!" also, what do you make of his lyric in A national acrobat, that goes something like " Destroying the empty spaces is my one and only crime"? Refering to the destruction of wilderness?

Destruction of the Empty Spaces 27.Jul.2004 12:36

Sab Fan

I always thought of that line as meaning escape from reality, boredom, etc. Like, what do you care if I get stoned on my own time, my life is shit and I've got nothing better to do right now. Either way, it's a powerful lyric.

My fave album is Sabotage--The Writ and Megalomania really speak to the futility so many of us feel in our lives.

"A National Acrobat"

I am the world that hides
The universal secret of all time
Destruction of the empty spaces
Is my one and only crime
I've lived a thousand times
I found out what it means to be believed
The thoughts and images
The unborn child that never was conceived
When little worlds collide
I'm trapped inside my embryonic cell
And flashing memories
Are cast into the never ending well
The name that scorns the face
The child that never sees the cause of man
The deathly darkness that
Belies the fate of those who never ran
Well I know its hard for you
To know the reason why
And I know you'll understand
More when it's time to die
Don't believe the life you have
Will be the only one
You have to let your body sleep
To let your soul live on
Love has given life to you
And now it's your concern
Unseen eyes of inner life
Will make your soul return
Still I look but not to touch
The seeds of life are sown
Curtain of the future falls
The secret stays unknown
Lust remember love is life
And hate is living death
Treat your life for what it's worth
And live for every breath
Looking back I've lived and learned
But now I'm wondering
Here I wait and only guess
What this next life will bring

I doubt Oz knows.... 27.Jul.2004 13:33


much about logging,wilderness areas and the such but like you said a great lyric. Another one from Crazy Train, is, I, I,I, I, I, just kiding but the one that goes "One man conditioned to lead and to rule, the media sells it and you play the role" Very crucial.

fuck black sabbath 27.Jul.2004 15:35


there were people working for nazi psychiatry system that were talking about ozzy all the time

Times machine 27.Jul.2004 15:36


One thing that always intrigues me is the way the message of a lot of those early metal bands gets lost on the newer generations. You have bands like Black Label Society and Superjoint Ritual (both also playing Ozzfest) that are gung-ho war supporters, yet revere bands like Sabbath and Priest as gods. It's also a bit sad that the Sabbath crew allowed themselves to be pressured into removing a controversial bit of video that was played during "War Pigs" on the early Ozzfest dates this year. Apparently, the clip showed a picture of Bush next to a picture of Hitler with the text, "Same Shit, Different Asshole." Once the media got a hold of it, there was apparently enough pressure to have it removed. Whatever, it's the music that counts and as long as bands like Priest and Sabbath are still out there keeping it alive, there's hope.

War Pigs (i.e. Kerry and Bush) 28.Jul.2004 00:38

Ozzy Osbourne

Generals gathered in their masses
just like witches at black masses
evil minds that plot destruction
sorcerers of death's construction
in the fields the bodies burning
as the war machine keeps turning
death and hatred to mankind
poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
they only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait 'till their judgement day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
ashes were the bodies burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of god has struck the hour
Day of judgement, god is calling
on their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings

Hey, I was actually there! 28.Jul.2004 16:16

The Wizard

Black Sabbath opened with War Pigs and had the three giant projection screens flashing images from WWI, WWII, Viet Nam, and then toward the end, scenes from war in the Gulf like burning oil wells, bombs falling on Baghdad, etc. It was a powerful statement the way it all built up like that to our newest war.

The meaning of N. Acrobat 04.Aug.2004 10:39

Mr. Wise

The mening of this particular song its about the human's conception, the abortion and all that stuff, fill the empty space is the arrival of a new human being. And just remenber that love has given life to you and now it's your concern, (The love between your parents)
The ideas here belongs to Gezzer Butler, he is the responsable of almost everithing of Black Sabbath, not Ozzy.

How Black Was Our Sabbath 21.Aug.2004 05:22

Slack Haddock

Its all about treading the boards !!!!!