Technical Ecstasy
BLACK SABBATH

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2.83 | 54 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1976

Filed under Hard Rock

Tracklist

1. Back Street Kids (3:49)
2. You Won't Change Me (6:44)
3. It's Alright (4:06)
4. Gypsy (5:11)
5. All Moving Parts (Stand Still) (5:06)
6. Rock 'N' Roll Doctor (3:34)
7. She's Gone (4:57)
8. Dirty Women (7:08)

Total Time 40:37

Line-up/Musicians

- Ozzy Osbourne / vocals
- Tony Iommi / guitars
- Geezer Butler / bass
- Bill Ward / drums, vocals

- Gerald Woodruffe / keyboards

About this release

25 September 1976
Vertigo, Warner

Thanks to Time Signature, Stooge, Pekka, Lynx33 for the updates

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BLACK SABBATH TECHNICAL ECSTASY reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

progshine
In my opinion Black Sabbath has many Prog elements here and there. But they don't belong to Progarchives, like many other bands that are in fact here. Anyway. Technical Ecstasy (1976) is the Black Sabbath's 7th album and we can see how things were going bad at the time. 2 years later Never Say Die! (1978) was released and it was the last album with the original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.

In fact, is sad to hear Technical Ecstasy (1976). It's an album with no inspiration, no care in anything and without a proper and good production. But not just that, it's an album that has no good songs, that is the most important thing in an album.

Here, it's just forgettable material all along, I cannot even mention a best track.
Conor Fynes
'Technical Ecstasy' - Black Sabbath (5/10)

Wow. In spite of the poor acclaim and ambivalence I have seen aimed towards "Technical Ecstasy" and her equally unappealing sister "Never Say Die!", I was still a little shocked to hear the great Black Sabbath default on such mediocrity. Although I may have preferred "Paranoid" and "Sabotage" over the rest, there was no denying that the first six albums of this band were something to behold; it was if the band could do no wrong. As would be the case with a little band called Metallica almost three decades later with "St. Anger", the arguments and duress would lead to a decidedly sub-effort from the band. Sabbath have not completely festered here, but considering how great they were before this, there's no way to feel satisfied with this.

It's not often that fans are so united in their disappointment for a band and album. It seems like everyone plus their mothers, mailmen, and neighbourhood general practitioners can agree that "Technical Ecstasy" was a slip-up. In short, the band's style is once again robbed of its metal crunch. Unlike "Volume Four" however- which traded heaviness in exchange for sophistication- "Technical Ecstasy" comes up without any benefit, as were it an old lady whose handbag was stolen by a street vagabond. Sabbath's musical tightness pulls the album through, but at the end of the day, hearing the almighty Black Sabbath resort to generally bland rock music is a tough experience.

All disappoints aside, "Technical Ecstasy" is not necessarily a 'bad' album. In fact, it appears to be a victim of circumstance. Perhaps if listeners had not become used to Sabbath churning out record after record of inspired excellence, this album would not be looked down upon. Regardless, through the sea of mediocrity defined by songs like "Backstreet Kids" and "Rock N Roll Doctor", there are a handful of songs that distinguish themselves, for better or worse. "You Won't Change Me" is a great seven minute track with some great blues soloing from Iommi, and a piano progression reminiscent of The Beatles' "Abbey Road". "She's Gone" is nothing compared to some of the band's earlier ballads, but Ozzy Osbourne's passionate vocal performance and a lush string arrangement makes it stand out from the monotony.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have "It's Alright", sung by drummer Bill Ward. Frankly, it really isn't 'alright', in fact, it's arguably the worst track Sabbath had ever done up to this point. Disregarding Ward's tonedeaf voice, the ballad is saccharine enough to put a child off sugar for life. Considering that this is the band that once rocked our balls off with some of the most influential heavy metal ever made, it's a long ways to fall.

For the most part, "Technical Ecstasy" is fairly harmless. Besides "It's Alright", it's even listenable. The songwriting runs flat, but Black Sabbath retain enough of their progressive elements to give the listener a surprise, if only occasionally. Taken out of context, "Technical Ecstasy" is a run-of-the-mill, albeit inconsistent hard rock album. For those- like me- who are infatuated with the band's six album winning streak, it may be a good idea to save hurt feelings and skip right to "Heaven And Hell".
Kingcrimsonprog
Technical Ecstasy is the Birmingham based band's seventh full-length studio album and their second-last album with Ozzy Osbourne. People never give this the credit it deserves; it is actually a very accomplished and well rounded album but by and large it is an album that is either ignored or insulted by a sizable portion of Black Sabbath fans.

The main reason that the album isn't thought of as terrific is that it arguably doesn't sound all that much like Black Sabbath. There are a lot of different styles experimented with on the album and there aren't many classic three minute Heavy Metal tracks. Sabbath try a lot of new things on this album, and if you are open to a bit of variety and experimentation it will prove at least an interesting album though ultimately still won't be the best Sabbath album in your collection.

It does have a lot going for it too however, as Ozzy's voice arguably sounds better here than on many other albums, and the production is arguably better than usual as well.

Standout moments include the heavy and complex 'Dirty Woman,' which contains loads of memorable riffs and is a welcome component of their reunion DVD, as well as the maudlin piano ballad 'It's Alright' which Guns n Roses fans will recognize. Possibly the greatest track on the album (and arguably the most underrated in the band's history) however is 'You Won't Change Me,' which a haunting tune that really should be considered as Sabbath's 'Stairway to Heaven' or 'Comfortably Numb' but is unfortunately widely overlooked.

If you still don't like the idea of the album you should at least check out 'Dirty Woman' and 'You Won't Change Me' as stand alone MP3s.

Overall, Technical Ecstasy isn't the best Black Sabbath album, but it is definitely worth a listen if you don't mind that there aren't wall to wall rockers and enjoy a bit of variety. If you don't own many Black Sabbath albums yet, this is definitely not something you should pick up until you have about five or six other Sabbath records first, but at the same time it is not something that you should dogmatically avoid from ever hearing.
bonnek
The first thing that strikes me when hearing this album is how broken Ozzy Osbourne sounds. His vocal capacities were always limited but the collapse from his morbid mastery to a powerless squeal, that had started around Vol4 and SBS, has come to a sad end here. On It’s Allright they even had the vocal non-talent of Bill Ward behind the microphone

But the blame is not on Ozzy alone. All that we hear from Iommi is the sound of a man that is hopelessly in search for his secret stash of magic metal riffs that had gone missing after last night’s bad cocaine trip. Some songs like You Won’t Change Me contain one or two half-good melodies but by lack of better ideas Sabbath resorts to clumsy key modulations. You got to do something in order to get a 40 minute album together. Also Dirty Woman has some potential, but not much, though Ozzy's vocal marks a short improvement here. An uninspired break squeezes all potential out of this 7 minute song that has material for 3 minutes.

I have no idea what made me decide to buy this album 15 years ago. Everybody knew it was horrible. Maybe I got it for free with a can of Pringles, I don’t know. Avoid.
Time Signature
Rock 'n' roll doctors...

Genre: hard rock / rock

I think this album is severely underrated. Sure, it's not the best Black Sabbath album ever, and it's more of a rock album than a metal album, and the band also experiment with, in a metal perspective, more commercial styles. But I really don't think it's a bad album at all.

"Backstreet kids", "Gypsy", and "Rock 'n' Roll Doctor" are straight heavy rockers, while "You Won't Change Me" and "Dirty Women" are more progressively inclined. "It's Alright" is a sort of Beatles light tune, which is, despite its non-metal-ness is interesting as it features Bill Ward on vocals. "All Moving Parts (Stand Still)" is also one of those tunes that experiment with more commercial genres, being almost a funk song.

As I said, "Technical Extacy" is an underrated album, and fans of hard rock and traditional heavy metal may find that they will actually like at least a good handfull of the songs on this album.

Members reviews

SouthSideoftheSky
It's alright!

This is undoubtedly Black Sabbath's least good effort of the 70's and it is certainly a disappointment after the exceptionally strong series of albums that came before it. However, there is some good material here too. We must recognize from the start that the musical climate was changing and Black Sabbath was not immune to these changes. Technical Ecstasy is certainly not that heavy of an album and the band had really come a long way since their dark and doomy debut released six years earlier. This is more Rock 'N' Roll than Metal. But Black Sabbath were still very much a band in constant progression and still very much interested in trying out new musical ideas.

Technical Ecstasy is more diverse than previous albums and also a little bit uneven. We find here some good songs as well as some not so good songs. It starts out with Backstreet Kid, a short song with a good riff (but with horrible lyrics!). Also, Rock 'N' Roll Doctor features very bad lyrics and this song is among Black Sabbath's worst ever! Bill Ward sings on one of the albums tracks; It's Alright. This song is a bit out of place on the album and it is at best what its title implies - alright! But no more than that!

There are some nice tunes here too, though, and fans of the band will appreciate at least some of the material here. You Won't Change Me, Gypsy and Dirty Woman are all good songs. Not exceptional, but still good and you can sense that these songs are better produced than some early Black Sabbath albums. There are more keyboards on this album than on the earlier ones and this brings some depth and excitement to the mix. She's Gone is a beautiful, quite symphonic, ballad featuring strings and a great vocal performance from Ozzy.

Overall, this album is very far behind the band's masterpieces, but as a major fan of the band I can still appreciate this album.

Good, but non-essential

Ratings only

  • Necrotica
  • Nightfly
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