Great Metal Albums of 1978: Black Sabbath- Never Say Die

It is a common assumption that the last album made before a key member in a band departs is that the album isn’t that good. In 1978, “Never Say Die” by Black Sabbath would be the last album recorded with Ozzy Osbourne on the lead vocals as he left the band shortly after. However, refreshing my memory with a listen, I find that this was not the case. There is nothing wrong with the album as it radiates pure Sabbath throughout.

The title track was a big single for the band and it gave Sabbath their first appearance on “Top of the Pops” since 1970 as it reached 21 in the singles charts. However, other tracks like “Shock Wave,” Junior Eyes” and “A Hard Road” proved that Black Sabbath were a still a tight band in spite of the drug problems Ozzy might have been having at the time. When I listened to the track “Johnny Blade,” I got the feeling that this song would have made a great opening theme song to a kids’ action cartoon. I could picture my then seven year old brother watching it with me humming this tune whenever the show came on.

Track Listing:

1. Never Say Die

2. Johnny Blade

3. Junior Eyes

4. A Hard Road

5. Shock Wave

6. Air Dance

7. Over to You

8. Breakout

9. Swinging the Chain

Black Sabbath

Ozzy Osbourne- vocals

Tony Iommi- guitars

Geezer Butler- bass

Bill Ward- drums

Additional Musicians

Don Airey- keyboards

John Elstar- harmonica

William Malone- brass arrangement

While the departure of Ozzy following this album would be a body blow for Black Sabbath, it definitely wouldn’t signal the end for either. Ozzy would have a great solo career and Ronnie James Dio would step into Ozzy’s shoes to continue Black Sabbath’s domination. It can’t possibly happen now, but my dream concert would have been Black Sabbath performing with Ozzy and Ronnie and even Ian Gillian for a few songs doing vocals from their contributions to this legendary band.

Next post: Judas Priest: Stained Glass

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2 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1978: Black Sabbath- Never Say Die”

  1. Metal Odyssey Says:

    This is a good Black Sabbath album. As I paused to imagine your “dream concert”, it sent chills through me. Whoa.


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