Imagine that you are a man from space! And you don't speak English and you never heard of weed, and you landed in California and the first person you met up with took you to his house and said, 'Hey, check out this band.' And then he played you 'Sweat Leaf'. In my opinion, the man from space would hear that song, just the crunch guitar sound and those bass notes, Geezer Butler is the best bassist it sounds like his strings are made from lime jello salad, and he would start banging his head! Because the riff on 'Sweet Leaf', that is something anybody could understand. ANYBODY.
Black Sabbath's MASTER OF REALITY has maintained remarkable historical status over several generations: it's a touchstone for the directionless, and common coin for young men and women who've felt excluded from the broader cultural economy, John Darnielle hears it through the ears of Roger Painter, a young adult locked in a southern California adolescent psychiatric center in 1985; deprived of his Walkman and hungry for comfort, he explains Black Sabbath as one might describe air to a fish, or love to an android, hoping to convince his captors to give him back his tapes.
"33 1/3" is a series of short books about a wide variety of albums, by artists ranging from James Brown to the Beastie Boys. Launched in September 2003, the series now contains over 50 titles and is acclaimed and loved by fans, musicians and scholars alike.
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