Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath, Vol. 4, 1972 (American release), album sleeve: photo by Christian Montone, 15 July 2010
Black Sabbath: Tomorrow's Dream/Laguna Sunrise, 1972 (German single release, Vertigo), record sleeve: photo by Klaus Hiltscher (Affendaddy), 8 October 2012
My career as a record reviewer was, as they say, short-lived, and really not all that much fun while it lasted, despite the surprising daily arrival of abundant vinyl freebies in the broken mail box on a dirt road in the then-middle of Nowhere.
Of course the freebies stopped once the reviews began to appear. Industries are like that. Don't ever expect an honest review of anything from anybody who's in the industry. Doesn't matter which industry we're talking about here, in my experience they're all the same in this respect. That's entertainment, like they used to say. Not that it's all that complicated, duh. Everybody on the free stuff list is always in the industry, whichever industry it is. Until they aren't. I wish I could count all the lists from which I've been stricken. But then, I've been stricken with worse, in this slow, inexorable, quicksand-vertiginous swirling-down-the-blocked drain of the completely meaningless Vertigo reissue years.
This particular record, by the by, was probably the worst I was ever given to review.
The review adopted the point of view of a fictive persona assembled from several suspects of the period.
But don't just take my word on this as the last, though indeed it may well have been the first, given that time is now known to have traveled more slowly in that stage of the deglaciation.
Ragnarok at Blackrock: Led Zeppelin VS Black Sabbath... who wins you decide [Blackrock, Brighton, UK]: photo by Wang Dang Doodad, 10 July 2011
Black Sabbath, Vol. 4 (Vertigo, 1972): photo by Greg(ory), 3 December 2012