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How Roger Waters rated a song from Black Sabbath’s first album

Black Sabbath and Roger Waters


How Roger Waters rated a song from Black Sabbath’s first album

Black Sabbath was formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by Tony Iommi (Guitar), Geezer Butler (Bass), Ozzy Osbourne (Vocals) and Bill Ward (Drums). Two years later, in 1970, they had the chance to release their self-titled debut album which changed music forever. It was the birth of Heavy Metal, a new music genre that would inspire countless artists all over the world and would have billions of fans worldwide.


But obviously, Rock music wasn’t that heavy before Black Sabbath came along and changed everything. So naturally, many listeners and even musicians had mixed feelings towards their first album. In 1970, Melody Maker magazine had a section called “The Latest Sounds in Blind Date”. They would invite famous artists to hear new songs without knowing which was the band and they would rate the track.

How Roger Waters rated a song from the first Black Sabbath album

That year, the Pink Floyd co-founder, bassist, singer and main lyricist Roger Waters was invited to do that. One of the songs he heard was “Evil Woman”, which was originally recorded by the American Blues band Crow in 1969, but covered by Black Sabbath on their debut album.

He said: “Well, well, well… I’m speechless – well almost. It’s got that kind of Dragnet, Peter Gunn, American detective series beginning. You keep thinking it’s going to start. You think that for the first minute but then, if you are really perceptive, you realize it isn’t going to start, and that’s all there is,” Roger Waters said.

The guitarist Tony Iommi laughed after reading Roger Waters’ comments

He wasn’t the only one who slammed Black Sabbath when they appeared. Their music was so unique and it was something that had never been done before, so it was expected that many people wouldn’t understand what they were making. Talking with Metal Hammer in 2020, the guitarist Tony Iommi recalled that he read Waters’ comments at the time. He said the statement of the ex-Pink Floyd member made him laugh.

“I read at the time about Roger Waters from Pink Floyd’s attitude. He utterly loathed what we’d done. He thought the album was total crap, and predicted that both it and us would quickly disappear. I must admit that made me laugh at the time – and still does.”

He continued:

“What do I think of the album now? I like it. Yes, it could have been better, and I can hear things that shouldn’t be on there. But you can say the same about any of our records. What it does do is capture the energy and power of the band back then. And there are people trying today to get the same atmosphere,” Tony Iommi said.

Sabbath’s music was obviously really different from what Pink Floyd was doing at the time and Waters never really cared about heavier bands even in the following decades. In an  interview with  Joe Rogan in 2022, the bassist and singer said he was never interested in bands like Van Halen and AC/DC.

“(I don’t like) loud Rock and Roll. But I won’t start a long list. I probably could but it’s that end of the spectrum that I’m more interested in. I’m not really interested in loud rock ‘n’ roll. Which some people are and they love it, but I couldn’t care less about AC/DC or Eddie Van Halen or any of that stuff. I just… Who? I don’t go ‘Who?’ Because I obviously know the name.”

“And I’m sure Eddie’s brilliant and a great guitar player and wonderful… But that just doesn’t interest me. But ‘Look out, Mama, there’s a white boat coming up the river.’ What was that called? ‘Powdermonkey’ (‘Powderfinger’ by Neil Young). Something like that I kinda have to take a deep (breath)… It’s kind of like ‘Wow! What did he just say?’” Roger Waters said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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