The Day Lester Bangs Reviewed BLACK SABBATH’s ‘Black Sabbath’

Lester Bangs was a very famous music critic who wrote reviews and articles to several magazines such as Rolling Stone and Creem. He had a very harsh, to say the least, style of writing reviews. Some will remember him as the tutor of William Miller on “Almost Famous.” The music critic Jim DeRogatis called him “America’s greatest rock critic.” Bangs died in New York City on April 30, 1982, at the age of 33, of an accidental overdose of dextropropoxyphene (opioid analgesic), diazepam (benzodiazapine), and NyQuil. In 1970, he had the opportunity of reviewing Black Sabbath’s debut album. He was anything but kind to them. If only he knew… Read the review here:

“Over across the tracks in the industrial side of Cream country lie unskilled laborers like Black Sabbath, which was hyped as a rockin’ ritual celebration of the Satanic mass or some such claptrap, something like England’s answer to Coven. Well, they’re not that bad, but that’s about all the credit you can give them. The whole album is a shuck — despite the murky songtitles and some inane lyrics that sound like Vanilla Fudge paying doggerel tribute to Aleister Crowley, the album has nothing to do with spiritualism, the occult, or anything much except stiff recitations of Cream clichés that sound like the musicians learned them out of a book, grinding on and on with dogged persistence. Vocals are sparse, most of the album being filled with plodding bass lines over which the lead guitar dribbles wooden Claptonisms from the master’s tiredest Cream days. They even have discordant jams with bass and guitar reeling like velocitized speedfreaks all over each other’s musical perimeters yet never quite finding synch — just like Cream! But worse.”