The Ten Best Covers of Black Sabbath Songs, Plus A 90-Song Sabbath Covers Spotify Playlist

Black-Sabbath

Black Sabbath’s concert Blu-ray, Black Sabbath: Gathered in Their Masses comes out today, and in honor of the godfathers of metal, I thought I would pick our favorite covers of their songs.

I chose to take a look at covers of Black Sabbath songs rather than Black Sabbath songs themselves. I did this because we’ve all heard the Black Sabbath catalogue, but most of us haven’t heard the Sabbath tracks recorded by at least 100 other bands. So if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Sabbath has been flattered a lot by metal bands, and more, over the years.

I found a lengthy list of artists who have covered Black Sabbath songs at the CoverProject.com, and turned to Spotify to find as many of them as possible and composed a Black Sabbath Cover Songs Spotify Playlist, 90 songs deep.

I then whittled it down to a Top 10 Covers of Black Sabbath Songs List and here’s what I came up with:

(Song title links go to videos of the cover songs on YouTube, album title links go to Amazon where you can pick up your own copy.)

Deliverance_-_What_A_Joke

10. Deliverance

Song: After Forever from the Black Sabbath album Master of Reality (1971)

Album: What a Joke (1991)

What a joke is right. Who would have thought a Christian, metal band would ever make a Top 10 Black Sabbath list? I think their cover of After Forever is slick work.

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9. Pantera

Song: Hole in the Sky, from the Black Sabbath album Sabotage (1975)

Album: The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys’ Vulgar Hits (2003)

Pantera recorded a number of Sabbath tunes, but they really captured the spirit of Sabbath and managed to put their stylistic stamp on it too.

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8. Giant Sand

Song: Iron Man (No available YouTube Link) from the Black Sabbath album Paranoid (1970)

Album: Cover Magazine (25th Anniversary Edition)(2001)

Did somebody leave the water running? No, really. Do you hear water running? This made my list for originality alone. There were quite a few covers of Sabbath songs from unexpected genres. Several converted Sabbath songs into arrangements for strings, horns, piano, and a dozen other traditionally non-metal instruments.

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7.  The Fartz

Song: Children of the Grave, from the Black Sabbath album Master of Reality (1971)

Album: Because This Fuckin World Still Sucks (1998)

I’m a sucker for a decent punk song.

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6. Adrenaline Mob

Song: The Mob Rules, from Black Sabbath album Mob Rules (1981 The only Dio Era song on my list)

Album: Coverta (2013)

This is how the pros do it. The resumes say it all.

Rusell Allen (Vocals) Symphony X, Allen-Lande (with Jorn Lande of Masterplan), and he tours with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Mike Orlando (Guitar) has worked with Zakk Wylde and Bumblefoot

Mike Portnoy (Drums) has been involved with Dream Theater, Transatlantic, Liquid Tension Experiment, OSI, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Flying Colors, Bigelf, and The Winery Dogs

And on this Sabbath Cover

Rich Ward (Guitar): Stuck Mojo, Fozzy, and Sick Speed

They’ve been around, and know how to play.

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5. Pride and Glory (Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society)

Song: The Wizard from the Black Sabbath album Black Sabbath (1970)

Album: Kings of Damnation: Era 1998-2004 (2005)

Love the way Zakk and the Pride and Glory lineup bluesed up The Wizard. While it’s on a Black Label Society album, this live track is credited to the Pride and Glory lineup.

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4. Exhorder

Song: Into the Void from the Black Sabbath album Master of Reality (1971)

Album: The Law (1992)

I was hooked as soon as I heard the first few notes. Slow, deep, and hard. That would be a good name for an album for somebody wouldn’t it?

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3. Cavalera Conspiracy

Song: Electric Funeral from the Black Sabbath album Paranoid (1970)

Album: Blunt Force Trauma (2011)

A song about radiation and destruction is perfect fodder for growly-voiced metal singers and crunchy sounding bands they front. A lot of death metal bands have tried their hands at Sabbath, and this was one of the best efforts from that corner of the metal community.

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2. Galactic

Song: Sweet Leaf from the Black Sabbath album Master of Reality (1971)

Album: We Love ‘Em Tonight (Live at Tipitina’s) (2007)

This track blew me away. Galactic treats it’s Black Sabbath cover to a twist of jazz, soul, metal, and blues, as only a New Orleans band could.

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1. Isis

Song: Hand of Doom from the Black Sabbath album Paranoid (1970)

Album: Temporal (2012)

Hand of Doom is one of my favorite Sabbath tracks and Isis played it like a band possessed.

Close calls: These tracks almost made my Top 10:

GoatSnake

Artist: Goatsnake

Song: Who Are You? from the Black Sabbath album Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)

Album: 1 + Dog Days (2004)

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Artist: Venom

Song: Megalomania from the Black Sabbath album Sabotage (1975)

Album: Witching Hour (2003)

STEMM-Crossroads

Artist: Stemm

Song: Supernaut from the Black Sabbath Album Vol. 4 (1972)

Album: Cross Roads (2011)

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Artist: Sepultura

Song: Symptom of the Universe from the Black Sabbath album Sabotage (1975)

Album: Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath (1994)

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Artist: Type O Negative

Song: Paranoid, from the Black Sabbath album Paranoid (1970)

Album: Origin of the Feces (1992)

Don’t like my list? Judge for yourself. Here is a Spotify Playlist of 90 covers of Black Sabbath songs:

Few Diamonds in Rough Week of Blu-Ray Releases

I really thought the Blu-Ray releases this week would be special given the arrival of Cyber Monday and Black Friday, but boy was I wrong. There were very few films on the release list this week that excited me. Of course, that’s just me. You might be giddy over a release this week. If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

This week’s Blu-Ray Highlights

The Horror Show (1989)

Sometimes The Horror Show gets title tagged with House 3: The Horror Show, but it never probably should have. This blu-ray release drops it from the cover, and just calls it The Horror Show as god intended.

Aside from getting a great story about a man who, from beyond the grave, seeks revenge against the detective whose work sent him to the electric chair, you got a ton of Brion James, aka Leon Kowalski in Blade Runner, playing the role of a bad guy.  Nobody does it better.

Get it Nov. 26.

Sci-Fi Triple Feature: The Omega Man/ Soylent Green/ Logan’s Run

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This set is worth the price of admission alone just for the two Charlton Heston movies. True, double and triple feature discs generally suck compared to the special edition, single-title releases, but if you just like movies and don’t give a damn about collecting anything, it’s a good way to score a few classic titles on the cheap. Just don’t expect a bunch of bonus features from Warner Bros.

Get it Nov. 26.

Black Sabbath Live… Gathered in Their Masses

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Black Sabbath Live… Gathered in Their Masses comes out today, and it turns old these old bastards can still rock a little. This release reminds me of the Veterans Day parade that takes place every year in just about every hometown in America, where they find the oldest guys in town, dress them up, and drag them through the streets so everyone can applaud for what might be their last trip around the block.

After a short love affair with Quiet Riot as a youngster, I moved on to Black Sabbath for my needs, and it’s a relationship that has continued to this very day. I’m a  Sabbath fan. That’s why this release is being highlighted here.

Total Recall among the new Steelbook Editions from LionsGate.

Total Recall among the new Steelbook Editions from LionsGate.

For you collector types, for whom owning just one cover design option for a release is never enough, quite a few neat films were released in Steelbook editions, Nov. 24, too.

Sin City, Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2, Pulp Fiction, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Total Recall (1990), Apocalypse Now, Stargate: The Movie (1994), Highlander: The Movie (1986), First Blood, and Hero (2002) were all given the Steelbook look and released Nov. 24 by LionsGate.

Here’s a complete list of releases for Nov. 26.