Technical Ecstasy Review

artist: Black Sabbath date: 07/18/2013 category: compact discs
Black Sabbath: Technical Ecstasy
Release Date: Oct 1976
Label: Warner Bros.
Genres: Album Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Number Of Tracks: 8
Black Sabbath was unraveling at an alarming rate around the time of their second to last album with original singer Ozzy Osbourne, 1976's Technical Ecstasy.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 7.2
 Overall Impression: 7.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (5) 5 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.7
Technical Ecstasy Reviewed by: iommi600, on february 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: "Technical Ecstasy" is the seventh studio album by Black Sabbath, released in 1976. This album and its successor, "Never Say Die!" are completely different from previous albums like "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Master Of Reality". These two albums are actually unique points in the band's career. But, talking about "Technical Ecstasy": it may not be as heavy as their previous records, but it's still an amazing piece of music, just like all Sabbath albums are, in my opinion. The album goes from mindblowing, straight to the point rock and roll, like in "Dirty Women" and "Rock 'N' Roll Doctor" to more melancholic tunes like "It's Alright" (beautiful song sung by Bill Ward) and the fantastic "You Won't Change Me". Black Sabbath was going through hard times back then, dealing with issues like drug abuse and many judicial problems with their ex-manager. This album also failed to make commercial and critical success in the same scale of their previous albums, but I don't think that this really matters. Still, they did not failed to put out an amazing record. Praising Tony Iommi for his riffs is futile. "Dirty Women" and "You Won't Change Me" really shows what I'm talking about. In comparison with his soloing style in the previous albums, he kinda "shreds" here. I feel like Geezer Butler's performance on this album is a little below his true power, but it's still really good. Bill Ward, as always, crushes the drums like a beast. Great record. // 8

Lyrics: Lyrics on this album talks about many themes. "Back Street Kids" and "Rock 'N' Roll Doctor" are basically odes to rock and roll. "Dirty Women" deals with getting laid with prostitutes and "Gypsy" and "She's Gone" talks about love, overall. There's also "It's Alright" and "You Won't Change Me", with introspective lyrics, talking about some kind of woe or sadness. There's also "All Moving Parts (Stand Still)", with some really confusing lyrics, but actually fun. Ozzy's voice here is great. Well, can't really say he is singing monstrously and reaching some really high notes like in the previous two albums, but it's great nevertheless. There is something I always say about Ozzy: he might not be an ace in technical skills and all, but I don't miss it, at all. His feeling, and "pleasure" is what really moves me. Really awesome. // 7

Overall Impression: Well, I think there's nothing more to say about this. Like I've said before, it's not as heavy as some of their previous albums, like "Sabotage" or "Master Of Reality", but it's still an amazing album, nevertheless. I would point "Dirty Women" and "You Won't Change Me" as the best ones here, but honestly, most of the album is above average, except for "Gypsy", that I think it's pretty average and "She's Gone", which in my opinion is the worst Black Sabbath song ever. But of course, that's just my opinion. I've seen many people recommend this album only to die hard Sabbath fans, but personally, I recommend it not only to Sabbath fans, but to any fan of 70's hard rock. If someone steal this from me or if I lose it, I will not even hesitate to buy it again. // 8

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overall: 6.7
Technical Ecstasy Reviewed by: BaptizedinFire, on october 18, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: In 1976, tensions within Black Sabbath were beginning to tear the band apart. These tensions were not only personal, but also musical; Apparently, Tony Iommi wanted to go in a more melodic and commercial direction inspired by Queen's recent success "A Night At The Opera", while other members wanted to stick to their heavier sound. The album ended up being something of a compromise: Heavy, gritty numbers such as "Dirty Women" and "Back Street Kids" are featured alongside mainly orchestrated pieces like "She's Gone". The production is more polished and keyboard-laden than ever before, but Iommi's guitar still retains most of its crunch. The words "melodic" and "commercial" might make many of you sick, but this is in fact a fairly balanced gathering of musical styles. The album's main selling point is not necessarily its individual songs, but the diversity that will keep listeners focused for several spins. "You Won't Change Me" starts off with a sluggish riff, but develops into an operatic, organ-based song. "Gypsy" gives us some groovy percussion, and clearly shows how inspired Iommi was by Queen at the time. "Dirty Women" gives us heavy Sabbath in their horniest glory, much like "Sabbra Cadabra" did 3 years earlier. // 7

Lyrics: Let's face it: Sabbath were never a great band lyrically. At best, their lyrics were worthwhile, at worst they were mundane. Never fantastic. This album doesn't stand out much in that respect, but at least it tackles different subjects than the previous albums. Drugs, prostitution and transvestites ("Rock N' Roll Doctor", "Dirty Women" and "All Moving Parts Stand Still", respectively) give this album more of a streetwise aura than your usual, anti-establishment Sabbath. Ozzy's voice is still completely intact, and he gives us quite a great performance. Check out "You Won't Change Me" and "Gypsy" to see what I mean. Also, Bill Ward made his first appereance as a singer on here, on the Beatle-esque tune "It's Alright", and it's not bad at all, to be honest. His voice is a lot softer than Ozzy's, so he was probably a wise choice for that song. // 6

Overall Impression: In a time when bands of the first generation of prog/metal bands were falling one by one, defeated by drugs, lack of creativity and the punk movement, Sabbath still retained some of their spark with "Technical Ecstacy". However, this is arguably the first Sabbath album to contain obvious filler tracks ("Back Street Kids" and the worthless "Rock N' Roll Doctor"), as opposed to inspired but failed bits of experimentation. Some of the new ideas are also worse than others, and "She's Gone" only comes across as whiny. The rest of the songs are very enjoyable, though: "Gypsy" features a fantastic coda that you HAVE to check out, "All Moving Parts" is filled with awesome riffage and vocal melodies, and "Dirty Women" is Sabbath at their very best. Each and every riff is a tenner (and there are TONS of them, one of which was probably recycled by Judas Priest for their "Breaking The Law"), the lyrics are brilliantly disgusting, and it manages to go on for over 7 minutes without ever getting boring, despite its repetetive outro with 3 minutes of soloing from Tony. Sabbath always seemed at their best when contemplating the issue of human reproduction. Overall, I'd say this is a pretty strong album. It was the worst album they had released up to that point, but that doesn't mean it's bad. I mean, their six first albums were all masterpieces. The bad song do give us a hint about their next album, the disastrous "Never Say Die", but the good ones more than make up for that. Sabbath fans owe it to themselves to get this, and more casual fans will probably have a good time with it as well. // 7

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overall: 7.7
Technical Ecstasy Reviewed by: CPace, on july 18, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This CD along with "Never Say Die!" is probably the brightest sounding CD of Sabbath's time with Ozzy. During the time Ozzy was tied up with drugs, hence the title, and guitarist Tony Iommi was thinking about taking Sabbath in a new musical direction to suit America's music style. In this CD Iommi greatly increased the precence of piano in their music like in the songs "Rock 'n' Roll Doctor" and "It's Alright". Bill Ward also starts his debut as a singer in the song "It's Alright," and Ozzy hasn't sounded better with his most famed song of his time with Sabbath "She's Gone." // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics in this CD are also changing directions. The CD contains classic dark sounding songs like "Gypsy" and "You Won't Change Me" while introducing new successful bright songs like "Rock 'n' Roll Doctor" and "All Moving Parts (Stand Still)" Bill Ward starts his debut as a singer in the song "It's Alright," and Ozzy hasn't sounded better with his most famed song of his time with Sabbath "She's Gone." // 8

Overall Impression: This CD, by Sabbath standards, is probably not the best time in their career. Although this CD contains many great songs, it doesn't measure up to standards of previous CDs like Sabotage and Paranoid. The biggest hit of this CD, "Dirty Women" is my personal favorate song of all time. I don't like the change in direction of this CD. Black Sabbath doesn't hold onto the perspective of music that made the previous CD Sabotage so famous, and instead move onto a faster-paced funk-sound. // 7

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overall: 8
Technical Ecstasy Reviewed by: DownInAHole., on january 06, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ah, Black Sabbath: a band full of heavy metal legends. Now, think for a second. Take away the demonic undertones in their music, the sludgy relentless guitar riffing, and factor in an occasional vocal performance from drummer, Bill Ward, and what do you get? 1976's Black Sabbath offering, "Technical Ecstasy." In a traditional sense, it's a curveball when compared to their previous six studio albums, but do not let that turn you away. It's a fairly decent album, especially given that the mid-1970s were the rockiest point in Black Sabbath's career. Riddled with spacey synthesizers and keyboards, Sabbath strayed away from their dark and glooming songcraft and, in the process, created some synthy gems, such as "She's Gone." In some spots, you can definitely spot some progressive influence, given the amount of experimentation that was exhausted on this album. Furthermore, it showcases the true flexibility of Tony Iommi's guitar work. Overall, the sound is nothing short of spectacular. Some high points can be found in "Rock N' Roll Doctor" and the seven minute epic, "Dirty Women." It's hard to disappoint. // 8

Lyrics: Lyrics were definitely something different from Ozzy. I guess, at some point, he realized he couldn't write any more songs about pure evil. However, the brunt of the lyrical content supplied on Technical Ecstasy does entail rather tabboo subject matter such as: prostitution, transvestites, and narcotics dealers. I think it works favorably on this album, because the music accompanying it isn't sludgy and droning as it was in years prior. Another shock is the aforementioned cameo from Bill Ward on vocals in the song "It's Alright." And coincidentally, my thought of his vocals were: "it's alright." It's a decent and sound effort from Ozzy and the gang here. // 8

Overall Impression: I'll be honest. This album does not hold water to the first five Sabbath records, but it is something different and different is good. This album does not contain any strikingly familiar Sabbath songs, so I would not recommend picking this album up until you've listened to its predecessors. It's a rough spot in the Sabbath discography, but it does signify two crucial facts: Black Sabbath can successfully take on the progressive rock genre and that it is, in fact, possible to create a stellar work of music when everyone in the band is hating each other. Don't buy this record if you're expecting Paranoid era sludge. But, I implore you, buy this record if you want to hear a pretty cool side of some of the world's most beloved musicians. You won't regret it. // 8

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overall: 8.3
Technical Ecstasy Reviewed by: Genghis Khan, on july 18, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: "Technical Ecstasy" is the 7th album by Black Sabbath. I Think it's too underrated. It sold less copies than the previous albums, but I found it another great album of the Ozzy's era! It must be said that the band had many problems at the time, due to alcohol and drugs abuse, so there was less interest for the music. The sound of the album is far from the classic sabbath sound. There is an high use of synth and progressive and complicated arrangements, maybe the most worked album of the Ozzy era. The album starts with "Back Street Kids," pure hard rock, with a synth solo in the middle of the song which leads again in the main riff, making this track supreme. Then comes "You Won't Change Me," a masterpiece. Perfect riffs, solos and lyrics, all arranged so well. The next song is "It's Alright" written and sung by drummer Bill Ward, a soft acoustic song to make the listener calm down. "Gypsy" is another great song, with many changes of riff and tempo, a catching chorus. I think it's a masterpiece. "All Moving Parts" is a good hard song, with a good structure and arrangement. "Rock n Roll Doctor" is surely good, but maybe too far from any thing you would expect from Sabbath. "She's Gone" is another good soft track, and the last one "Dirty Women" got supreme riffs and solos, a very good track. Another positive note goes to the excellent production. // 9

Lyrics: Maybe in this album Ozzy was not in the peak of his vocal capacities, his way of singing seems so forced sometimes. This probably doesn't matter for the heavier songs, but when the distortion goes down, it does. This can be noticed even in the next album "Never Say Die!" But the lyrics are very good, especially in "You Won't Change Me" and "Gypsy," perfectly suitable for the music. Maybe less good and studied than the previous albums, but I think that the lyrics are not the strength point of Black Sabbath (I think that it actually is the sound, riffs and arrangements). // 7

Overall Impression: "Technical Ecstasy" can be considered as a masterpiece, despite of all negative notes that someone said and continue saying. It got perfect arrangements, powerful riffs, blistering solos, all enriched by synths parts and fills. Every Sabbath fan should love this album as I did, and remember that if it didn't sell as the previous albums, it's because the 1976 was the year of the punk rock explosion, which overwhelmed hard 'n' heavy bands (until the New wave of British heavy metal). So, I tell you to listen to it, and hope you like this side of Sabbath's sound.

// 9

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