Rat Salad: Black Sabbath, The Classic Years, 1969--1975

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St. Martin's Press, 2006 - Music - 240 pages
11 Reviews
A brand-new look at Black Sabbath, one of the most outrageous bands in the history of rock music

This information-rich, idiosyncratic, and beguiling book paints a vivid picture of Black Sabbath at its beginning, from 1967 to 1975---the time in which the band made its greatest albums:† Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and Sabotage.
But Rat Salad diverges from routes taken by most rock biographies---its detailed, song-by-song analysis of the band's masterworks is interwoven with a personal account of the news stories and culture of the time, from Vietnam to Bloody Sunday to the space program. These narrative chapters---think Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head meets Spinal Tap meets Nick Hornby---persuasively explain the appeal of the music, its compositional artistry, and its frequently audacious inventiveness.
Original and passionate, Rat Salad embraces a remarkably diverse cast of characters---from Ozzy Osbourne himself and the other members of the band through to Edith Sitwell, Breugel the Elder, John Milton, and Doris Day. The author's hand looms large in the piece, as he grows from schoolboy ingenue to inveterate devotee and looks back at a life populated with love, sex, drugs, and death and played out against a rich sonic backdrop of crucifixes and power chords.

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Review: Rat Salad: Black Sabbath, The Classic Years, 1969--1975

User Review  - Daniel Drago - Goodreads

I am a huge Black Sabbath fan, in fact they are my favorite band. I enjoyed the book but I wasn't a very big fan of Paul's writing style. I thought the writing was a little confusing and not very ... Read full review

Review: Rat Salad: Black Sabbath, The Classic Years, 1969--1975

User Review  - Nicholas - Goodreads

A nice short book about the first six Sabbath albums. Wilkinson's enthusiasm for the band is contagious, and the song-by-song analyses of each record was a great way to discover new facets of their ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

Paul Wilkinson was raised in Englandís Peak District and graduated with a degree in psychology in 1983. Since then, he has worked extensively in the arts and entertainment industry and currently manages an arts center in east London, close to where he lives. He has played guitar and sung in a number of failed pop outfits: most notably, inept Beatles-copyists The Originals, and close-harmony, cabaret joke-band The Stallions of Love. He has been a fan of Black Sabbath for over thirty years. Rat Salad is his first book.

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