The 40 Greatest Black Sabbath Songs: No. 20-11

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Exactly 45 years after their groundbreaking debut album, Black Sabbath appear on the cover of this month’s Classic Rock magazine. To mark this momentous occasion, we asked you to vote for their 40 greatest songs - and you did in your thousands. Here, then, are the results from 20 to 11. And remember to turn it up loud…

20 FALLING OFF THE EDGE OF THE WORLD/o:p

With its gorgeous orchestral intro, searing Iommi riff and whisper-to-a-scream dynamics, the centrepiece of the Mob Rules album laid down a blueprint that acolytes Metallica would subsequently take to the bank. Sabbath biographer (and Classic Rock writer) Mick Wall calls this “journey-metal”, a most apposite description of the song’s ebb and flow./o:p

19 HOLE IN THE SKY/o:p

Bearing in mind how embattled Sabbath were at the time they recorded Sabotage, its opening track is a master class in straight-to-the-point metal. Sabbath truly swing here, displaying a lightness of touch few of their contemporaries – or followers – could emulate./o:p

18 SWEET LEAF/o:p

“It’s heavy and super-funky. I first heard it at my friend David Santana’s house around 1975. His older brothers would play tons of Sabbath. Sweet Leaf was a favourite – his brothers were Latino stoner musicians from El Salvador. I remember one of them trying to play it on his black Ovation electric guitar which was shaped like a bat.” Robert Trujillo, Metallica/o:p

17 THE SIGN OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS/o:p

A slow-burning epic from The Mob Rules, The Sign Of The Southern Cross has Ronnie James Dio all over it, with its references to crystal balls, sailing ships and ‘a rainbow that will shimmer when the summer falls’./o:p

16 A NATIONAL ACROBAT/o:p

Tony Iommi called Sabbath Bloody Sabbath “a great leap forward”. With dueling guitars and Ozzy’s double-tracked vocals, A National Acrobat is an overlooked example of the band’s burgeoning confidence./o:p

15 DIE YOUNG/o:p

With Dio on board, Sabbath genuinely sounded born again on Heaven And Hell. Tony Iommi claims that Die Young was guided by an invisible “fifth member”. The fact he also says there were “drugs galore” present in Miami during the sessions might undermine such mysticism, mind./o:p

14 SNOWBLIND/o:p

“My favourite Black Sabbath song is Snowblind – the perfect song to be a teenager to of any age.” Nikki Sixx, Mötley Crüe/o:p

13 CHILDREN OF THE SEA/o:p

First attempted, with different lyrics, while Ozzy was still in the band, Children Of The Sea was finally realised with Dio singing. Iommi envisaged a full choir in the album’s grandiose mid-section; in the end he had to settle for one chanting monk. “We were in stitches,” the Dark Lord admitted./o:p

12 FAIRIES WEAR BOOTS/o:p

“It has so many elements of a classic Sabbath song – killer instrumental passages that evolve as they go, that swing feel, and the monster riffs from the great Mr Iommi. And it’s so much fun to play. How can you go wrong?” Mike Bordin, Faith No More/o:p

11 NEON KNIGHTS/o:p

That Sabbath gained a new lease of life with Dio is evident from Heaven And Hell’s roaring album opener. With Ronnie singing of ‘circles and rings, dragons and kings’, Iommi delivers a scything riff that elevates the track skywards. Sabbath hadn’t sounded this alive or vital in years./o:p

The 40 Greatest Black Sabbath Songs: No. 40-31

The 40 Greatest Black Sabbath Songs: No. 30-21/o:p

The 40 Greatest Black Sabbath Songs: No. 10-1/o:p