Black Sabbath Misrepresented!
More than three decades after Black Sabbath conjured images of the dark arts, heavy metal is growing up. The genre is increasingly incorporating social and political messages into its dense power chords.
Although they may not have been particularly eloquent, Black Sabbath--a blue-collar band from Birmingham, England whose guitarist lost two fingers in an accident at a sheet metal factory--had plenty of potent social and political messages. Their second album, Paranoid, was full of commentary on Vietnam ("Politicians hide themselves away/They only started the war/Why should they go out to fight?/They leave that role to the poor"); on that album, "Hand of Doom" documented the descent of a Vietnam veteran into heroin addiction. This was in 1971, the same year that John Prine released "Sam Stone."
There's something else Black Sabbath never gets credit for. They are funky.