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

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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 30-21. And remember to turn it up loud…

30 SABBRA CADABRA/o:p

This bluesy paean to Geezer’s then-girlfriend had its lyrical origins in Ozzy repeating porno dialogue, to his bandmate’s amusement. Rick Wakeman charged Sabbath a ‘fee’ of two pints of Director’s bitter for his incandescent piano playing.

29 PLANET CARAVAN/o:p

Twinkling, tripped-out psychedelia, that betrayed Tony Iommi’s jazz influences. Included on Paranoid “to make the heavier tracks sound [even] heavier”, according to the guitarist./o:p

28 AFTER FOREVER/o:p

Featuring a mocking anti-religious lyric from lapsed Catholic Geezer, the romping After Forever is one of the most musically sophisticated songs in Sabbath’s early canon, and is a result of the quartet feeling the pressure to follow-up the No.1 success of Paranoid with a more ambitious sound./o:p

27 HAND OF DOOM/o:p

“It’s funky, riffy, sinister and uplifting all at the same time. It’s like two songs for the price of one, really. I got a cassette of Paranoid from a friend when I was in seventh grade, and started, like everyone else, to learn all those amazing riffs. Secretly I wanted to be a drummer so I could play that funky drum lick in Hand Of Doom.” Charlie Starr, Blackberry Smoke/o:p

26 ELECTRIC FUNERAL/o:p

Loaded with stark, apocalyptic imagery of nuclear annihilation (‘Robot minds of robot slaves/Lead men to atomic graves’) and souls burning in hell, Electric Funeral sounds like the ultimate bad trip, although the funky turnaround at two minutes 17 seconds is inexplicably uplifting./o:p

25 SUPERNAUT/o:p

“When I listen to songs like Supernaut I can just about taste cocaine,” Ozzy noted of this Vol. 4 piledriver in his autobiography. Ferociously funky, with a ear-worm Iommi riff, Supernaut is the supercharged sound of a gifted band at the peak of their powers./o:p

24 KILLING YOURSELF TO LIVE/o:p

The mid-song ejaculation to ‘Smoke it! Get high!’ gives a clue as to the source material for this anxious song about a soul adrift in a world of ‘pain, suffering and misery’. Ozzy later noted that the hash the band were smoking at Morgan Studios during the album sessions was “phenonemonal”./o:p

23 THE MOB RULES/o:p

The title track of vocalist Ronnie James Dio’s second album with Sabbath, a cautionary tale about blindly accepting authority, was written in John Lennon’s house Tittenhurst Park, originally intended for the soundtrack to the animated film Heavy Metal, just days after Lennon’s murder in New York. The film was shit, the song is a Sabbath classic./o:p

22 THE WIZARD/o:p

“Back then we did a lot of dope,” is how Tony Iommi prefaces his explanation of the origins of The Wizard, the hard-driving second track on Sabbath’s debut, inspired equally by Tolkien and the band’s “magic” drug dealer. Ozzy doubles up Iommi’s main riff on harmonica – an inspired touch, which showed Sabbath were not the music Neanderthals they were made out to be by the music press./o:p

21 MEGALOMANIA/o:p

Almost 10 minutes long, layered with studio trickery and featuring some of Tony Iommi’s most hook-laden riffs, Megalomania is a gloriously over-the-top exercise in labyrinthine excess. Bonus points are awarded for Bill Ward’s exemplary cowbell work./o:p

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

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The 40 Greatest Black Sabbath Songs: No. 20-1/o:p