Readers' Poll: The Ten Best Black Sabbath AlbumsPicks include 'Heaven and Hell,' 'Master of Reality' and 'Paranoid'
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3. 'Black Sabbath Vol. 4'
A lot of rock stars were snorting mountains of cocaine in the Seventies, but few had the balls to write a song about the subject as explicit as "Snowblind." To varying degrees, the guys in Black Sabbath were all snowblind when they cut Black Sabbath Vol. 4 in 1972. They went from dirt poor to incredibly rich and famous pretty quickly, and it was tough to dodge the inevitable temptations. Those issues eventually destroyed the band, but for a few years they managed to use heroic amounts of drugs and still craft brilliant music. This record shows the band stretching their limits, particularly on the tender piano ballad "Changes." Many metal bands would be unwilling to release a song so dramatically different than their signature work, but Sabbath truly didn't care. Meanwhile, the supremely heavy "Supernaut" shows they had lost none of their edge.