Album of the Day
With punk on the rise and managerial problems dogging them, the members of Black Sabbath had their backs against the wall in 1976, and TECHNICAL ECSTASY was their response. Recorded at Miami's Criteria Studios (where the Eagles had to put HOTEL CALIFORNIA on hold several times when Sabbath got too loud), the collection is among the quartet's most diverse as they tried to broaden their sound. There's a Beatle-esque ballad sung by drummer Bill Ward, a funky groove to “All Moving Parts (Stand Still),” and Gerald Woodroffe joined the foursome to provide keyboards. But like earlier albums, Tony Iommi's guitar riffs remain immense, and there are some powerful rockers here (“Dirty Women,” “Back Street Kids”). TECHNICAL ECSTASY was the next-to-last from Black Sabbath's original incarnation; we'll give the set another spin to wish singer Ozzy Osbourne a happy birthday.