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

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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. First up - numbers 40 to 31. And remember to turn it up loud…

40 CHANGES/o:p

“A song rather than a frustration-reliever screamer,” is how Ozzy billed Vol. 4’s ballad, written about Bill Ward’s separation from his first wife. Ironically there’s no input whatsoever from the drummer on the track./o:p

39 ZERO THE HERO/o:p

The seven-minute stand-out on the ill-fated, Ian Gillan-fronted Born Again album. A favourite of Tony Iommi, who reckons his central riff provided inspiration for GN’R: “When I heard Paradise City I thought, ‘Fucking hell, that sounds like one of ours!’”/o:p

38 WARNING/o:p

This 10-minute jam cover of the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation’s 1967 single originally featured an 18-minute Iommi solo, but it was chopped down by producer Roger Bain. With just 12 hours to record the whole album, there was no time to argue./o:p

37 NEVER SAY DIE/o:p

By his own admission, Ozzy had “given up” by the time the band recorded their eighth album, though the mordantly humourous title track sounds adrenalised. Plus it got Sabbath back on Top Of The Pops./o:p

36 THE WRIT/o:p

Ozzy’s acerbic open letter to former manager Patrick Meehan (‘Are you Satan, are you man?’), venting the singer’s fury at the legal “bullshit”. “I got a song out of it at least,” a more chilled Ozzy reflected later./o:p

35 DIRTY WOMEN/o:p

By 1976 Black Sabbath were in search of direction. For the closing track of Technical Ecstasy, inspiration came from the prostitutes on the streets of Miami, resulting in a ‘tribute’ to the healing properties of ‘take away women for sale’./o:p

34 HEADLESS CROSS/o:p

From Sabbath’s 14th album, and their finest since Heaven And Hell. ‘There’s no escaping the power of Satan’, sang Tony Martin, making a convincing case for Sabbath entering the 90s as a band reborn./o:p

33 SPIRAL ARCHITECT/o:p

“It’s a beautiful piece of music, mostly based around Ozzy’s voice, Iommi’s acoustic guitar and Will Malone’s string arrangements. It’s also the last one out on the record – an honorary spot, as everybody into vinyl knows.” Mikael Åkerfeldt, Opeth/o:p

32 GOD IS DEAD?/o:p

Inspired by a magazine headline, their 2013 comeback found Ozzy musing upon the existence of a higher power in the wake of terrorist atrocities committed in the name of religion.

31 WHEELS OF CONFUSION/o:p

The opening track on Vol. 4 telegraphs Sabbath’s experimental mind-set. Out of their heads they may have been, but the interplay between Iommi, Butler and a brilliantly dextrous Bill Ward is pure joy./o:p

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