Rating:
7.0
Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy
25 September 1976


01. Back Street Kids
02. You Won't Change Me
03. It's Alright
04. Gypsy
05. All Moving Parts (Stand Still)
06. Rock 'n' Roll Doctor
07. She's Gone
08. Dirty Women


Technical Ecstasy is a decent album wedged in between a good album (Sabotage) and a rather unfortunate one (Never Say Die). At its best moments it mirrors the former; at its worst the latter. You can almost pinpoint precisely when the Ozzy lineup ran out of steam, it's right around "All Moving Parts (Stand Still)".

One of the main problems with Technical Ecstasy is that it continues an unwelcome trend in Black Sabbath's musical progression; it seems that from Paranoid forward to Never Say Die, Sabbath was becoming less and less heavy. This was fine when they were writing songs like "Snowblind," "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," and "Hole In The Sky," but when their output became "Back Street Kids" and "You Won't Change Me," a little bit of that classic, thunderous, murder-blues sound was the only thing that could have made Technical Ecstasy an overall enjoyable album. The aforementioned songs are fairly good, and are not all that dissimilar to the weaker material from Sabotage, but they do suffer from sounding basically like an incredibly standard, Ozzy-fronted rock and roll band.

Perhaps it is not fair that Technical Ecstasy is so easily dismissed, shunted to the back of Black Sabbath's catalogue alongside Never Say Die. After all, minus a couple of lame tracks, it is a solid album. "She's Gone" and "Gypsy," I would even venture to say, are excellent songs. However, there is nothing here that really deserves a spot on a "Black Sabbath's Greatest Hits" sort of thing. We have the first six albums, all of which are much better without the need for mulling over and rationalizing. Besides, there is a distinct lack of Black Sabbath on this album. That could be anyone playing guitar, bass, and drums behind Ozzy; Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward do not sound anywhere near as magical or inspired as they once did.

The sound of this album irks me to the point that I usually find myself unwilling to brave it just for the sake of a couple of songs that, at best, stand out amongst the second half of Black Sabbath's Ozzy-era discography. For a similar style but with better results, just go listen to Sabotage. If you really hate your ears, go for Never Say Die. Unless you absolutely must satisfy your curiosity, you can safely leave Technical Ecstasy where it is and just bring it up at parties every now and then.

Performance: 6
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 6


Band profile: Black Sabbath
Album: Technical Ecstasy


 


written by ScreamingSteelUS | 03.03.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Ace Frawley - 04.03.2013 at 03:51  
Cool - it's good to see a review of this album. I agree with your overall rating of 7, which I think is fair for this album. I know it has received a lot of negative reviews and criticism over the years but I don't mind it. I agree it's weak compared to their earlier releases but some of the songs I really dig. It's clear though that the mighty Black Sabbath were running out of steam by this stage of their career.
M C Vice - 04.03.2013 at 11:54  
While I reckon You Won't Change Me and She's Gone are great songs, I prefer Never Say Die to Technical Ecstasy. I'd put it at the bottom of the Sabbath pile (although I haven't got Forbidden).
Cream - 07.03.2013 at 00:53  
I dont agree, I have listened all Black Sabbath albums and band members affiliated albums and this one is without a doubt the worst. Black Street Kids, Gypsy and Rock 'n' Roll Doctor are the most average Rock and Roll songs I have listened.
Timelord - 13.04.2013 at 11:10  
Running out of steam is being nice about it. From personal experience I can tell you once you have become full blown junkie or a drunk, you simply just can't play anymore. Watch the behind the music on Ratt. The late Robin Crosby lost his ability to play and same thing happened to me. It really was an all of a sudden scenario for me. I went to go help out a friend with some songwriting and I literally forgot how to play almost ANYTHING! 20+ years of abuse had caught up to me. That night ended my music career nearly 5 years ago. When I listen to TE and Never Say Die I can hear their addictions loud and clear. Unlike so many others they were able to overcome it. To me it just doesn't sound anything close to Sabbath.

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