Feb 10, 2012

THE OBELISK PRESENTS: Why Bill Ward Matters ...

I don't normally do this but this is such a great article, it is worth it. This is from The Obelisk and it sums up my feelings exactly. I got nothing to say that hasn't already been said about this garbage. The Black Sabbath reunion has turned into a disaster, a media circus, and Sharon Osbourne has again proved herself to be a dreadful, nasty piece of money-hungry filth. Like the banner say's, NO BILL WARD, NO BLACK SABBATH......Ed

First off, to a lot of people, he doesn’t. For better or worse, probably the majority of those in the legions who would attend the original-member reunion Black Sabbath announced in November either don’t know or don’t care about “the drummer.” They’re there to see Ozzy Osbourne sing “Paranoid” and maybe watch Tony Iommi play the “Iron Man” riff. Geezer Butler‘s bass and Bill Ward‘s drumming are secondary concerns.

These casual fans, those who would just show up, probably don’t realize it was Butler who wrote the lyrics Osbourne sang or that the rhythm section played such a huge role in making Black Sabbath‘s earliest records — 1970?s Black Sabbath and Paranoid, 1971?s Master of Reality and 1972?s Vol. 4 — as heavy and groundbreaking and stylistically definitive as they were. And even if they did realize, or even if they heard the band themselves say so — I know Iommi said it flat out in the Classic Albums: Paranoid DVD — they still wouldn’t care.

Outside of the context of the heavy rock underground that still so vehemently flies the flag of and takes influence from those four albums in particular, Black Sabbath is a heavy metal footnote en route to Osbourne‘s solo career and the commercialization of metal that first took place in the ’80s and continues to this day. Black Sabbath is important, but they’re more important because Pantera or Slipknot or Metallica says they are than because Master of Reality was a life-changing event.

 Last Thursday, when Bill Ward released his statement that the contract he was offered was “unsignable,” the internet almost immediately blew up with support for his case. My feed on Thee Facebooks — which, though I don’t use it as a measure of overall cultural relevance, at least lets me know what people are talking about — still has posts of pro-Ward propaganda memes like those I’ve included with this post: “Back Stabbath,” “No Bill Ward, No Black Sabbath,” “Bill Sabbath” t-shirts. Sloganeering from people who (I would say rightfully) appreciate Ward‘s contributions to the original lineup. In an era that produced many great British drummers — John Bonham, Carl Palmer, Ian Paice, etc. — Ward‘s work stands out as singularly characteristic. No one before or since sounds quite like him, executes a fill quite the same way or keeps the same kind of swaggering beat that makes “Lord of this World” one of the heaviest songs ever put to tape.

Read the rest of the article here: Why Bill Ward Matters

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